We often derive our purpose from our work, the people we know, and how much money we have in the bank. We get our purpose from many things, most of which are wrong. Maybe we have been caring for an elderly parent or grandchildren or are transitioning into retirement. When a season of life ends, we think we have no purpose. We must remember that our purpose is deep and consistent. It is deeply rooted in God’s plan for our lives and is consistent throughout our lives. For example, if your giftings are in the area of help and the community that you used that gift in changes, it doesn’t mean that you no longer have the gift of service as a purpose. Your location to use your gift has changed. If you have the gift of administration and manage a team at work, you retire; your gift and calling have not retired, just the location where you use that gift. Paul tells us, “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29 NIV). Irrevocable means that God won’t change His mind about what he has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling and the gifts are still there.
We can learn a lot from the Bible about our purpose. As we seek God for our purpose and His will, God will faithfully lead us to our next assignment. We can be deceived if we lean on our thoughts, feelings, and understanding. If we submit to God’s purpose, He will show us how to accomplish His will, plan, and purpose for our lives. The author of Proverbs tells us, “lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) If you are having trouble believing that God will direct your steps, below are a few passages to meditate on.
- Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (NIV)
- Proverbs 20:24, “A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their way?” (NIV)
- Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (NIV)
- Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (NIV)
It can be challenging to discern between your thoughts and God’s direction. Our emotions get in the way of hearing from God. We get caught up in our wants and desire, and we can justify anything as being a directive from God.
Way to discern if it is God’s directive or your desire.
- Study your Bible. What you hear from God always lines up with scripture.
- Ask God to examine your heart and show you any desires that are not from Him.
- Follow the peace that God gives in your heart. This is an essential and crucial step. I had had times when I had 99% peace, only to realize that I should have listened to the 1%.
- Finally, trust in the Lord. His ways are not our ways, and sometimes ideas can seem crazy to the world but if you have that peace that passes all understanding – follow it.