By Larry Fayer

How do you determine God’s purpose?  Begin by recognizing that God isn’t going to write it down and hand it to you.  Neither is he going to zap it into you. 

It is important to realize that God knows you completely, in every detail.  One needs to look no further than Psalm 139 to be struck with how, in every minute detail, God knows you:

Psalm 139:1-6: O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

Psalm 139:13-16 says, For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God knows you completely, but are you aware that God considers you a coworker?

     *  1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

     *  2 Corinthians 6:1: Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

With the realization that (1) God knows you completely and (2) He considers you a coworker with Him, you are now ready to discover what God’s purpose is for you.  You do that by, first recognizing God for Who and What He is and developing a close relationship with him.  That is an ongoing process, so review what we have said about God’s plan and purpose for our day: Christ’s church is to spread the manifold wisdom of God throughout the world using its five purposes to accomplish God’s purpose: Evangelism, Discipleship, Worship, Fellowship and Ministry.  Knowing God’s plan, the church’s purpose and that God wants you to be a part of His purpose allows you to discover what your purpose is by asking the question, “How do I fit into God’s purpose?” 

Next, you need to evaluate the gifts God has given you.  Ask yourself, “What can I do well?”  Be honest!  Don’t tell God or me that he didn’t give you any gifts!  Make a list of your answers.  You might want to get some help by asking some others who know you well what gifts they see in you. 

Then, evaluate the needs that you see in the church where you attend in light of the five purposes.  Ask yourself, “If we are supposed to be doing (list each of the five purposes) what needs to be done?”  “How can I help?”  “How could our church be more effective in _______ (discipleship, ministry, etc.)?”  “Is that something I could do?”  “What’s lacking that I could add?”  Keep the body concept in mind.  We don’t all need to be feet, hands, eyes, etc.  Nor do we need to do everything.  We just need to do our job well.

Now that you see a job you can do, do it!  A word of caution: don’t wait for perfection from yourself or your church.  If you do, you may never get started.  Make a commitment to do the best you can and move forward.  Combine your commitment to the job with a commitment to use your alone time with God in study, prayer and meditation to more fully understand God’s purpose for you.  If you feel inadequate, use wise counselors/mentors that you may know in your church or search for them elsewhere.

The thought is this: You find your purpose by finding God’s purpose and then figuring out how you fit into it.  When you understand God’s purpose and the gifts God has given you, you will know what God’s purpose for you is.  Go to work serving that purpose with all the strength God gives every day of your life.



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