After thinking about my identity, I began to start thinking about my purpose. For the longest time, I have been confusing my purpose with my identity. What I am, or see myself to be, is my purpose, therefore, what my medium of employment should be. Like, my job had to be “God ordained”, and if I wasn’t in a certain job, then that couldn’t be the right job because God had led me to do this other thing, right? (LOL)
I based all my future expectations on this one step in my life. Then that step was supposed to lead to the next logical step. However, as we all know, God usually moves in mysterious ways, not logical ways. He even warns us that He’s going to fake left when we think He’s going right. Proverbs 3:5-6 states: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
The Good News Translation says it even better: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.” (LOL) This led me to a purpose revised.
A Purpose Revised
For over ten years now, I have been chasing, fighting, and forcing my way into something that was MY plan and MY expectation, but not necessarily God’s purpose for me. When He revealed my misconceptions, I felt a bit foolish, but He comforted me with a few facts:
#1 – Nothing is ever wasted. No trial, tear, or heartache and no joy, accomplishment, or victory will sit on a shelf unused.
#2 – Training will be ongoing until I get to heaven. I cannot be perfect here. And, just because He uses something to teach me a lesson, doesn’t mean I should focus on that method to the point of obsession, excluding all other methods. I don’t always have to learn the hard way.
#3 – Purpose has TWO definitions, neither of which are my identity. As a noun, purpose means the reason for which something is done or created for, or for which something exists. We have a collective purpose as Christians to tell others what Christ has done for us and what He can do for them. As an individual, the verb definition, to have as one’s intention or objective, is more suitable. Therefore, I can choose my medium of purpose so that it is specific to me.
For example: My intention or objective (purpose) is to tell others what Christ has done for me and what He can do for them through writing. I can write devotionals to help others draw nearer to God, I can write Bible studies to help people learn who God is and how He wants to interact with them, I can write fiction stories that teach Biblical truths in a way that might reach those who wouldn’t otherwise pick up a Bible.
The point is, my purpose is the same no matter what. It doesn’t depend on the type of employment I have and it is not to be confused with my identity. And, a lack of employment doesn’t mean that I am not fulfilling my purpose or that my identity has changed. Jobs, like seasons, change over time. God moves us as He sees fit. He is our security.
Also, our identity is found in Him. If you try to find it anywhere else, you will be discouraged and disappointed every time. 1Peter 2:9 says
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Likewise, Galatians 2:20 says
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Then John 15:15 reminds us
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Why? For what purpose? 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.”
Expedition: Present and Future – You are NEW
So my final questions to you are these: What is YOUR purpose? And what have you PURPOSED to do in your life? Your present and future will be affected by what your answers to these questions are. You will have to make a choice. You will have to choose to let some things go (bitterness, unforgiveness, expectations). You will have to choose to pick some things up (discipline, accountability, responsibility), and then move forward in the revised version of life. Philippians 3:13-14 says
“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
We have to know who we are and live intentionally every day. How can you tell someone else who they are in Christ if you don’t know who you are?
This expedition won’t be easy so I suggest you find a few trusted friends to help you along the way, because being a hero is hard. We need someone to help us carry the burden. Even though we are heroes, we are still human. And no matter how much we say or demonstrate otherwise, we need other humans for help and support. It’s too hard to make it alone.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
This is the ultimate lesson that every superhero learns. We are stronger together than we are apart. And this is the lesson that God wants us to learn, too. He is always with us, so we are not alone. We are stronger together than we are apart.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Thank you God that you have provided all we will ever need to be victorious in Christ. Thank you Lord that you love us with so great a love that it can never be diminished. You will never love us more or love us less based on how we perform. Jesus, show us who we are in you so that we can show the world who you are in us.
In Jesus’s name, Amen!