purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
So many of us are trying to figure out why we are here on this earth, why we are even alive, what is our purpose. We often wonder, is there more to life?
Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18:3)
Unfortunately, as we get older... we can lose our innocence, our pure hearts, our trust, our confidence... from our own choices or the actions of other people. We can lose those things from too much reasoning and logic from a limited human perspective, intellect mixed with pride and formulated opinions. We can even lose those things through religion without spiritual illumination. We will never be truly fulfilled in life until we first and foremost "become like little children" which means to simply know God is a real entity that wants to do something in our lives.
We are here for a reason, we were made for a reason. God is not hard to find.
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb." (Jeremiah 1:5)
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13)
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.'" (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
Read those carefully. God already knew who you were, you were not an accident or a product of random chance. Not only did he know who you were, he put you together... spirit, soul and body. It goes on to say God has plans for us, good plans, to give us a future and a hope. The reason why so many of us don't have hope in this world is because we have not reconnected ourselves back to God. It says it right there.
A lot of us want God to search for us, but he says for us to search for him. We want God to show us something when in fact we need to show him something. Why? Because he will not force you to do anything. This is something that so many of us don't get.
Scientists and doctors both have discovered that heart attacks occur mostly on Monday, Monday morning to be exact. Why is that? It's because we were not made to have a boring life, we were not made to have a life that is not fulfilling, or a life that we are not utilizing who we are. It's stressful, it's boring, it hurts, and the thought of Monday is sickening to most, literally.
Being bored on your own free time is a sign of someone who has not found their purpose. Since I've started to delve into what I am made for, I can honestly say that I do not have anymore moments of being bored on my own free time. Not knowing what to do with yourself to the point of boredom and even depression is not how life is supposed to be. Also, at the opposite end, being busy but not actually doing anything is not how life is supposed to be either. Yall know those types of people... always "busy" doing this and that but not actually doing anything to build who they are as a person.
We are supposed to have a purposeful life. Nowadays, I have to check my calendar every single day to see what I have to do... as I have classes to teach, events to organize, projects to create, things to be a part of, etc. I used to be both the type that sat around bored and the one that was busy, hands full, but still unhappy because it did not have to do with who I was or what I was made for.
"We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their motives.
Commit your actions to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:1-3)
This is powerful yet so simple. This is not some religious requirement, this is relationship with God. This is merely saying, okay God, I'm going to follow you, what do you have planned for me?
Today, religion, for the most part, has done a poor job of telling people who God really is. We don't know who we are because we don't know who he is. I'm going to be using Moses a lot for illustrative purposes a little later on but think about this: in the day of Moses, there was no church, and (chronologically and terminologically speaking) he was not a Christian, because he was alive more than one thousand years before Jesus was born. Is Moses being tortured in hell? Now I'm not saying church is bad, I'm saying what religion has made a lot of churches to be is bad, and we should not focus so much on religious words and definitions but relationship with God through Christ. Religion has made it seem like God is someone that laid out a set of rules to prevent us from having fun, and then kills or sends people to hell for not obeying his rules. This is not correct.
Look at God's creation. He has a set of natural laws in place for this universe. Gravity is a natural law. There are also supernatural laws in place. The balance of good and evil, sin, praying, etc are supernatural laws that we need to study to begin to understand God.
It's not that God says "don't do this because I don't want you to"... it's more like "please don't do this, because I made you, I formed you, I know how you work so I know this will harm you". God is a perfect being, and a pure being. With wrong choices and lifestyles, we distance ourselves from God, he does not distance himself from us. It is a supernatural law. Anything contrary to purity cannot mix with purity. Everything from a promiscuous lifestyle to a gossiping person who breathes jealous and envy will not and cannot mix with purity. It cannot mix with God, and that is why we don't feel close to him, that is why we doubt if he even cares about our lives, and we never find out what we are here for.
A child has to learn that cars are dangerous. The safest way for them to learn is to not get hit by one, so you tell them not to run in the street. They may not understand why, you might even have to yank a kid from the street. There are rules in place. There are natural laws in place. If you get hit by a car, you will get hurt. You might die. From a kid's point of view, you might seem like you just don't want them to have fun in the street... but no... you don't want them to get hurt.
The same goes for telling a child not to touch a hot object. You don't want them to get burned. You don't want them to get hurt.
God does not want us to get hurt. This is why he tells us things that we should not do. However, he also gives direction on what we should do, so he's not vague. I don't understand why we don't want to be taught about God, we want to do a free spirit journey through life. That's a deception, but so is religion that is constricting. The healthy balance avenue is trying to hear the voice of God, have a reputable teacher of the word of God, theologically revealing to you the character of God, and you studying God for yourself. Why do we not want to be taught about God, when someone had to teach us how to walk, talk, write, read, put on clothes, etc.
Why am I saying all of this? Because right character makes it easier for God to communicate to us what he has for us. When a room is dirty, you cannot walk around freely in that room. We need to clean ourselves up if we want a full life, a full life not just on the outside, but inside. I say inside because a lot of famous people who seem to have it all, express the void in their heart, or even end up committing suicide.
