3 steps to help you live your purpose
As Christians you should be perfectly clear of what your purpose is. Your purpose is narrow, universal and timeless for all generations. You can have the knowledge of your purpose in your head but living your purpose flows from your heart and is demonstrated through your actions.
When it comes to living our purpose, there are many options. How you live out your purpose of glorifying Christ will be different than how I live it out. We each have to discover for ourselves how to live out our purpose in prayer and in consideration with our personal relationship with God.
3 steps you can take to help you discover and live your purpose
1. Create an anchor statement for your life.
Develop one statement that is no more than ten words long that really reflects the heart of God on the question of why you are here. Think of it as something that you can continue to go back to; something that’s unchangeable and based upon Scripture.
Imagine a ship out on the ocean moving back and forth, unstable on the sea. The captain will always drop the anchor or tie it to the dock to secure it. We need something that we can go back to as we discover and live out our purpose to glorify God—that’s an anchor statement. It answers the question, Why am I here?
Every time I prepare to make a decision in my life, I should be able to go back to that anchor statement and ask, “Is the thing I’m about to do going to fulfill the reason that I’m on this planet?”
Now, every anchor statement might be slightly different for each individual, but it comes back to one basic truth of Scripture. My anchor statement in seven words is to intentionally glorify God and love others. Whenever I’m making a decision and living out my purpose, I have to ask myself, Am I glorifying God? Am I loving other people?
You probably have an anchor statement in your head. Write it down. Put it on a card, laminate it and carry it in your pocket. Maybe put it on your refrigerator. Keep it in front of you as you make decisions every day.
2. Spend some time thinking about your purpose.
Life is so busy, and I know you have responsibilities and commitments. Take a couple of days, get away with the Lord—just you and Him. Take your Bible and pray about the things I’ve mentioned.
- Look at the needs around you.
- Look at what’s going on in your world and your church.
- Think about the season of your life.
- Where are you in your life?
- Are you young and just getting started?
- Are you mature?
- Are you growing in some areas in your life?
- Where are you in the season of your life?
- What is your cultural setting?
- What are the needs of your generation?
- Look at your talents. What are the gifts that God has given you?
- What are the skills that God has given you?
- What one thing of highest priority can you do starting today, and continue over the next 30 days that only you can do that will advance the kingdom?
- What are the things that only you can only do?
There are things only you can do—things you are responsible for. I am the only one who can be my children’s father. Only I can be Donna’s husband. There are things in our ministry that only I can do because they’re the things I’m responsible for.
Spend time really assessing the needs. Ask yourself, What one thing of highest priority can I do starting today and continue over the next 30 days? What can I do that will advance the kingdom? It should be something that is consistent with you anchor statement to intentionally glorify God and love others?
3. Do whatever it takes to develop the necessary habits that will create sustained daily action to live out your purpose.
There are three things required for that: habits of your mind, habits of your heart and habits of your behavior.
Habits of Your Mind
Many of us really have stinkin’ thinkin.’ We’ve developed crummy habits in our thinking that may have started when we were kids. At that moment we begin to lie to ourselves, we limit our thinking. We begin to draw back and form the belief that God could never use me to do that, or that’s not my responsibility. We convince ourselves that we’re not capable or good enough. It’s a bad habit developed over time that limits us and limits God’s ability to use us.
Habits of Your Heart
The habits of our thinking promote the habits of our hearts. This works both ways to produce both positive and negative thinking. The Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).
I wrestle with worry. It’s one of the things I have to watch for. I know it comes from my thinking and can flow into my heart. It can fill my heart and I fall into playing the “what if” games. I’m going to show you how you can apply intentional living principles to a habit like worry and experience peace instead.
Habits of Your Behavior
We all have habits of behavior. The list could become endless. The point is to do whatever it takes to develop the necessary habits knowing that your purpose is to glorify him no matter how you finish that statement. No matter what your anchor statement is, it should involve glorifying Him, and loving others.
Let me show you how you can take something like worrying, set a goal and apply sustained daily action in order to change your habits. You could use almost any life challenge, problem or desire to illustrate this, but I chose worry because like me, so many people struggle with worry.
The goal: to reduce worry in order to enjoy my life in Christ.
The daily action: to systematically and intentionally apply daily what the scripture teaches concerning worry.
The Apostle Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV).
In these verses we learn four specific action steps we are commanded to take daily with the promise that peace will follow.*
- To pray daily—changes the direction of your mind from horizontal (on yourself and the challenges you’re facing) to vertical (on God and His direction and provision for your life).
- To ask humbly (supplication)—changes your attitude.
- To give thanksgiving daily—changes the focus of your mind and heart from pain to praise.
- To tell yourself the truth—changes your mind from lies to truth.
You can overcome negative thoughts of worry (or any other challenge you’re facing) when you decide to turn those problems, opportunities, challenges and desires into godly goals and sustained daily action.
*If worry continues to invade your life, we recommend you seek additional, godly help by asking for the assistance of a pastor, counselor or psychologist. In some cases additional assistance is needed and advisable—it’s not a sign of weakness or failure. In fact, finding additional help may be the most intentional thing you can do.