Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

Our biggest sale! 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SUMMER

What Does God Really Want Me to Do with My Life?

What Does God Really Want Me to Do with My Life?

The Bible is filled with promises that point to God having a plan and purpose for your life. Here is one that we love to quote and I am sure you will recognize.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." – Jeremiah 29:11

Let’s face it that is an exciting promise. However, what a promise like that does is leave people searching. So many hear the promise and then begin looking for the answer to the question what does God really want me to do with my life? They believe that God has a plan, which he does, but they are just not sure how to figure out what it is. While there is not a simple and easy answer to this question of what God wants you to do with your life, there is an answer. I want to give you four things to consider that will help you figure out what God really wants you to do with your life.

1. Start with What You Already Know

Some people in their pursuit of getting to the thing God wants them to do in their life (let’s call this the hidden thing) overlook the things God has already told them to do (let’s called this the revealed thing). There are things that God has instructed us to do in his word that you should focus on doing first. These are not hidden but are revealed clearly for you in the Bible. Focusing on these first allows you to lay the right foundation. This will help you move into the specific thing God wants you to do. Here are some things that I can say without a shadow of a doubt God wants you to do and you can start right now.

Share the gospel "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - Matthew 28:19

Live holy  "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'” - 1 Peter 1:15-16

Pray – "Pray without ceasing" –-1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

Shine Light "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

Love your enemies "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." – Matthew 5:43-44

I could add more but I will stop because I think you get the point. I know these aren’t the “exciting” things that people think about when they think of doing what God wants them to do, but they are essential. You will never get to the things God wants you to do if you neglect these necessary activities in your life. Think about it in this fashion. If you aren’t doing what you know God wants you to do why would he give you more to do. The Bible reminds us that when we are faithful in little things, he will make us ruler over many things. In other words, be faithful in doing what you know God has told you in his word to do. Don’t expect God to show you the next (hidden) step until you start taking the ones he has already revealed to you.

2. Follow Your Gifts

"In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well." – Romans 12:6 (NLT)

In every single person that has ever been born God has placed certain gifts and abilities. This includes you. Romans reminds us that everyone can do something well. The reason this is important is that your gift, the thing you do well, is tied into what God really wants you to do in your life. God put the gift in you so that you would use it to accomplish his purpose and plan for your life. When you follow your gift it becomes a clue that can help you discover what this plan is for your life.

3. Follow the Opportunities

It is quite possible that your gift can tie into the opportunities that are presented to you. Let me give you an example to help you understand. Let’s assume you have the ability to play the guitar really well. Your desire is to play for the church. One Sunday the announcement is made they are looking for guitar players and obviously, your ears perk up because they are speaking your language. But then they finish the message, we are looking for guitar players to play for the three-year-olds in the children’s ministry. Your heart sinks because you want to play for the church but you really want to play in the main worship, not with the little kids. Yet it is possible that this opportunity is the open-door God is giving you to use your gift and lead you into what he wants you to do. So often we miss what God really wants us to do because it doesn’t line up with or come packaged in the way we want it to come.

I have been teaching in church since I was 17 years old. When I left the church I had grown up in to go to another church, I wanted to teach again. I wanted to teach the same age group I had taught before but they said we want you to teach the 7-9-year-old class. At first, I was disappointed because that is not what I wanted but because I wanted to teach I did it anyway. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. Not only did I learn how to connect with an audience which I something I still must do to this day, but I also met a lifelong friend who I taught with and we have been friends for over 30 years. None of this would have happened if I overlooked the opportunity. Follow the opportunities even if they don’t look exactly like you want. This could be the thing God uses to reveal to you and prepare you for what he really wants you to do with your life.

4. Pay Attention to Your Burdens

What are the things that really move you or concern you? In the book of Nehemiah, he was the cupbearer to the king. He got news the wall of Jerusalem was destroyed, and this devastated him. It became such a burden to him that it affected him emotionally. This led him to want to do something about it which is what God really wanted him to do anyway. My question to you is what is it that really burdens you or affects you to the point that you feel like you want to do something about it? This could be an indicator of something that God really wants you to do with your life. I must warn you to proceed with caution and don’t confuse your outrage with a burden. Outrage may want you to seek revenge. A burden drives you to seek change for the better. A burden should be so strong in you that it drives you to pray and seek God over it. This is what it did for Nehemiah.

"When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." – Nehemiah 1:4

If you are burdened this will be your response; if you are outraged this won’t be and chances are it’s just an emotional response and not what God really wants you to do with your life. Remember God wants to use you as an agent of change and burdens push you to affect change.

I believe these four things will be a good place to start on your journey to discovering what God wants you to do. One last thing. Don’t think of this as a destination think of it as a journey. Remain faithful to God and he has a way of ordering your steps leading you into the things he wants you to do.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/RUNSTUDIO

Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com

This article is part of our larger resource library of Christian questions important to the Christian faith. From core beliefs to what the Bible says about angels, we want to provide easy to read and understand articles that answer your questions about Christian living.

What Do Christians Believe?
How Old Is the Earth?
Who Is My Neighbor in the Bible?
What Does God Look Like?
Are Guardian Angels Real?
What Does it Mean to Be Zealous for God?