Here are 5 ways to recognize or discover God’s purpose for your life and why you should know about them so you can fulfill the purpose for which you were created.
Read the Bible
One of the simplest ways to discover God’s purpose for your life is to simply be reading the Bible on a daily basis. It’s amazing to me how so many people I talk to want to discover God’s will for their lives yet find little or no time in reading about Him in His Word. We cannot ever fully know the mind of God because God is infinite and we are finite. It’s like putting an ant in the cockpit of a 747 and asking them to explain how this thing flies. It’s simply not possible but it’s not entirely impossible to find out at least some things about God because He reveals Himself in His Word. One example was when I was in the New Testament I read in James 1:27 how pure religion is described as visiting the orphans and widows in their affliction. Then I realized that almost everyone at the local nursing home were orphans and widows or widowers. I started visiting them, gave a Bible study there and today, we offer church services there on certain Sunday’s at 2pm. They love it. I would have never known that this is God’s purpose for me unless I had read it in the Bible.
During my college days I was studying history and it would have been impossible for me to know much of anything outside of spending time in my history book. I could have listened to others about what they knew of history but they would likely have some of the names, the places, the dates, and the events wrong because they were not in the history textbook. Discovering God and His purpose for your life is discovering His Word and you’ll never know His purpose for your life if you’re not reading God’s textbook written to mankind; the Holy Bible.
Some people wander aimlessly in their Christian life not knowing what they should be doing for God but one way to find out if there is something specific that God has in mind for you to do is to simply jump into the pool and start swimming. An analogy would be that God wants you to swim across the swimming pool. You can read all the books you can find about how to swim but until you jump into the pool, you’ll never know if it’s what God has in mind for you or not and you’ll never know how to swim until you first get wet! When my son was very young, he wanted to learn how to swim and so we started in the shallow end of the pool and he practiced the dog paddle and then swimming with his arms. We could have sat next to the pool for weeks and talked about how to move his arms or what to do in the water but until we actually got in the water, he wouldn’t have ever learned how to do it. Try some ministry that your church has or come up with one on your own and then do it. See if you find holy pleasure in doing it and if you really have a passion for it and others see that you’re good at it, and it’s something that the Bible teaches, then that could well your God-given purpose; or at least one of them.
Has anyone ever told you that you’re good at something? Maybe you’ve got a gift in administration. We have a secretary on our church board that is meticulous in keeping notes. She has a sterling quality in recalling details, names, dates, and often she doesn’t even need to look at the minutes of our last meetings to recall them. She has a great memory and can remember what we talked about at our last meeting. She has this gift. I told her that she has this gift. Others have confirmed this gift in her. Her God-given purpose I am sure is to help the church keep our meetings organized and on task. She sometimes had to remind us of unfinished business at our last meeting. She loves doing this. There are three things that she was able to utilize to confirm that this was God’s purpose for her life; others told her that she’s really good at what she does, she felt happy in doing this because one of her strengths is in administrative organization, and she excelled in this area like nobody else did in the church. She sought and received counsel on what she could do to serve the church. She found out that she’s good at administrative tasks and discovered that she loved doing this. And others confirmed this to her by their sincere compliments.
Know God’s Will
The better we know the will of God, the more likely we’ll find God’s given purpose for our life. For example, we know that we’re to preach the gospel to the lost. Jesus said in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” and we also know that God is “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet 3:9) so putting these two together and knowing they are both God’s will since they’re commanded, we know that God’s purpose for our life is to reach the lost with the only message of hope that there is and that is found in Jesus Christ and Him crucified for their sins (Acts 4:12; Rom 10:9-13). Anytime that Jesus commands something, such as in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), we know that this is God’s will and we have no reason to guess about it…we must simply do it!
To Glorify Him
Since we know that even the creation was intended for His glory (Psalm 19:1) and God will never share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8, 11) it’s easy to see that our God-given purpose in life is to glorify God. Jesus said “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him” (John 7:18). Peter wrote “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet 4:11). Notice that Peter said we are to do all things “so that in all things God may be glorified” so it is clear that one of the main reasons we were created, just as the universe was, was to glorify God because He is worthy. You can be sure that your and my God-given purpose in life is to glorify God and you can discover that plainly in the pages of the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
I hope you can better understand how to seek and find your God-given purpose in life and that you can find that purpose in the Bible, you can find it by doing different ministries to see if they are what God created you for, you can seek the counsel of others, you can find out if you love doing something, you can find it by discovering God’s will for your life and obviously that is to glorify Him. There are ways to discover your God-given purpose. It’s not hidden but sometimes as plain as the nose on your face.