Nick Cleveland

Have you ever wondered what’s the purpose of the tab on a pop can? To open it, right? What about the hole in the tab? Did you know it’s so your straw doesn’t move around? Some ordinary things have some pretty unique purposes. And when something fulfills its purpose, joy comes with it.

 When someone does what they were created to do, it’s attractive, but is that their purpose? No. Their performance is what they do. Their purpose is why they do it. Your purpose is different from your profession. Your purpose is your “why” behind your “what.” Everybody has a “why.” It’s what drives and directs your life and decisions. Some “whys” are healthy and others are not. You might be driven by fear, insecurity, fame, pressures or painful memories, and because of it, you make poor choices. This is why some people, who are so good at their performance, crash and burn in life. Listen, you don’t burn out in life because of what you do, you burn out in life because you forget why you’re doing it.

To figure out your why in life, you’ve got to go all the way to the most fundamental question any of us can ask. What on earth am I here for? When you know the answer to this question, it changes everything. The author of Proverbs delivers wisdom for everyday life, “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.” (Proverbs 11:28, The Message) You are not here just to acquire things. If you want a flourishing life, it requires God at the center. Only when we understand who God is, can we understand our purpose. God doesn’t exist to serve our demands. We exist to serve His purposes.

The Apostle Paul wrote about where we find our purpose in his letter to the Colossian Christ followers. He writes, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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.” (Colossians 1:15-16) From these words, we find the answer to what on earth am I here for. Let’s unpack 3 principles about your purpose.

You were created on purpose. You didn’t just appear, you were created. You are not an accident. You were created on purpose according to Paul who got it from God, “For in him all things were created…all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

The reason finding our purpose often leaves us puzzled is because we have the wrong starting point. We ask self-centered questions like, “What do I want to be?”  “What do I want to do with my life?” The starting point to discovering your purpose in life is not you. Since you didn’t create yourself, consider listening to the One who did to find your purpose in life. God didn’t create you because He was lonely. He wanted to create you so He could love you. You were made by God and for God and, until you understand that, you will struggle with your purpose in life. He is the artist and He created you to love you.

You were created for a purpose. Everybody has a view of life – an answer to what life is all about. Your answer is the focus of your life. It’s your bullseye. That’s what your purpose is. That’s why so many times our “what” doesn’t deliver the satisfaction we’re looking for. You’ve got the wrong bullseye. In that same verse, Paul gave us the clear bullseye for our life, “For in him all things were created…all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Our purpose is to be connected to God, but you’ve been disconnected because of sin. You can be reconnected to God through Jesus. You must make the choice to receive the forgiveness He offers and give up control you have to Him. You were created to know the love of God. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul said, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” (Ephesians 1:11-12, The Message)

Your purpose isn’t for you. What is it that motivates you? Typically, we are motivated by selfish drives, but when your purpose is to serve God, it connects you to a motivation much bigger than just living for yourself. Jesus set the example by giving us His purpose statement, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

You don’t find your purpose, you serve God’s purpose. When you combine your past experiences, your personality, your gifts, your abilities and your passion, you have a shape perfect to serve others. You don’t determine a person’s greatness by how many people serve them, but instead by how many people they serve.

The Psalmist told us to…“cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” (Psalm 57:2) God will help you. Our purpose is beyond our ability and resources alone. We rely on God. God will also use you. Purpose ignites influence. We just have to say, “Here I am, use me!”

You were created on purpose. You were created for a purpose. Your purpose isn’t for you…it’s for others. Are you ready to fulfill your purpose in life?

 

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