It's okay if you don't know who God truly is, it's okay if you don't know who you are. A lot of times, churches will portray biblical figures, and even themselves, as perfect, without sin. This is not the case for any of them or us except for Jesus.
"Many years later, when Moses had grown up, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work. During his visit, he saw an Egyptian beating one of his fellow Hebrews. After looking in all directions to make sure no one was watching, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid the body in the sand." (Exodus 2:11-12)
Right here we can see that God can and will use imperfect people. In the next chapter, we see this dialogue between Moses and God:
“God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God." (Exodus 3:4-6)
Moses didn't even know who it was that was talking to him. He didn't even know who God was, God had to tell Moses who he was. Not only did he tell him who he was, he explained who he was.
"But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
And finally, after Moses understood who God was, he asked God who he himself was, because he did not know. Moses did not know who Moses was.
This is how my life is unfolding. I did plenty of dirt. I had experiences where I thought I saw and heard things but I didn't know God. And finally when I knew who God was, I started to understand who I was.
The same can happen for you.
" The Lord has given them special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers." (Exodus 35:35)
Your purpose in God is a lot bigger than what you might think. I used to think it meant, be an usher in church or pass pamphlets out on street corners. Not even. All of the gifts and talents you have are from God and he does not want you to live a boring life. He wants you to be the most creative person you can be. A lot of us only stop at realizing our talents. This is not enough. We will still feel a void and a sense of true purpose even if we know what we're good at.
I have 4 points I think will help us be able to stir up something in us about our purpose.
Point 1: Interest.
Think about what you like, this may be a big clue into what part of your purpose is. Ever since I was little, I've been interested in animals and the universe. I always drew and painted animals, creatures, planets, etc.
Now I've found myself studying zoology and astronomy in connection to God as the creator. My past also reveals my artistic talents. Learning who you are is an ongoing process. The exciting part is trying to connect it all.
Point 2: Indicate.
Like the bat signal, we will metaphorically see a sign of what we were made for, in everyday situations. Once again, ever since I was little, I was always placed in leadership roles. Whether it was a teacher or a group project where all the kids looked at me to lead the moment, I knew early on I was literally a natural born leader. If you look at Moses once more, when he killed that man, he was defending someone else. Moses eventually, after getting to know God, led millions out of Egypt. He was, by birth, someone who always had the desire to take up for people.
For me, at this point in my life, this has led to having the opportunity to lead over 50 youth leaders, hundreds of young people, and public speaking, with one time being in front of 2,000 people, and even more watching online from their homes.
I have never been afraid to get in front of the class and do book reports and the sort in school... an indication that I was made to be a speaker.
If our lives become cloudy with wrong decisions, however, our signal may get a little cloudy... and we will have a harder time reading what our signs are.
Eventually, when we track the source of the signal, and seek the light of God, there will be no question about our lives and our purpose.
Point 3: Interact.
Who do you find yourself crossing paths with? What type of person do you always seem to be connected with? What kind of person always seems to find themselves in your life?
Yet again, ever since I was little, younger people have always followed me around. When I was a toddler, babies would always stare at me, or crawl to me if they could. When I entered elementary school, the toddlers and the babies followed me around. When I reached middle school, it was elementary, toddlers and babies. High school, it was middle school, so on and so forth. It did not take long to realize I had a heavy influence on the people coming behind me. To this day I still have babies staring at me but they don't look at anyone else in the room.
Point 4: Ignite.
Your purpose will give you passion. If it doesn't set your soul on fire then I don't believe it is your purpose. You will have an endless energy, you will work in your purpose for hours and still be hungry to do more.
When you are walking with God you will still be you. Religion tries to box you in, make you a robot. This is not what God wants. I didn't lose my sense of humor, I didn't lose my boldness, I didn't lose anything positive about me that made me, me. If anything, everything is stronger.
Steven Jackson, an NFL 3-time pro bowler and record breaker, has of course, a talent for football and inspires people to get to know God off the field.
Isaac Newton, a physicist and mathematician, was a top notch influence in the scientific community and beyond, acknowledging the creator God.
Another picture of what is out there in the universe.
Dr. Richard Dawkins, a leading atheist figure, if not the leading one, says he feels a transcendental and mystical wonder when viewing the stars.
transcendent: going beyond the limits of ordinary experience, synonym: supernatural
Dawkins says he does not dismiss mystic experiences, "I want to explain it". My point is, we all look for God even if we know it or not. So we might as well do it on purpose and find out exactly who he is, and then exactly who we are, and why we were made, why we are here, and what more there is to life.
As a child, the wisemen who came to visit Jesus, were astrologers. As an adult, Jesus chose his first 12 disciples from a pool of fishermen, a physician, etc. They were men who had talents, not untalented drones.
So what do you do in the mean time? Do what you have to do while finding out who you are.
"A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty." (Proverbs 28:19)
You don't want to work at a mundane 9-5 until you die, but you also do not want to sit around and just wait for something to magically happen. If that means getting a job at Taco Bell while you get your business up and running, do it.
There is a wealth of gifts and talents in the graveyard. When you die, leave this earth broke.