By Gail Armatys, HeartSong Life Coach
Back in the day, I spent my younger years wondering about the purpose of a variety of very important things.
For example, in middle school (back then we called it Jr. High) I questioned the point of algebra and math in general, but mostly honed in on bigger more important questions related to numbers such as, “who gets to decided 2+2 = 4 anyway?” I now know I was of the same mindset of the much younger, wiser Will Smith (yes, the Will of Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Men in Black and Independence Day fame) who once said, “2+2 only equals 4 if you accept that 2+2 = 4.” Maybe my problem was I didn’t want to accept it. Anyway, I promised myself I would make it through college without taking another math class and I was successful in that endeavor. Accounting, yes. Math, no.
When I was a college sophomore, I questioned what added value there was in taking classes that I had absolutely no interest in and weren’t necessary for my major – classes such as Geology, English Diagramming, and the like. Mind you, I never did question the appropriateness of my Fine Food and Wine elective.
Then, thrown out into the real world as an adult the questions became louder and larger. What is my purpose? What’s the point? How do I make a difference? Do I matter? Important questions. So important that God has taken great time and care to provide me – and you – with the answer.
You Can Know Your Purpose
Your purpose for living isn’t some deep dark secret. God loves you and wants you to know and live his uniquely designed purpose for your life. In Christian circles we often hear that our purpose is to know God and make him known. True. But God has a specific way for each of us to make that happen and he wants us to know what it is.
First, let’s start at the beginning. You and I were born – created. I think we can all agree that occurred. Our birth is determined – kind of like the two plus two great math decider – someone got to decide on certain things relative to each of us. In this case, the decisions were that we would be created, how we were going to look, what our inclinations and genetics would be, where we would live, what circumstances we would be born into, and what we have the potential to add up to (sorry, couldn’t resist the math reference) – or do/become. The Decider in our creation is God.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.
These verses tell us a couple of things. One: God, the Decider, knows us – intimately, in our core, our heart of hearts, the deepest part of ourselves because he created us. He knows us like an artist knows the variance in color, light, and brush strokes of her masterpiece. Two: God knows our days. He knows and sees the beginning from the end. Our days are ordained. In the Hebrew to ‘ordain’ means to appoint or instruct. Usually, when we are appointed or instructed the words or idea ‘to do’ something immediately follows. Sarah was appointed to lead the children. Jill was instructed to sing the songs. In other words, God created us to do certain things during the time in which we are given to live.
Could it be that God is telling each one of us that our being alive + our doing = fulfillment of God’s plan?
Maybe I like math more than I thought!
Seek Purpose. Find Courage.
Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you:
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
The Lord told Jeremiah he was appointed to be a prophet. His purpose was to warn the Israelites of coming disaster. He had a holy purpose. Being a prophet was a tough job. One Jeremiah wasn’t ecstatic about because he didn’t think he was capable of accomplishing the work. Nevertheless, he was told his purpose. Which reveals two more things.
One: God will reveal your specific purpose. He did it for Jeremiah and he will do it for you, too. As I said earlier, your purpose is not a deep, dark secret. It’s just that it often gets obscured. Our lives are noisy, busy, competitive, and sometimes downright painful and we cannot hear or see what God is saying, doing, or instructing. Maybe, if we are totally honest, we might even say we don’t really think about it and just go our own way.
There are other obstacles, too. These are weaknesses that affect our integrity. Things like living in fear, lying, pride, quitting, lack of self-control. Human, characteristics to-be-sure, but not Christ-like, and definitely roadblocks to knowing and fulfilling our purpose.
Two: You can’t accomplish your purpose without God. Perhaps, like Jeremiah, you have fallen for the lie that you aren’t able. You aren’t smart enough, good looking enough, funny enough, talented enough, tall enough, just simply not good enough to walk down the path where God is leading so you stick with the status quo because it’s safer and easier. And in a sense you are right, without God we aren’t enough. With God is a different story.
Once God assured Jeremiah he was with him, would tell him what to say, and had nothing to fear Jeremiah was determined to know and fulfill his purpose. Nothing would sway him. God knew what Jeremiah needed. He needed courage to do that something God had planned – and God provided.
Old testament or new God still knows we need him to move down his path. He tells you and me the same thing over and again. He is with us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Do The Math
- God wanted you – so he created you.
- He knows you completely.
- God has a unique role for you to fulfill in his plan for a purpose.
- He wants you to know your purpose.
- You can accomplish your purpose with God.
It all adds up!
Lord, I thank you for making me on purpose for a purpose. I pray not to get bogged down in the noise and busyness of my days or shy away from your plan out of fear or laziness. Give me courage and help me rely on you to lead the way. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Take time this week to ponder one of God’s greatest creations…you! Psalms 139:14 reminds us that we are marvelously and wonderfully made. Thank God today for you and the purpose he has for your life!
Listen to Your HeartSong Here!
Do Something/Matthew West
Live the Song Written on your Heart