How to Discover and Enjoy Your Purpose
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2013 5 May
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Susie Larson's new book, Your Beautiful Purpose: Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You, (Bethany House, 2013).
You’re not here by accident; God created you on purpose. God had your entire life on Earth in mind before you were ever born, and He designed you specifically for the good work He intends you to do.
Every day you’re alive is a gift from God that’s full of opportunities to pursue that work. So don’t let another day go by without discovering and enjoying your God-given purpose. Here’s how you can do so:
Believe you’re called. Choose to believe God’s promise that He has planned good work for you to do during your life on Earth, and that He wants to use you to expand His kingdom. Dare to believe that God is working in you today to get you where you need to go tomorrow. Ask God to help you overcome common obstacles to taking your calling seriously: fear, doubt, insecurity, and inferiority. Pray for God to awaken a fresh sense of purpose within you, as well as a sense of passion to pursue the work God wants you to do.
Learn to love your story. Rather than comparing yourself to other people and being jealous of the work they’re doing for God, embrace your own unique story of faith and work in God’s kingdom. Make a habit of frequently thanking God for the blessings He is constantly giving you, and praise Him often for His great love. The more you express your gratitude to God, the more you’ll notice and appreciate the story of how God is at work uniquely in your life.
Wait on God. While you can choose to rush ahead of God’s timing and try to make things happen on your own, doing so cuts you off from God’s best for you. It’s always worthwhile to wait for the right time (from God’s perspective) to move forward with work, because that way your work will have eternal value, and you’ll become more like Jesus in the process. Decide that your work won’t be just about your own ambitions and goals, but about something greater: God’s kingdom. If you’re waiting for God to open doors for your work, spend lots of time with Him in prayer, listening to what He has to say to you, asking for the patience you need during this season. Keep in mind that when God makes you wait, He does so in order to make you ready for future assignments, and the preparation time is valuable.
Face your fears. Taking action to pursue God’s purposes for your life will cause your fears to surface. Whenever that happens, shift your focus away from your fears and toward God, who can help you overcome them. Ask God to give you a vision for what He wants to do and through you, and trust God as He leads you out of your comfort zone. Pray against evil spiritual forces that want you to be burdened by fear, and pray for God to give you greater faith every day to overcome fear.
Embrace your training grounds. God wants to use the trials He allows you to experience to train you to develop a stronger faith. When you go through betrayal or other relational difficulties, you can learn to entrust your soul to God. When you go through financial hardships, you can learn to trust God for every need you have. When people who should value you overlook you instead, you can learn that God sees you and has a great plan for your life. When you experience disillusionment with ministry, an organization, or church, you can learn that no matter how others behave, you can walk faithfully with God. When you go through pain caused by baggage from your past, you can learn to overcome your past and look forward to what lies ahead for you. When someone else gets a blessing you want, you can learn to appreciate the distinctive ways that God is working in your own life. Refuse to place your hope in anyone or anything that’s lesser than God Himself, such as relationships with other people, financial provision, a particular church, or a particular home. Base your hope in God alone, because only He is truly reliable.
Silence your enemy. Fight the lies that Satan may place in your mind by replacing those lies with biblical truth. If evil tells you “You’re worthless!” realize that in fact Psalms 139:13-16 If evil tells you “If you keep moving forward, I’ll attack you on every side!” remember thatLuke 10:19 and will empower you to overcome any spiritual attack. If evil tells you “Your worst fears are about to come true!” keep in mind that you have Psalms 27:1 Proverbs 9:10. If evil tells you “Your breakthrough will never come” remember God’s Matthew 6:26-30 for you in His timing. If evil tells you “No one likes you!” rest assured that Jesus not only likes you, John 3:16 Keep in mind that there is John 3:17 for those who have saving relationships with Jesus.
Rely on God’s unlimited strength to work through you. Rather than trying to accomplish your work in your own limited strength (which will only lead to frustration), invite God to work through you with His unlimited power. Then you can move forward with confidence into situations where the tasks are far greater than you are, trusting that God will make it possible for you to accomplish His purposes in any circumstances.
Engage your faith. Refuse to be satisfied with simply going through the motions of living a faithful life through religious rituals and service. Instead, engage your soul with God every day through meaningful time with Him in prayer, seeking to learn more about Him. Aim to develop greater intimacy with God daily so you can engage with His Spirit at work within you.
Obey God’s calling during different seasons. You may encounter four different seasons of life as you seek to discover and fulfill God’s purposes for you: Run (a season of enjoying God’s favor and stretching your faith), rest (times of refining your faith and replenishing your soul), stand (a season of purifying and testing, and active waiting (times of growing stronger as a person while moving forward with your life in God’s timing). Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you so you can discern how best to obey God during each season.
Last long and finish strong. Pray daily for the confidence, love, dependence on God, and passion for God’s purposes that you need to faithfully pursue your purpose every day of your life on Earth. Look forward to meeting Jesus in heaven and hearing Him say that He is pleased with what you have done for His kingdom.
Adapted from Your Beautiful Purpose: Discovering and Enjoying What God Can Do Through You, copyright 2013 by Susie Larson. Published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse.
Susie Larson is co-host of Focus on the Family's Everyday Relationships, a national daily talk radio show, and hosts Live the Promise, which airs across the Upper Midwest. She is also a media voice for Moody Radio. Active in local ministry, she is the author of Your Beautiful Purpose and six previous books. Susie and her husband, Kevin, have three adult sons and live near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more at www.susielarson.com.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.
Publication date: May 14, 2013