In Orrin Woodward’s book, RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE, Chapter 1 is about finding your God-given purpose. Most people I know, myself included prior to LIFE, are so caught up in their daily routine of living life and making money that they never once think about their God-given purpose. I love the saying, “Our purpose in life is to find our purpose in life.” Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are people out there that have found and are pursuing their God-given purpose, but over the past 11 years of building communities of people, my experience has been that there are many more people out there that either never think about it, or think about it, but can’t find it. If you are the latter, I hope you find this article helpful.
Many people have this misinformed notion that what you do for a living and your God-given purpose are two separate things. In fact, this is not true. It is how our society has developed, but the reality is your God-given purpose doesn’t turn off from 8am – 5pm so you can go out and make money to live life. Our God-given purpose governs everything we do…including making a living. What LIFE has allowed me to do is to combine my God-given purpose with a way to make a living. If you pursue your God-given purpose and what you do is pleasing and glorifying to God, He will bless you. Now please don’t misunderstand, the adversary will make sure you still have problems to deal with in life. In fact, they may intensify the stronger your faith and commitment to your purpose becomes, but stay steadfast in pursuit of your God-given purpose and you will prosper.
In Orrin’s book, he discusses that God-given purpose is at the center of three intersecting elements: Passion, Potential and Profit. The following is an illustration of that principle:
Passion: God has wired every human being with passion. We all have many things in life we like doing and we all have many things in life we don’t like doing. However, there are few things that we love doing…that we are passionate about doing. In my experience, this is God’s way of “steering” us towards our purpose…follow the things you are passionate about in life.
Potential: God has gifted each and every one of us with special and unique skills and talents. He has equipped us with the skills and talents that are necessary to fulfill our purpose…follow your skills and talents in life.
Profit: God has made us and placed us here with the difficult task of living a righteous life that is glorifying to God while being in a secular world with man-made laws. Based upon this fact, God fully expects us to make a living. However, the living that we make should be righteous and glorifying to God…follow what is righteous and glorifying to God in making a living.
As the illustration above represents, your God-given purpose is found at the intersection of Passion, Potential and Profit. So if you find yourself questioning what your purpose is…go find this intersection in your life.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 in Orrin’s book:
“Modern man is suffering the debilitating effects of his self-imposed loss of purpose and meaning. When Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him,” he understood that by rejecting God, he had also killed meaning and purpose. Philosopher Bertrand Russell agreed, commenting, “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” Furthermore, Russell confronted the utter hopelessness of his atheistic philosophy:
“That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”
A dismal belief system indeed, but one that has infected millions of people leaving them without rims in the game of life. Woody Allen surmised, “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroad: One path leads to despair and hopelessness, and the other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” The legacy of this acidic belief, poured directly upon the roots of purpose, destroyed the fruits of hope, meaning and significance, leaving only the bitter fruits of paralysis and cynicism left to fill the void in the poisoned soil.
Thankfully, one doesn’t have to swallow modern man’s toxic brew of beliefs. In fact, many are rejecting these fatalistic view of godless philosophers, yearning instead for meaning, purpose and a sense of destiny. Indicative of this trend is the smashing success of Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”. With over thirty-plus million copies sold since 2002, Warren’s book is reaching many people with a message of forgiveness, hope and purpose. In the introduction Warren wrote, “You cannot arrive at your life’s purpose by starting with a focus on yourself. You must begin with God, your Creator. You exist only because God wills that you exist. You were made by God and for God-and until you understand that, life will never make sense. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead-end.” As Author Carl Townsend said, “They say there are two important days in your life: the day you were born, and the day you find out why you were born.” No one can choose the day he was born, but everyone can choose responsibility for discovering why he was born.
Why are people created? What is the specific purpose for one’s life? Author Daniel Pink identifies three elements that encompass a purposeful life:
1. Autonomy: The urge to direct our own lives.
2. Mastery: The desire to get better at something that matters.
3. Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
To achieve one’s purpose, autonomy, mastery, and character must combine together. For without autonomy, a person isn’t directing his life, therefore isn’t accomplishing his purpose but someone else’s. Furthermore, without mastery, a person is not improving in something that matters, and if it doesn’t matter, then it certainly isn’t one’s purpose. Lastly, it’s only a person of character who desires to be of service to something larger than himself, contributing to others to make a difference and leaving one’s mark in the world, transcending all selfish motives and actions. In order to fulfill one’s purpose then, a person must have or build all three prerequisites. A person must build character, hunger for autonomy and develop mastery in his profession by living intentionally for excellence.”
Your future awaits, go find your God-given purpose and go get it!
God bless and have a wonderful weekend, Eric C. Blomdahl