Encouragement for Today - June 15, 2005
“Why Do I Exist?”
Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Do you often wonder why you are here on earth? If so, you are asking a fundamental question of the human spirit. And I have some great news for you: God has a purpose for your life that He wants you to discover through having a personal relationship with Him! Once we have discovered who we are in relationship to Jesus Christ, our hearts move to another place of discovering what we are to do with the tools and gifts with which God has equipped each of us.
Henry Ford, founder of The Ford Motor Company, once said, “The whole secret to a successful life is to find out what it is one is destined to do, and then do it.” Knowing that I have a purpose and being able to determine what that is has given me a passion for living that I never had before. Unfortunately, many of us are still sitting on the sidelines ready to let life pass us by, or just plain ready to call it quits. Well, it is not time to give up. It’s time to stand up, take hold of your purpose, and keep on walking. I believe every person was created by God for a specific purpose and today I would like to challenge you to begin discovering what that is if you have never done so.
We can use today’s key verse to discover what our purpose is. I have broken this verse down into three main principles that will help us:
- Declare your master
- Determine your mind-set
- Describe and develop your makeup
Declare your master: Romans 12:1 urges us to, “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV) Understanding that your body is more than just your physical being, but also your spiritual being, will challenge you to voluntarily give your whole self to God in a holy and pleasing way. We declare God as our Master, worthy of devoting our lives to. We are to surrender our sinful desires in pursuit of holiness and to allow God to use us as instruments with which He can carry out His perfect plans.
Determine your mindset: I am not a seamstress; however, in moments of temporary insanity I have tried to “grasp the spindle.” Let’s just say my works did not bring very much praise. I have great respect for my friends who sew, and to my amazement I have discovered what helps them create such fine garments and beautiful coverings. They use a pattern. What a novel idea! Ideally, when you follow a pattern, your workmanship will produce the product of the pattern. We have a choice of patterns in life. Romans 12:2 warns us to stay away from the world’s patterns and to follow God’s, which enables us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” What should our mindset be? Our thought patterns will reflect the mind of Christ if we are using God’s Word as our pattern. This verse goes on to instruct us that after we renew our minds using God’s pattern we will be able to know what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is.
Describe and develop your makeup: Romans 12:5-6 says that, “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” The Holy Spirit gives us gifts in seed form and they must be used to serve others in order for us to grow and flourish. There is a spiritual depth that cannot be reached until we tap into the rich resources given to us. This third component of discovering your purpose through spiritual gifts can be found in various Scripture passages: Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-31. The spiritual gifts listed in each of these verses reveal our ministry. God gives them to us to serve others through ministry opportunities and fulfill a specific function within the Christian body. Every believer has at least one gift, and it is our responsibility to develop them.
So what do you do now? Continue reading today’s “Going Deeper” to discover how to format these three steps into a mission statement for your life.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord God, I praise You today for giving me life and life abundant. Thank You for creating me with purpose and potential to bring You glory. As I take these next few minutes to reflect on what Your purpose for my life is, I ask that You would speak to me in such a revealing way that there would be no question as to what Your plan is. I declare that You are my Master, that my mindset is not that of the world’s, and that my makeup was designed to bring You glory. May You receive all praise through who I am as a Child of God.
Alright … some of you are starting to hyperventilate at the thought of being compelled to figure out what your entire life’s purpose is in one sitting. Don’t! This doesn’t have to be done all at once. For many of us it will be a process, but we must begin somewhere. And in all honesty, it’s really quite simple using the three principles I have just shared with you. Here are some helpful tips:
- Prayerfully seek God about what your mission statement should be. We all are called to be ministers of His love, but we each are gifted differently. Make sure your mission statement lines up with your spiritual gifts. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit can aide you in this.
- Make it formal. In Joshua 24:15, Joshua commanded the Israelite people to declare their master. To help the people remember that they chose the Lord, He recorded their response and set a stone in place to bear witness to their commitment. You can do the same by typing out your mission statement; be it individually or as a family, framing it, and hanging it within eye-view as a reminder to live out your purpose daily.
- Share it with others. Make a conscious effort to be open with others about what your purpose and mission is as a believer. Stating it verbally reinforces your commitment and allows others the opportunity to hold you accountable to what you are pursuing.
- How do you consider yourself to be a living sacrifice?
- What are some ways you are conforming to the pattern of this world? How can you be transformed?
- If you were to describe yourself as a body part, what would you be and why? (An eye? An ear? A leg?)
1 Corinthians 3:13-15, “His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (NIV)
Living Life on Purpose (book and journal set), by Lysa TerKeurst
Shaped with Purpose (workbook), by Renee Swope
A Woman’s High Calling, by Elizabeth George