Why are you here? What is the reason God placed you on this earth? Many people struggle with that question. Without a sense of purpose people become depressed, while having a reason to live makes it possible to thrive even in the worst of circumstances. Fulfilling God's purpose for you is one of those big ideas that impacts every part of your life.
Victor Frankl, an Austrian Jewish psychiatrist imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust, helped turn around a serious suicide problem in Vienna among survivors after World War II. Those who could embrace a larger meaning for their lives were able to recover and find mental wellness. Frankl wrote of his own experience and his development of so-called logo-therapy in Man's Search for Meaning.
God is the ultimate purpose-giver. Yes, there is a reason you are here. If you're breathing, He has something yet for you to do. Finding and fulfilling that purpose is not mysterious or magical; it's something you grow into, discover and become increasingly able to fulfill as God continues His work in you.
But you can either delay and frustrate God's purpose for you, or you can celebrate the process. Here are some important ways you can move toward fulfilling your purpose.
1. Keep growing.
Paul stated God's purpose for each of us quite clearly; "For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Rom. 8:29). God's purpose for you is to become like Jesus!
Every other aspect of your purpose flows from this primary purpose. You will be useful to God to the degree you become like Jesus. That's both simple and a lifelong journey.
Think of it; becoming like Jesus involves becoming kind, generous, courageous, peaceable, stable, joyful, compassionate, loving, strong. Doesn't that sound a lot like the fruit of the Spirit? (see Gal. 5:22-23).
To get there, keep growing. Give the Holy Spirit complete permission to rummage through your life and pull out into the light anything and everything that needs to be transformed. Let Him have access to every experience and challenge you've been through; He uses it all in transforming you. Voraciously keep getting back into God's presence often. That's where true change happens (see 2 Cor. 3:18). It's how and where you become useful.
2. Be diligent today.
It's the small things you do today that determine your usefulness tomorrow. How you treat your coworker, the store clerk or an irritating child today will determine how you treat "important" people in the future. What you do with your minutes and dollars now will determine the resources God can trust you with later on. The skills you pursue, the books you read, the thought habits you grow and the character traits you develop now will create the you who is capable of fulfilling the "legacy" purpose God has for you.
If you are struggling with some habit or sin such as anger or pornography, deal with it now. Make a habit of intentionally filling your mind and heart with the kind of nourishment that will bring quality output. Keep learning. Study people you admire, either up close or through their writing, speaking and so on. Get over your personal mind-games. All those "little" things become ingredients in the character you will bring if God needs you on a bigger stage.
If you sweep a floor, do it with excellence. If you love on your child, do it with your whole heart. If you need to overcome a bad habit, be relentless until it's in your past. "Do you see a man diligent in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men" (Prov. 22:29).
3. Help others.
Most of us need to get over ourselves. It's not all about you! You will become significantly more useful to God and feel much more fulfilled when you completely forget about fulfilling your purpose and concentrate instead on helping others God puts within your sphere of influence.
God's purpose for you is not some grandiose title in the future, or some significant human position. Aspiring to those things is not wrong, but that is only peripherally related to God's purpose for you.
Perhaps your son or daughter is the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa; your purpose is to parent them well. Perhaps your purpose is to minister soul healing to some who have experienced the same deep wounds from the enemy that you have; that "hidden" work may inflict a very deep wound on the kingdom of darkness. Or perhaps your purpose involves bringing godly values to media production, or ethical business practices to the marketplace, or discovering and leveraging some of God's mind-boggling creation.
Your purpose always involves someone or many someones beyond you. It's about helping to bring God's kingdom to earth in some way, and the people who will be impacted as a result.
Keep growing. Be diligent. Help others. In doing those things, you will be fulfilling your purpose.
Your Turn: Have you felt frustrated about fulfilling what God created you to do? Which of these steps do you need to focus on now? Leave a comment below.
Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.
This article originally appeared at drcarolministries.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.