One of the most commonly asked questions in life is "what is my purpose?" We spend years wondering what we should do with our lives, and many of us spend many more years thinking we have it all figured out but still missing the vital answer to this question. We go about our days feeling like we should be content, but there's still a void we cannot seem to fill. This is a space we cannot fill on our own, and a question we cannot answer alone.
We have three essential purposes, or callings, in life. These callings set us up for a satisfying, while sometimes painful, road of discovery and fulfillment. In order to unlock a full life, fill the empty space, and satisfy the persistent question of what we must do with the time we have we must look to Jesus as our answer.
To Accept Christ
In looking to Jesus we learn that the first big purpose we are called to in life is to accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour; to acknowledge Him and choose to give our life in service to Him. Through accepting Christ we take the first step into a close relationship with God that He desired so much He sent His Son to die so that we could have abundant life. We should seek forgiveness from our loving Heavenly Father, welcome the Holy Spirit as our guide, cast off our old selves, be transformed, and take our place within the body of Christ.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7
To Follow Christ
As part of the united body of Christ you then begin to learn how to have abundant life through our second calling to follow Christ. There is a difference between a believer and a follower. Following Jesus means you live like you believe. Your belief becomes your lifestyle and identity. The Holy Spirit transforms you from the inside out to help you conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the glory of God and you commit to learn more about Christ and how He calls you to live differently than before you knew Him. As we learn to live as Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit, a natural result is to produce the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives that we then share with others. Through this we discover not only what all followers of Christ are called to, but we then open the doors to the individual paths God has built for us and calls us to.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:16-17
To Obey Christ
Accepting and following Christ are the first callings we receive. Living a life of obedience to Christ, our third purpose, comes as we strive to learn more about Him and His ways and apply it to ourselves. As we navigate this new relationship and allow Him to transform us, we grow from immature Christians into strongholds for God's glory and are called to take His love, truth and teachings deeper into this dark world.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11
God has prepared a path for each of us that is paved on the foundation of Christ and the building blocks of God's blessings and instruction, and all lead to the shared promise of eternal life in Heaven. We each receive our unique missions and opportunities every day to go out into the world in the ways and time we are guided to. Each step taken on this path is one of faith in His plan.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; Psalm 37:23
The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. Psalm 37:31
God will bless us with skills, talents, and resources, and place us where we are so that we can put it all together with the fruit of the Spirit and use it all to honor God in the unique ways and places He calls us to. In this we establish our place in the body of Christ, taking on an essential function for the operation and furtherance of the great calling. The body of Christ is the Church, and much like a physical church has many roles needed for it to fulfill God’s plans, we perform our roles to strengthen, uphold, and add to the Church.
'For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. ' 1 Corinthians 12:12
'As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:' 1 Peter 4:10
So, what is our purpose in life? To fill the void and fulfill our life’s purpose by accepting Christ, following Him, and obediently living out the path He calls us to. To live as Christ is to live a life of love, the result of which is to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit, share that fruit with others, and help the body of Christ learn about and grow closer to Christ. The closer we are to Christ, the more we learn, the more we grow, the stronger we become, and the more fruit we produce in the world. As we live out our callings obediently, passionately, and faithfully we step deeper into relationship with our Heavenly Father and closer to the ultimate hope of Heaven. Whatever we are called to in this life we should be serving the Church with all that God provides, always seek to strengthen the body of Christ, help it grow both in numbers and in faith, and stand united together, sharing the knowledge God blesses us with through experience and relationship.
'For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. ' Romans 12:3-8
'And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, ' Ephesians 4:11-12
'And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. ' 1 Corinthians 12:28