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Discover Your God Given Purpose

Insight into discovering your God Given Purpose and what to do in the mean time.

1997 William R. Cunningham

 

INTRODUCTION

The purpose e of this outline is to help the Christian discover their God given purpose on the Earth. Some people know what they are supposed to do, at least for the moment. Others have no idea of what they should do. Some are called to be pastors, evangelists, preachers, etc. Others just don't know. What should the people do that do not know what God wants them to do? This question is equally important for those who have an idea of their purpose because it will help them stay on track with God. You will have obtained a good deal of information that you can use to accomplish your God given purpose after completing this study.

COMMON PURPOSE

You can be very active in ministry even though you may not know what your purpose is. Simply act on what you do know. You may not know your specific purpose on the Earth but the Bible clearly gives the Christian general and common instructions. In this section we will examine the common ministries of all Christians. Note that being involved in ministry does not mean the, you are involved in church-. Recall that the church is the body of Christ and not necessarily an organization as the First Baptist Church. The ministry I am talking about is the ministry of Jesus Christ.

Discipleship and Learned Obedience

All Christians have a common calling. The Bible says,

(Mark 16:15 NIV) "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

(Matthew 28.18-20 NIV) 'Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, f2O] and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"'

All Christians have at least two callings according to this scripture.

1. To become disciples (learners or students) of Jesus Christ

2. Learn to obey Jesus' teachings

Preach the Gospel

Consider the implications of the following scripture with the two quoted above.

(Luke 24:46-48 KJV) 'And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: [471 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. [481 And ye are witnesses of these things."

1. The disciples were commanded to preach the Gospel

2. The disciples were commanded to make disciples of all nations

3. The disciples were commanded to teach people to obey Jesus' teachings

4. The Gospel is to be preached to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.

Therefore we, being made disciples by the perpetual teaching of the apostles (formerly disciples) also have the commission to preach the Gospel to all nations and to teach them to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are the perpetuation of the original apostles. Therefore, we are called to preach the Gospel to all peoples. The word preach means to proclaim (in this case, the gospel).

What principle is active with the perpetual preaching of the Gospel and teaching Jesus' doctrine? The seed principle. It is obvious that we are to learn and to teach in the same way the disciples learned and taught because Christianity would die out if this were not the case. If a tree does not produce more seed then the species of tree will die out eventually.

BEAR FRUIT

(John 15.16-17 NIV) "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. {17} This is my command: Love each other."

We see here a statement of the seed principle by Jesus himself. The disciples were to bear fruit that would last. In order for fruit to last, effectively, is if that fruit produced more seed that would produce more fruit and seed.

LOVE EACH OTHER

We also see from the previous scripture that we are commanded to love each other. First of all what is this love that Jesus is talking about? Secondly, why is it important that we love each other?

The love Jesus is referring to here is a social love. It is the loyal unselfish concern for the well being of anther. This love binds us together since God is love and his spirit dwells in us. The Bible says,

(1 John 4.8 NIV) 'Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

(1 John 4:16 NIV) 'And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

God is love, the Holy Spirit is love, and Jesus is love because the three are one (See 1 John 5:7). This love is what binds the body of Christ together as one unit. If we are not bound together in love then the Christian community will not stand. The bible says,

(Matthew 12.25 NIV) "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION

All Christians also have another common calling according to Paul the apostle.

(2 Corinthians 5.19 NIV) "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

We all have the ministry of reconciliation. In our own God given way. The word reconcile means to bring to agreement. Therefore, we minister the Gospel to people so that people will come to agreement with God. That is, we share the Gospel with others so that they can be saved.

Also consider that a person's acceptance of the Gospel is not necessarily a function of how eloquently you speak. It is the working of the Holy Spirit that a person comes to Christ. It is by the power of God that a person is saved (see the study The Power of God: His Holy Spirit).

Also consider that you do not have to be an ordained preacher or pastor to preach the Gospel to others. All that is necessary is that you know what the Gospel is and be able to share it with someone else. It is our responsibility to share the gospel to others once we have an understanding of it.

WALK By THE SPIRIT

We can accomplish a great deal of God's will if we would simply be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will direct us to do many things regarding ministry but we have to be aware of him and do what he says. This doesn't mean that you have a specific ministry such as healing or teaching. It simply means that you are a member of the body of Christ who walks after the Spirit accomplishing all that the Spirit wants. The bible says,

(Galatians 5:24-25 KJV) 'And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Walking in the Spirit is more than a moral or personal thing to do. It can effect thousand or even millions of other people. Imagine if the person who led Billy Graham to Christ didn't walk in the Spirit. Suppose that person decided to do something else based on their understanding or wisdom. It could have meant the Billy Graham wouldn't have been saved along will millions of people that came to know Christ through him. So do not think of yourself as insignificant if you are not a pastor, evangelist, etc. Just learn to obey the voice of the Spirit of God that is in you.

(Proverbs 3.5-6 KJV) "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. [61 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

God will direct the path that we take. However, the path that we take is a direct consequence of the direction of the Holy Spirit because we trust God and we are aware of him at all times. Since we are aware of him at all times (sensitive to his voice) we can be directed by him.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

It is important to recognize and be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. We do nothing by our own strength and abilities. It is the Holy Spirit that manifests himself through us so that we can indeed accomplish what God wants (with God's strength that powers us). The Bible says,

(1 Corinthians 12.4-11 NIV) 'There are different hinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5) There are different hinds of service, but the same Lord. [6) There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. [71 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. [8) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, [91 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, (101 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. [11) All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."

