Thursday, June 15, 2017

Finding Your Purpose in Life, Part Three

In a couple of previous posts, we covered the first two steps to determining your purpose in life. To boil it down, we discussed how God will give you both the knowledge and the skill to perform the tasks to which He has called you. I saw an excellent example of this in the devotion book I was reading this morning. The author put it like this: "If I gave you some wood, a saw, a hammer and some nails, you would know that I want you to build something. If I gave you several cans of paint and a variety of paintbrushes, you would understand that I wanted you to paint something. It's the same way with the things that God gives us. We need to examine the knowledge and skills He has given us and determine what He wants us to do with them."

Sometimes, that can still be a bit tricky. After all, as we mentioned earlier, many of us have a range of knowledge in many subjects and quite a number of talents. So, where does that leave us? With so many things to choose from, what exactly is God trying to tell us about our purpose? That's where step three comes into play. Let's go back to our example above. If I gave you wood, a saw, a hammer and some nails, you would know that I want you to build something, but what exactly do I want you to build? It's up to you. What do you want to build? What are you passionate about?

To understand this point further, let's consult our passage of Scripture. Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it. (Exodus 36:1-2)

Today, I want to focus on that last phrase, whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it. To have your heart stirred up is to have passion about something. These men were passionate about the project ahead of them. They were excited about it. They couldn't wait to get started. Maybe you can relate. I know I can. This is exactly how I feel about writing, especially when I'm working on a new project or even nearing the end of a project that I've been working on for some time. My mind is focused on the task, so much so that I have trouble sleeping and eating. I awake in the morning and can't wait to get started. I think about it day in and day out. It's always on my mind. That's what it means to be passionate about something. Yes, there are other things I enjoy and other things that I consider myself good at, but when I boil it all down to what I want to do the most, the answer is simple. I'm a writer, and I want to write!

Some of you may be raising your eyebrows and declaring, "But that's what I want, not what God wants." Who says it can't be both? Why do we have it in our minds that the tasks God wants us to perform have to be unpleasant and undesirable? After all, if He gave us the skill and the knowledge, doesn't it make sense that He would also provide us with the desire? This is where Psalm 37:4 comes into play: Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. This verse is often quoted in support of the theory that if we pray for something, God will give it to us simply because we want it. But that is not what this verse is saying. What it mean is if we delight in the Lord (seek to do His will), He will plant the proper desires in our hearts. So, when it comes to determining your purpose in life, you need only look at the things God has given you and figure out which of those things brings the most joy to your life. Which one gets you the most excited? It's not about money or fame or anything else for that matter. It's about having your heart stirred to perform the task.

Here's the best part about doing something you're passionate about: it doesn't feel like work. Yes, it will probably require a lot of time and effort, but because you're enjoying the process, it seems more like a hobby. That's not to say it won't be difficult at times or that it won't have its ups and downs, but overall, it will be something that will bring you joy time and time again.

We must remember that God has given us free will, and while that does not give us the freedom to do what we want or act how we want, it does mean that He has given us choices to make. If you're seeking His will, He will enable you to find your purpose, and if, for some reason, you get off track, He is both willing and able to lead you back where you need to be. So don't be afraid to take a risk or step out in faith. After all, you'll never find your true purpose if you don't go looking.

Have you found your passion?  Would you like to share it with the other readers?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

No comments: