Many of us wonder what is our purpose in life, what is the meaning of life, why am I here, and what am I created to do. Society tells us that we are on earth to be happy, to indulge in everything our hearts desire, to do whatever you want to do, because you only live once. Tragically, as Christians we have bought into the lies of the world, and even some lies of prosperity Pastors, preachers/teachers, who tell us that our purpose in life is to accumulate material things, be happy, wealthy, and prosper.
However, the Bible teaches us something totally different. Sadly many Christians fail to read the Word, the guidebook for our lives, and are often left confused about what our purpose is. For some of us we’ve never asked God what He wants for us to do and what His plans are for our lives. Instead our prayers are often demanding things out of God; telling Him to bless us with the job/business we want, the husband we want, the house we want, etc. We have become so selfish and self-centered, that we think God is here to serve us. Yet, Scripture paints another picture of what we are called to be and do.
Let’s first discuss what the Bible teaches our purpose is not.
OUR PURPOSE IS NOT:
#1-Be Rich- The Word teaches us not to seek after riches. In fact Jesus Himself tells us not to store up treasures on earth, but store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20),that we can’t serve both money and God (Matthew 6:24), and that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven (Matthew 19:23-24). The great Apostle Paul also tells us that the love of money is the root of all evil, has led some to destruction and even to wander away from the Christian faith.(1 Timothy 6:9-10,17-18)
#2- Be successful- The Bible teaches us not to pursue selfish-ambition, rather seek to serve others and God (Philippians 2:3-4). The Apostle James tells us that our pursuit of worldly success and our self-ambitious nature is not from God, rather it’s earthly and demonic (James 3:14-16).
#3- Be a wife- For some of us ladies, one of our main goals in life is to be married. The desire for marriage in itself is not wrong, in fact marriage is beautiful and God ordained it, however, being married is not our sole purpose in life. God didn’t create us just to be married. The Bible teaches us that we will not be married in Heaven, therefore being a wife is temporal (Matthew 22:30)
Now that we have learned what our purpose is not, let’s explore what God said our purpose is.
OUR PURPOSE IS:
#1-Glorify God- The Bible teaches us the sole purpose of our life is to bring God glory, it’s why He created us (Isaiah 43:7). We are to glorify Him in all that we do; our jobs/businesses, church, homes, at school, etc. (1 Corinthians 13:31; Colossians 3:17). The decisions we make, the career paths we take, must all be centered around glorifying God. Therefore, we are not to seek to be elevated, promoted, or successful just so we can feel good about ourselves, receive accolades, or boast and brag to others. Rather we are to ask ourselves, how can I glorify God in this job, including the job of a home-maker.
#2- Become Christ-like- While on earth, every believer is purposed to become more and more like Christ (Romans 8:29). Although we can’t obtain perfection, the goal is always to strive for perfection (Philippians 3:12-15), aiming for Christ-likeness. We are to mimic Jesus’ behavior, His heart, and His mission. We are to become the new creation that God has called us to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).
#3- Fulfill God’s Will- Contrary to popular preaching and teaching, the Word of God teaches us that we are to fulfill the will of God on earth; spread His Word (Matthew 28:19-20) and build His Kingdom(Matthew 6:33); not to live for self. We are not to seek to carry out our own purpose and plans for our lives, but we are to seek to do the work of God. Jesus tells us that in order to do God’s will, requires us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).
Many of us are still asking ourselves, how do I discover the path that God wants me on in order to fulfill His purpose for my life. In order to know the means/avenue by which God will use us to fulfill His purpose, we must start with the foundation of being a true Christian. When we start to love God with all our hearts, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37), seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33), and keep an eternal/heavenly perspective on ALL things (Colossians 3:17) then we will begin to live out the purpose for our lives.
As children of God we have the awesome privilege of fulfilling God’s will in this world. He has decided to use us, to advance His Kingdom and help win souls for Him. There is no greater purpose than this.
And in the end, He will reward us for all that we do for HIM on this earth (Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15). At the end of our lives, may we be able to proclaim like Jesus, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” (John 17:4 NASB).