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Whenever you are lost, look up. Whenever your purpose is elusive, be mindful of God’s kingdom.
Life can be confusing. God might be mysterious, but He’s not confusing. He is perfectly clear about His intentions for His people. He gave us an example of how to live in Jesus. The rest of life is just details. As long as you are seeking to be more like Jesus, you can pursue whatever course in life that God allows. God’s will is not met by choosing one particular vocation, place to live, or church, but it is met by focusing on God’s kingdom.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Matthew 6:33 ESV
God’s kingdom begins with the recognition that Jesus Christ, the human-God who lived among us, has something amazing to offer all of us who believe. Jesus has a past, present, and future message for you that is personal. What Jesus has to say is relevant to the whole of your life.
Purpose Has a Context
It is impossible to understand the meaning of life without the ability to see God’s kingdom. Those who can see Jesus and believe He is God will be able to hear God’s voice and know God’s will in daily living. Purpose, then, comes together in the combination of:
- What needs to be done to further God’s kingdom.
- What God the Father wants done at a particular moment in time.
- What gifts and abilities God bestowed upon you.
The context for these three parts is the work God has prepared for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10). You can’t understand yourself apart from God’s creative purposes.
Purpose Has a Cost
Without the connection-to-Jesus context, any work becomes personal effort for a personal kingdom. This is why Jesus tells us to lose our sense of life in order to find life.
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.Matthew 10:39 ESV, NLT
There is a necessary step in the Christian life to be willing to do anything and everything that Jesus wants for you (Luke 14:26–33). This means giving up immediate satisfaction for what will make an eternal difference if the satisfaction interferes with the building of God’s kingdom. Doing so is difficult because it comes with a cost. It takes genuine faith to pass on the immediate for the eternal.
Purpose Has a Focus
For the person who can give up their life, there is complete freedom. Purpose will no longer be clouded by sin, guilt, or shame because of a focus shift.
Without God’s perspective, you have only yourself to focus on. You will more easily become lost in your inadequacies. You can discount and overlook the wonder of being created in Christ Jesus for good works. But when you look into God’s face, you can receive His approval and diminish your shame (Psalm 34:5).
Purpose is Without Equal
Purpose is an active state of living out the unique aspects of who God created you to be in the midst of work (ministry) that is God’s will. Each person can minister God’s grace in its various forms to fulfill God’s will in unique ways (1 Peter 4:10).
Many things in life can be lost, but in Jesus, many things are found and can never be taken away. By God’s grace, you can enjoy the existence that God has given to you. The way you experience and respond to life is personal between you and God.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.