“God has a purpose for your life. Live life with purpose. Pursue your purpose.” But what if you don’t know your purpose? What if you feel like you’re just drifting through life without a fulfilling, purposeful goal to pursue?
I have struggled with purpose most of my life. I’ve envied those who knew “what they wanted to be” from an early age. I went through life just trying to excel at my next step and hoped my purpose would one day become apparent. High school, check. College, check. Graduate school, check. First “real” job, check. And so on and so forth. But still no inspiring purpose.
I usually connected purpose with career or at least some hobby or philanthropic pursuit I could be passionate about. I’ve had several good jobs with great people, I enjoy multiple hobbies from horseback riding to hiking to reading. But what was my life’s pursuit? 🤷♀️
I then tried changing my perspective. Purpose isn’t always about what you do, but Who you do it for.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Still my heart cried out, “Why am I here, Lord? Why did you make me? What am I supposed to be doing?” So on I drifted. And when I tried steering rather than drifting, things often got worse instead of better. Bad decisions. Poor choices. Wrong turns. Would I ever find fulfillment in the form of knowing that I was doing exactly what God wanted me to do?
My friend, if you’ve ever felt this way, know that you are not alone. Not only are you not alone, but God is with you, He is for you, and He does have purpose for you.
Let me take a moment to clarify what I mean by “purpose” in this post. I’m not talking about the overarching purpose of all humanity. As Christ-followers our ultimate purpose is to glorify the Father in whatever we do. I’m talking about our specific, day to day purpose…the one that pays the bills or makes us feel God’s joy…the work that we do whether it be our day job or side job or other pursuit outside of work. The purpose that helps us get out of bed in the morning with hope and excitement.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t always know our purpose because we can’t see the future. But we can trust the One who knows the future and the one who leads us into our purpose even when we can’t see it or feel it. I know because I’ve lived it and now, twenty years after getting my bachelor’s degree, I can finally see purpose in the path of my life. I haven’t been drifting aimlessly. I’ve been floating on the current of God’s ocean.
I can now see how the experiences I’ve had, the places I’ve lived, the work I’ve done, and the people I’ve met have all shaped me and molded my skillset into exactly what it needs to be to accomplish God’s purpose. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m doing what I was “meant” to do. I’ve finally discovered that elusive “purpose” that leads to a career that I am excited about.
You may be thinking, “Good for you, but what does that mean for me?” What it means is that where you are right now is part of the journey that will lead you to your purpose. It means that despite your circumstances at this moment, your future is still in God’s hands, and His purpose is unstoppable!
Keep following God. Go when He says to go. Stay when He says to stay. And when you mess up, because you probably will, turn back to God and ask for His forgiveness and His help to get back to where you need to be.
Your assignment is to keep praising God in the hard times when your heart isn’t in it. Even when everything in you cries, “I’m made for so much more!” That cry of your heart is true, you are made for more…but you must give your heart’s cry to God and let Him lead you to it in His time so that when you get there you are prepared to tackle your God-given dream with tenacity and hope and enthusiasm.
A word of caution. When you do finally get to the point where you know where you are supposed to be heading, you will find obstacles, discouragement, and trials you didn’t expect. You may even be terrified of taking that next step into the unknown. Or you may be so excited that your rush into it recklessly. Keep holding on to God, the devil doesn’t want you to fulfill your purpose, so he’ll try to stop you. Let God lead, He will fulfill His purpose for you by His mighty power and in His ultimate wisdom.
We live in a time when everyone seems to think we should fight for everything we have. Hustle, work for it, push everyone around, and make things happen. This isn’t true…not completely. Yes, we will have to face fights and struggles. But it’s ok to float through life following God’s current. As long as we’re willing to fight to stay in God’s current when a torrent of shiny objects and siren songs beckon us away with promises of the easy life and immediate gratification.
Stick with God and He’ll bring blessings that surprise you. Blessings that surpass your wildest dreams. And when it happens, you’ll know that it was all God’s doing. You’ll be able to humbly praise God for the journey that led you to fulfill His purpose and thank Him for the blessings He bestows upon you.
Don’t give up because you don’t know your purpose. God knows your purpose and He’s working it out for you. He created You on purpose, for a purpose, and He’ll ensure that you succeed in fulfilling it.
May you float along in God’s purpose and enjoy the sparks of joy that result from pursuing Him.