faith

Why am I Here?

 

Do you find yourself asking that age old question, “Why am I here?”?

Don’t tell anyone, but I do too. Sometimes I ask the same question. It’s usually after experiencing disappointment or not enough sleep. 🙂

It may seem like I’ve got it all together, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: NOBODY DOES.

Not all the time.

We all have our days, weeks, months . . . okay, years when we wonder what God wants for us to DO.

But purpose, the reason why we’re here, really isn’t elusive. We just need to know where to look for it.

Most of us think purpose is found in those things that make us happy, and we think purpose will make us happy. But Emerson disagrees:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Party pooper, right? Yeah, but he has a valid point.

We Want to Be Happy

We do want to be happy, and we believe that when we find our purpose, we will be. So, we ask, “Why am I here?” But what if purpose is not in that giant passion-filled dream? What if it’s not about our happiness, but something much bigger?

No matter what we do or how we use our talents, they will never be enough. There will always be a hunger, a hole within. Nothing, not even purpose can fill our soul like God.

I’m learning I have to come back to the true source of purpose, the Maker of my soul, to find my daily purpose. That’s where I have to start. I have to trust He can see what I can’t. Whether I’m doing something grand or obscure, if I’m doing it with heaven in mind, it holds the weight of eternity.

 

Shelley Provost gives 5 Reasons why Most People Don’t Discover Their Purpose.  In her article on inc.com she writes:

“We are lured into thinking that the purpose of life equals upward social mobility, establishing a career, accumulating wealth, competing (and winning), and holding power. Even if we can admit to ourselves that we aren’t fulfilled with success’ trappings, all too often we cling to our illusions because they’re all we know. Here’s what I’d like to propose: Maybe our purpose has nothing to do with what we do for a living. Maybe our purpose is really about living authentically and discovering who we really are.”

 

Living Authentically

What does living authentically look like?

Be real.

Be yourself.

You don’t have to have all the answers.

And you don’t have to have the best job, prettiest house, or painted toenails. 🙂 You don’t have to be super-model skinny or married or smart. You don’t have to get the “best mom of the year” award either. (Hallelujah!) Pinterest birthday parties do not earn stars in your crown. But if you like to throw Pinterest perfect parties, do!

Be you.

That’s how we find our purpose or purposes. I believe we have a lot of them–not just one. I’ve written a chapter about it in my book A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called which I wrote to encourage women to recover lost dreams, rekindle God’s call, and step out in faith . . . to help them find purpose.

4 Ways to Find Your Purpose

  1. Seek the One who made you.
  2. Seek Him more than seeking a purpose.
  3. Study the Word
  4. Pray for greater Faith.

I know, it seems like I’m making this too much about religion, but even non-faith writers agree.

“To discover your purpose, you must get comfortable with the non-logical mind. You must become accustomed to not having the answers. You must tolerate ambiguity and get OK with struggling. You must allow yourself to feel–deeply feel. Thinking your way to a purposeful life will never work.” 5 Reasons

I call that faith. Let’s stop trying to figure it out. Focus less on “doing” and more on “being.”

It all goes back to knowing whose we are.

“God’s greater purpose has to always be on the forefront of our minds. We may be offered employment, school, and marriage opportunities that may not fit in God’s purpose. This takes wisdom on our part to wait on God’s peace before making presumptuous decisions that may have lifetime ramifications. There’s great joy in the discovery of His purpose when we trust in Him rather than on our feelings or pressures from other people.” Crystal McDowell 

There’s that word “trust” again. It really is the center of living a full life. Trusting that God is good, His plans are good, and that He loves us will always lead us to the right path.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

So . . . here’s some why’s from the Word of God, and some great scriptures about purpose. This is our Bite of Bread Reading plan for the week.

{I’ve made this a printable to use during your time alone with God.}

Monday: 1 Peter 2:9: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

  • What is our purpose as a chosen people? Who will you share your story of darkness to light with today?

Tuesday: Colossians 1: 16: For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;all things have been created through him and for him.

  • What do you think it means to be created for God? How does this affect our purpose?

Wednesday: Job 42:2: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

  • Do you feel like you’ve messed up God’s plan for your life? How does this give you hope?

Thursday: Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

  • What does this verse tell us about making plans? How will this affect your plan making?

Friday: Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

  • Write down the situation that you are trusting to see Romans 8:28 fulfilled in? What goo could he bring out of that situation?

Saturday: Esther 4:14: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

  • Is God calling you to something you’ve been avoiding? Write down a prayer asking for courage. Are you in a place you don’t want to be? Ask for eyes to see why God has you there.

Sunday: Philippians 2: 12-13: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

  • Name some of God’s good purposes. How can you partner with him in those?

Don’t forget the printable!

 

 

A Man With a Big Purpose

Moses was minding his own business taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep.

It was a simple life. A good life. Though this culture was drastically different from the one he grew up in, he liked this one.

He was shy, not much of a speaker, in fact afraid to speak. And he had killed a man. That’s when he ran away and put himself into a “witness protection” of sorts where nobody knew him. I wonder if he often thought back to the plight of those enslaved and wished he could help. Or had he washed his hands clean of those people?

As he watched over the sheep, something caught his eye, a strange phenomenon. A fire burned within a bush, but it was not consumed. As he investigated he heard a voice call his name.

“Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am,” replied the scruffy shepherd.

Did he know the voice who knew him?

Not yet.

But he would.

The ancient voice warned,  “Do not come any closer, and take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5).

 

 

woman hands on heart

His life would never be the same.

A calling from God changes you. It doesn’t make life all rainbows and bubbles, but it gives us purpose.

I’ve experienced that the purpose stays the same but the means to accomplish it changes, and my calling has not yet looked like I thought it would.

Moses’s call/purpose was not easy.

Why do we think our purpose will be?

Do you think Moses was always happy?

In his Upmost for my Highest devotional, Chambers explains that God’s goal is not to make us happy but holy. 

God has only one intended destiny for mankind— holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity— He came to save us because He created us to be holy. Atonement through the Cross of Christ means that God can put me back into perfect oneness with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer. Destined to be Holy

The purpose of Holiness

Christ makes us holy, our sins paid for by his blood, and our relationship with God restored. 

The Greek word for holy, hagios,also means “set apart” or “consecrated.”

The consecrated items in the Temple and the consecrated priests served God; therefore, “holy” contains so much more than a ticket into heaven. God’s call to holiness actually grants eternal purpose that starts the day we say yes to Jesus.

His call may come from burning bushes (probably not), or sunrises, or maybe the quietest place in our heart. And he says,

“Take off your shoes, you’re on Holy Ground.”

I invite us to fall on our knees and reply,

“Yes, Lord! Here I am.”

You are wholly holy for Kingdom building, legacy leaving, eternal purposes. If you don’t feel up to the task, neither did Moses.

Tend your sheep.

Stay in the Word

…. and worship.

The closer we grow to Him, the more fulfilled we become.

He is our purpose.

 

Digging Deep,

Andy

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
― Shannon L. Alder

 

P.S. I’m on the road again this week, so I will be shooting the daily broadcast only Monday and Friday. Friday I’ll be coming to you from Houston, TX! As usual, 8:20 AM ET. (That means I’ll have to be ready by 7:20! I must love ya’ll a lot!) Hope you can join me.

P.S.S.  If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

 

 

 

 

Featured image Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

 

Hands Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

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