Of the things that God is, He is intentional. There is a plan and purpose for each of our lives. As free will agents, we determine if we choose the straight and narrow path to our destiny or the windy, difficult route based on our decisions. Regardless of the means to get there, we all have a destiny and purpose to fulfill. The problem is that many believers do not know their purpose in life. So instead of marching full force ahead and making decisions that align with their destiny, we find a body of believers meandering through life. Distracted by the latest trend, chasing every opportunity, and surrounded by the wrong people. That way of living is contrary to the intentionality of God.
I'd be lying if I said that I've always known and walked in my purpose. The reality is I didn't. I once lived life in a repetitive circle of work, gym, church, repeat. It wasn't until I sincerely cried out to God, recognizing that there had to be more to life, that it was revealed. God's response to my fervent inquiry came in the form of scripture. Literally a scripture that I "happened" to flip to during my study time. What seemed random to me was God's divine answer to the question, "What is my purpose in life?" That scripture was 1 Timothy 4:12-16, the Apostle Paul to Timothy:
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (NKJV)
It was as though God spelled it out in bold letters. My purpose in life is to be an example for God's people. Plain and simple. From my talk, walk, the way I treat others, my faith, and through holy living. Though the scripture is an account of Paul speaking to Timothy, I read and received it as God speaking to me. I was young, so I too needed the assurance that in my youth I could still be a voice. I needed to study and show myself approved to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)-- correctly interpreting God's word, not spreading incorrect & inaccurate theology. I, too, had a gift that was confirmed by the laying on of hands. I needed to be dedicated to this purpose so that I could avoid destruction and, through my life, others would also. I found my purpose.
Once I understood my purpose, I began to gain revelation on everything in my life up until that point. I began to understand why I was a miracle baby, why I defied doctors' theories on what my life would be like, why I am gifted in certain areas, and why I've always felt comfortable going against the grain. My life began to make sense. I was created for purpose and everything that occurred until that point was aligned with that destiny. At that moment of awareness, I had to choose to continue my life according to this purpose. I was no longer ignorant to what God wanted me to do. It was then that I became accountable for fulfilling my destiny one decision at a time. If I didn't, it wouldn't be because it wasn't revealed. Instead, it would be out of sheer disobedience.
In order to walk in purpose, you must know your end destination. Beyond being saved, or accepting Christ as your Savior, what has God predestined for you to do in the earth? Why do you wake up every morning? Why did He spare your life? It is because of a purpose that needs to be fulfilled. When you identify that one thing, your life's decisions should align with it and culminate in the completion of that mission when you leave this life.
Maybe God isn't going to lead you to a scripture that explicitly tells you what to do with your life. He speaks to all of us differently. Regardless of how God chooses to speak, you must position yourself to hear from Him concerning your purpose. I found my purpose in God in a lonely place. I was living states away from friends and family and had excessive amounts of time on my hands. It was the perfect atmosphere to hear from God. It was an atmosphere of isolation and one free of distraction. Instead of having people to hang out with, I was a home desperately trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing with my life. It was only when I was in an environment positioned to hear from God, did He speak. It wasn't collegiate exposure to new ideas, cultures, or religions that revealed my purpose. Instead, it was a hunger to know and an environment to hear. However He chooses to speak, know that your purpose in life has an overarching mission of reaching people for Christ and winning souls to the Kingdom of God. If what you think is your purpose or what you're doing doesn't ultimately result in the advancement of the Kingdom, then you're operating outside of your purpose.
Position yourself to hear in this season. You don't have to move to another state to hear from God. Create an environment to hear from God by shifting the atmosphere of where you are. What do I mean? Begin by turning off the television, shutting down the laptop, logging out of social media, putting the phone and tablet away and just freeing yourself from distractions. When was the last time that you've just sat in silence with only your thoughts? It's hard to hear God with a preoccupied mind. God is a sovereign and jealous God who does not compete for attention. He is worthy and deserving of you getting everything else out of the way and giving Him your time.
If you want to shift the atmosphere and invite God into your space, a sure way of doing so is by praising. We learn from Psalm 22:3 that God inhabits praise. He goes where He is exalted and adored, so if you want to hear from God, begin praising Him. If you don't know what to say, just read Psalm 145, which is one of David's praises to God. Sing songs that magnify God and watch Him enter in.
It is Important to recognize that God is holy. This means that He does not operate in confusion or mess. Don't taint your place of praise with sounds of unholiness. That is, you cannot have sounds of praise and adoration one moment and vulgar music or television shows and the like the next moment. Many of you can relate to not being allowed to play secular music on the church grounds or on Sunday. The reason is because both things are holy and cannot be tainted. (Though it should be a daily practice wherever you are). Concentrate your space, making it set apart for God. Once God enters, it is holy ground. Let's learn from the Old Testament and make the place where God meets us an altar-- a sacred place of offering worship and praise. It is only when we create an environment to hear from God that we can inquire of Him our purpose.
Are you positioned to hear from God? If not, I challenge you to create an atmosphere in your life that welcomes His presence. Rid yourself of distractions and sit before the feet of the omniscient God.
Stay tuned for my next blog, where I discuss inquiring of God about your purpose!