We spend a lot of time, effort and prayers looking for God’s purpose for our lives. What am I here for? What does God expect of me? What should I be doing now? How do I make my life count for God? How do I ensure that I will have no regrets when I get to heaven?
Personally, I have grappled with these questions a lot over the years. True, my desire is to please God. And I know that I’m supposed to be actively seeking Him and His will continually. Books have been written on this topic and a lot of messages have been preached on it.
In my experience, I have found that what works for me is to pray, believing that God will lead me and then take each day as it comes. This may sound very simple and unChristian, but it seems that I hardly get specific instructions about my life.
What I do is to talk to God about my concerns. ‘Father God, I need another job. I find this one stressful and uninteresting. I would like to work in this particular industry. Is it your will for me? Open doors for me. Guide me. Lead me to people who can help. Help me take a decision on this issue. Intervene for me’.
And the answers come. Sometimes immediately, sometimes not. Sometimes I would have even forgotten about my request until the answer shows up. Each time I look back, I see the unraveling of His will. The perfection of His purpose for me and I am amazed. Amazed at how He works. And what He has done in my life.
And I am still open. I want to hear that voice speak to me. I want His guidance, His help. If it doesn’t come expressly, however, I will still depend on His guiding hand and His orchestrating my life’s journey. Based on His word, in Prov. 16:1, 30, He has the final say!
We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
We may throw the dice,
but the Lord determines how they fall. Prov.16:1, 33
When I am troubled, I will recall His faithfulness and encourage myself in the Lord. When He surprises me with joy, I will rejoice and be glad, knowing that no condition is permanent. Everything is for a season. The most important thing to do is to thrive in every season. Keep our eyes on Him continually and let Him lead, guide, support, uphold, protect, direct and have His way.
He definitely wants us to lean on Him and depend on Him fully, irrespective of our circumstances. Our dependence is evidence of our faith and reliance. It says that we need Him. And because we need Him, we will seek Him, and with all our heart. And when we do this, we find Him, and He is pleased with us.
Truly You are God, who hide Yourself,
O God of Israel, the Savior! Isaiah 45:15
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer.29:13
He loves this game of hide and seek. We must train ourselves to love it too. In playing this game, we bond with our Heavenly Father, and grow ourselves in Him.
So, are the preachers and the books speaking of purpose wrong in prescribing a formula for listening for His voice and receiving instructions? Definitely not. If anything, our Father is very creative and dynamic. He uses various ways and means to communicate with His children. We cannot negate any which way, as long as it is compatible with the written word, the Bible.
And His methods evolve with time and with each person. This is why we must always find the proceeding word of God for our lives. If we live by the preceding word, we will be out of His will in no time. He told Abraham to kill Isaac, but He also provided a ram in Isaac’s place and changed the instructions. We need to listen and reconfirm as we go along. This keeps us in touch with Him and what He intends to do.
The journey of our lives can only be lived successfully with His help. He has His plans for our lives, His blueprint, and we need to ask Him to guide us, so that we can walk according to His plan and fulfill purpose.
The most important thing, though, is to consistently keep seeking Him, in prayer, in praise, in worship, in waiting on Him. If we do that, then we have assurance that we will be in His will, and we have the channels of communication open to receive directions from Him.
That way, we have assurance of our purpose.