Finding purpose in your life is not as hard as people like to make it out to be. As Christians, we like to pretend that God is so complicated; that we are lost in understanding His will for our lives. I remember taking a course at our church several years back that was meant to help you understand what your spiritual gift was. It was a fascinating study, but ultimately, I’m not sure it helped me to understand what God was calling me to.
How was I supposed to use what I had found out to serve him? There was a guide of course that had lists of things one could do to use their gifts, but ultimately, I think such things are largely useless. I’ve been thinking for some time now, that we often put the label of “unknowable” on God’s will and use this excuse to remove guilt and remove the action that God would have us take. God’s will in your life is clearly laid out in scripture. Here are four questions to help you understand God’s will in your life.
- Is where I am at or what I am doing, leading me towards sin?
- If yes, then this place might not be where God has called you to dwell. If no, then understand that God calls us to serve His purpose wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
- Is what I am doing at this place acceptable within the known law of God?
- If the Bible speaks directly against what you are doing, then you can be sure that what you are doing is NOT within the will of God. The Bible is the authority on how we understand God’s will in our lives. He will not violate his own Word. I have had many people tell me that they “feel” like God is saying something is good when that thing directly violates God’s known law within scripture. Praying about these issues is VERY important, but it’s easy to get confused and believe that God is telling us one thing through prayer that violates His Word in the Bible. Don’t fall into this trap.
- Do I have a calling in my life?
- A calling is something we know for a fact God has called us into. With this in mind, we should always be aware that if God has called us into something, we should be doing that thing. Now, it should be noted that oftentimes, God calls us into a task, but might have us complete that calling in a way we did not expect. As an example, someone might feel called to be a pastor, but God calls them to do so in Africa instead of Wisconsin.
- What are you doing now that doesn’t glorify God?
- Understand that there are basically three modes in which we live out our lives; actively serving Christ, actively serving the Devil, and operating in mundane activities. If you are actively serving Christ, then you can be mostly sure those activities are within His will for your life. Obviously, if you are in the process of committing sin, then you are outside of God’s will. The third option of operating in mundane activities is a hairy one. These activities are things like going to the grocery, watching TV, having friends over for dinner… basically anything that isn’t what we might call directly serving Christ. However, it’s easy for us to get caught up in these mundane activities and lose sight of God’s plan.
I have thought a lot about the mundane activities we fill our lives with. I find myself questioning if I personally spend too much time in those mundane activities. Coming home after work I find I just want to plop down in front of the computer and watch funny cat videos. Doing more than that just seems like too much effort. However, I have begun to look at my mundane activities as opportunities to serve God. Ever since college, a good friend of mine and I have been playing card and board games on a fairly set schedule. Several years back we started going to a gaming convention and were saddened by the complete lack of any Christian influence in this population of geeky kids and adults. We decided to take our mundane love of geek culture and games and put it to work for God.
It started with our own gaming night at our local church. During this time, we did some devotions and played a lot of games. It has evolved now but continues to provide a place where people can come, bring friends, have a bite to eat, and play some games with good Christian men. Taking something that was mundane and transforming it into something useful for God wasn’t hard. It was necessary for us to take a step back and examine our mundane activities and be willing to give those activities to God; allow him to overtake that area of our lives. We have been created for a mission. An important mission. The mission is to live for Christ in all areas of our life, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. Jesus wants all of us, not just the part we “give” on Sunday mornings.
D. Michl Lowe