Someone has said, “The two greatest days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you discover why you were born.”
Without a clear and unique purpose in this life, we’d be aimlessly walking around, running through the motions of our day-to-day routines. Life would get pretty dull. But the thing that makes life worth living? Purpose.
If you are going to have an extraordinary life – a life of significance – then you must discover your special purpose. God created and gifted you specifically for a purpose. Nothing about you is a mistake. There is a unique story God wants to tell through you. Using the word “story” as an acrostic, here are five ways to discover God’s specific purpose for your life:
Start with Scripture
Scripture is given to us to teach us who God is and who we are – and how He has fashioned, equipped, and gifted us. The Bible provides lessons and instruction on life so we might develop the skills, knowledge, and insight necessary to identify and fulfill our purpose. Spending time reading scripture will help you understand who God made you to be.
Talk to Others
When it comes to discovering your unique purpose, it’s wise to talk with those who know you best. They can see things you cannot see – both your abilities and your inabilities. All of us have blind spots, and if we are wise, we will ask trusted family and friends to point out areas in our lives that are hidden to our eyes. Ask others about the areas in which you shine, as well as those that may not be your strengths.
Obey Your Passions
Many people are shocked when they hear me say, “One of the primary ways God directs you is through the desires He puts in your heart. If you want to know what you should do, ask yourself the question, ‘What do I want to do?’”
Another word for desire is passion. To discover your unique purpose, ask yourself:
- What am I passionate about?
- What needs do I see in the world that must be met?
- If I could do anything in the world, what would it be?
Recognize Your Gifts and Abilities
God will not only give you the desire (passion) to fulfill His purpose for your life, but He will also endow you with the gifts and abilities you need for that purpose. God has given you all the gifts you need to be everything He wants you to be.
If you don’t have a clear understanding of your gifts, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What things do other people see me do and say, ‘You were born to do that’?
- What do I do that seems effortless to me?
- What is the common denominator in the three most satisfying and successful things I’ve done in my life?
Yield to God’s Direction
Saturating your mind with Scripture, consulting with others, following your passion, and determining your gifts are all vital in discovering your unique purpose. But living out your purpose requires surrendering your life to the control of God’s Holy Spirit.
From the time I was a little boy, I felt that my life’s work would be as an executive producer in the television industry. I spent every spare moment I could reading professional journals and books about the industry. I had no doubt that was how God wanted me to spend my life.
But all that changed one summer day when I was 15 years old. On that summer day, God told me I was to be a pastor. None of my gifts or interests changed that day; they were just redirected toward another calling. But before I could start fulfilling my purpose, I had to surrender and say, “Yes, Lord.”
Discovering where your gifts, calling and passions align will point you to the extraordinary purpose for which God has created you. He created YOU – with your interests and your gifts – to play a very specific, unique role in bringing Him glory while you’re on this earth. How exciting is that?
Don’t waste another day – discover your purpose and submit to God’s plan for your life. I can’t wait to see what story He tells through you.