Who could have imagined we would be here right now?! Just a few months ago there was great anticipation of what 2020 held for us, it felt significant and special. I can’t help but think that Paul may have had some of the same thoughts during the handful of episodes or moments we have explored in Acts 16. And what was true for Paul is true for us no matter what season and struggle we find ourselves in today. Our purpose remains the same through all circumstances, To know God through the work of Christ on the cross. Glorify God as we live lives of humble obedience and faith, and make Him known from our homes to the ends of the globe.
Life On Purpose: Purpose
How Obedience and Trust Impact Your Purpose
We are all born with an innate desire to have a purpose. Oftentimes, people will spend their whole lives figuring out what their purpose is. We long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves – something that will make a long-term difference and impact lives.
The reality is that God designed us this way. From the creation of the world, He created us as beings who were a part of a greater plan and purpose, and that purpose, ultimately, was to know God, to glorify God, and to make God known. As an infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful God, He didn’t have to include us in His plan to further the Kingdom of Christ, yet He did. He chose to use us as His instruments to share the Gospel with the world.
We were first made to know Him. He wants us to know Him, and the primary way that we can do this is through His Word. The pages of Scripture are littered with truths about who God is and what He has done, and this is how His people have the ability to know Him and develop their relationship with Him.
Secondly, God made us to glorify Him. To glorify means that our lives are no longer about ourselves. Our lives and what we choose to do with them are meant to point others to Christ and to bring glory to Him. We were made to be tools of worship to a worthy Creator.
Our third and final purpose is to make the name of Christ known. As Christians, we are designed to reflect who it is that created us. When outsiders look at us, they should see something different than the world around us. Our words, actions, and decisions should represent Jesus. Not only that but we are also called to share the Gospel with those we come in contact with. Our lives show who Jesus is, but our mouths tell about what His saving grace and goodness has done for us.
What the Bible Says about Purpose
Acts 16 tells the story of Paul and Silas in prison. The two followers of Christ were thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel, and, while they were there, they were praying and singing hymns with the prisoners around them listening. At midnight, the walls of the prison began to shake and the doors swung open wide. That night, the guard at the prison and his whole family chose to give his life to Christ – all because Paul and Silas chose to live out the purpose that God designed for them.
Many different times God’s Word references the idea of a purpose ordained for each one of us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Though we may not know immediately what the exact purpose is that God has for our life, we can find hope and truth in this verse: God carefully and thoughtfully created us.
Psalm 139 describes just how much God knows and loves us. David writes about how God knows all the details of our lives, from the words we speak before we speak them to even the very number of hairs that are on our head. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be,” David writes in Psalm 139:16.
The Bible so clearly emphasizes how thoughtful God was in creating us, and this, therefore, impacts our purpose and how we live our lives. When we see who we are through God’s eyes, we should be driven towards living in obedience to Him and trust in what His plans are for us.
Driven By Purpose
So, what do we do with the call and purpose that God has for us?
What we can first do is have faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) We may not always know what God’s specific plan is for us right now, but we can be assured that God is always working in and through us.
Then, we can act. Many times, we can have a tendency to think that we must make these momentous steps in order to impact people or further the Kingdom of Christ, but it’s really through daily steps of obedience that God moves in us and in others’ lives through us. We don’t know what one act of obedience is going to do to transform your life or others’ lives. Rather than acting out of fear, we can take action steps that can bring us to our purpose.
Even when times of uncertainty come, which they will, God is on the throne, He goes before us, and He is using our lives for His glory. God is not done with us just because our circumstances aren’t what they expected them to be, and our circumstances should not determine our obedience.
Therefore, we walk out in faith, with a sureness that comes only from our confidence in the Gospel and in Christ’s fulfilled promises.