5 Uplifting Ways to 'Live into Your Purpose'
- Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2020 19 Oct
God has wired you to seek the purpose he has planned for your life. When you discover and fulfill that purpose, you’ll naturally encounter wonder in the process. It’s awe-inspiring to live purposefully, since that journey keeps you walking closely with our awesome God.
Yet it can be challenging to figure out the specific steps you should take to live with purpose while facing an uncertain future. It can also be difficult to motivate yourself to live intentionally when you face discouraging circumstances, such as losing work that made you feel important, or losing a relationship that made you feel needed.
However, living into your purpose doesn’t require figuring out your future or waiting until your circumstances are ideal. You can live into your purpose when you focus on the wonder of walking with God day by day.
Let’s look at 5 ways to live into your purpose, adapted from my book Wake Up to Wonder:
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1. Don’t complicate what God has designed to be simple.
Pursuing your purpose shouldn’t be a complicated or confusing process. God has made the procedure simple. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus describes what’s most important for people to spend time and energy doing: “…‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Your purpose is ultimately about love. As you simply do your best to give and receive love, God’s purpose for your life will naturally unfold. Every day, God will bring you opportunities to speak and act with love.
You will experience wonder, and fulfill your purpose, every time you say “yes” to those opportunities.
2. Walk with God as your guide rather than just asking him for a map.
It’s tempting to ask God to just give you all the information you need to plan out the rest of your life—a map for every step you should take. However, God would rather walk beside you personally on your journey than hand you a map to use by yourself. Often, God will reveal only enough for you to take the next step he wants you to take. That’s because God challenges you to trust him more each day.
God has given you his Holy Spirit to act as an advocate to give you wise guidance anytime you need it. Jesus reveals in John 14:26: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” As you seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel day by day, you’ll naturally live into your purpose.
Along the way, you’ll enjoy awesome experiences, because you’ll be walking with the source of all inspiration.
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3. Stop focusing on what you do and instead see who you are.
Your purpose integrates God’s unique plan for your life into everything you do. But God’s purpose for you goes beyond what you do to who you are. Purpose is ultimately about the kind of person God wants you to become: someone who does your best to love wisely day by day.
While each of us plays some important roles in life—such as spouse, parent, child, friend, or employee—we each also have an identity as God’s beloved child that transcends whatever roles we play or how other people perceive us. That identity is greater than any particular role you play in different situations.
Seeing yourself as God sees you can lead to wonder because the process enlarges your perspective. By focusing on who you are from God’s perspective, you gain the confidence and clarity to perceive what matters most.
4. Act when God nudges you to do so.
Be willing to say “yes” to God whenever you sense him leading you to say or do something. It may feel risky to act when God nudges you. You may not understand why God is leading you to move forward or be able to predict what will happen after you do. But remember: your purpose is all about love.
The more you choose to respond in love when God calls you, the less fear you’ll experience. First John 4:18 promises: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” When you drive fear out of your life, you welcome wonder in, since your mind will clear and your heart will open to be able to perceive God at work.
As you put your faith into action, God will work through you to accomplish good purposes.
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5. Use your talents.
God has given you specific talents, and he will regularly give you opportunities to use them as you live into your purpose. Your talents are connected to your interests.
If you regularly consider what you’re good at doing and what you enjoy doing most, your mind will naturally focus on your purpose. Then consider how you can best take action to contribute to our world. Which specific needs can you help meet? How can you make the world a better place by acting on what you care about and do well? You’re connected to God and other people in a network where love flows when we use our talents for the common good.
1 Peter 4:10 encourages you: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Since God often works through people, you can become part of wondrous experiences as you use your talents with purpose.
You can live into your purpose every day when you focus on walking with God in wonder. No matter what your current circumstances are, if you purposefully make the most of each day God gives you, you can experience God’s awe-inspiring presence with you!
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Whitney Hopler is author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.