One of the most common questions people ask me is, “What’s is God’s will for my life?” I am not sure why people think I can answer this question. I am also looking for the answer to this question! And, I don’t feel particularly qualified to answer it even if I wanted to try.
There may be as many reasons to ask this question as there are people in the world. But, if we dig a little deeper, I think that everyone who asks this question wants to know if there is a greater purpose to life here on earth. When we talk about purpose we are wanting life to make sense. That there is something meaningful to our existence. That we are not just floating around, bouncing off each other (or the walls) aimlessly.
I don’t know how many people make this connection, but they should. The search for purpose is good and important. However, what tends to happen during the search is it is colored by the desires or wishes we are offered by the world. If this purpose we are searching for does not make us wealthy or famous, if it does not give us greater influence or, at the very least, more talented, then is it really a purpose worth having? And there is the danger.
Our purpose is not about what will satisfy our desire for recognition. I think that we have to let go of the world’s definition of purpose. The world is mosaic being composed by God. And it is God who sees the greater picture he is working together. Our place in the work of art is unique and ordinary at the same time. We are valuable for what we contribute, but we are also not better than every other piece God chooses. For many, this is not satisfying. It feels like a letdown, but why do we feel this way? Could it be because we have our own ideas of what will make us happy?
The farther we move away from what God is leading and prompting us to do, the greater our discontent. But, the closer we draw to God, the clearer we see what God is trying to do in us and through us. So, don’t jump to the second part without accepting the first. God wants to do something in us first. Then, and only then, can what he wants to do through us become possible. Until our hearts are right, we will fight God for credit for stuff that God is doing. Just look at what Paul said to the Ephesian church.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
The works that we are going to do were prepared by God beforehand. That means that our living into and accomplishing our purpose begins with listening. Listening to God and asking him what work he has prepared for us to do. When I think about this I have to ask myself, “Why do I find myself wondering if the work God has prepared will be a drudgery?” Do I honestly believe that God will give me something to do that will be a drain on my life and soul?
We should trust God’s judgment. He has a purpose and a part of that purpose is helping us find our place inside of it.