According to Paul, there are various kinds of-

  1. Gifts - a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); a (spiritual) endowment, i.e. (subj.) religious qualification.

  2. Service - ministries, serving, administrations

  3. Workings - effects, operations

The Holy Spirit manifests himself through us as he wills and for the common good. Again, we do nothing on our own strength. The Bible says,

(Philippians 4.13 KJV) "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

(John 15.5 KJV) "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."'

IDENTIFYING YOUR PURPOSE

Points to remember in identifying your gifts:

1. God is the one who placed it there by his Holy Spirit

2. The power to achieve and perform is because of the Holy Spirit.

3. Evaluate yourself to discover your gift

4. Don't worry about the categories. Just do what you do.

Too often people try to place themselves in one or more of the offices and gifts that Paul describes in his epistle. However, these are not all of the offices or gifts. Therefore, it is important to follow the Spirit of God and not predetermine your calling by a finite list of services.

Paul also tells us:

Now the Holy Spirit binds the church together. In this church (the body of Christ) are many offices.

(I Corinthians 12:28 NIV) 'Und in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."

There are no formulas to knowing what your purpose is. Therefore, begin to do the common Christian purpose, which is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Begin to move and you will activate the following principle: let's examine the list of things that Paul gives so that we know the functions involved and not just the title.

The offices are:

Apostles - An apostle is a person sent to accomplish a mission; especially the twelve apostles Jesus commissioned to follow Him. An apostle represents the one sending and has authority to represent the sender in business, political, or educational situations. Therefore, an apostle can be thought of as an ambassador or representative. Do you represent Christ where you are (school, work, home, leisure)?

Prophets - One who speaks a message from God; An inspired speaker. A prophet can be thought of as a person who says what God tells them to say directly to someone or a group of people. Sometimes a prophet may foretell the future according to the revelation from the Holy Spirit. Have you ever been prompted within to tell someone something that you felt came from God? Have you ever felt compelled to warn someone of danger even though the danger is not evident?

Teachers - One who instructs. We all, to one extent or another, are teachers. If you are a parent then you operate as a teacher. If you are a minister, then you will operate as a teacher. Though the Holy Spirit will use someone as a vessel for teaching as a lifestyle, all will teach at one time or another.

Those who Work miracles - These are people that perform supernaturally to accomplish God's will. It is important to realize that the person does not perform supernaturally. It is the Spirit of God that performs supernaturally through a person. Therefore, any one can at any time by the will of the Spirit perform a miracle.

Those who have the gifts of healing - These are people that can effect, healing in others. Notice that this is distinguished from miracles. A miracle is basically something that happens for the good that cannot be explained by physical law (though physical law is not necessarily violated). Again, anyone may accomplish this by the workings of the Holy Spirit, though some walk in this as a lifestyle ministry.

Those who are able to help others - The ability and desire to help others can be counted as the workings of the Holy Spirit. A human operating on his own nature will only be concerned about himself. Therefore, to be concerned to take action on another's behalf is due to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Do you desire to help people? Have you helped people in the past?

Those with gifts of administrations - Some people are good with administrative tasks. The word administrator used in this verse (governments in the KJV) refers to a person's ability to pilot activities or direct activities in the church or abroad. Do not believe that your purpose will only operate in the confines of a church organization. Do you see yourself organizing and running things? What about your administrative activities at home? Do not take that for granted because a strong family life is very important to the body of Christ and for people in general.

Those speaking in different kinds of tongues - The tongues here refer to an actual language on the Earth. The reference is not to the unintelligible speech that is associated with the charismatic tongue speaking. Though both are biblical, this scripture is referring to a language. The gift here is then the ability of someone to speak in a language that they never learned in order to communicate with another.

Many More Gifts - Please realize that these are not the only ways that the Spirit of God manifests himself through us. For example, the Holy Spirit can anoint you to be a great mother to your children and others. The Holy Spirit can anoint you to be a great engineer or doctor who helps millions of people with your ideas and inventions. So the list of "gifts", if you will, can be infinite.

STARTS WITH WHAT YOU KNOW INSTEAD OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW!

Believe that God will lead you into your purpose and one day you will look around and wonder how you got where you are. The following are some things that we can do to fulfill the common purpose of the Christian:

  1. Live a life in Christ - by following the teachings of Christ

  2. Tell others about God and Christ - Make the Gospel and the things of God a part of your normal conversation

  3. Be a disciple and live by and share what you have learned from Jesus' teachings.

  4. Always be sensitive to God and he will lead

  5. Always know the truth (remain in discipleship) so that you will be protected from going astray Maintain proper bible study and the acquisition of bible knowledge

  6. Remain in communion with God: Prayer, meditation, fellowship

THE VOICE OF PROPHETS

It is not necessary to believe that your calling is dependent on someone prophesying over you. There are two things that you must consider when someone prophesies over you.

1. The person could have misinterpreted what they heard from God

2. The prophesy may be s a long way from happening

Do not move because of the voice or words of another. Move because you have heard from God. If God tells you to move then you can have confidence that all of your provisions will be available to you. If you move because of man then your provisions will not be synchronized with your actions.

You must discover what you purpose is. You must walk in the Spirit of God and fulfill your purpose (whether you know what it is or not). If we walk in the Spirit then the pre-knowledge of our purpose is not necessary. As I said earlier, one day you will wake up and wonder how you got where you are. You will find that you are walking according to your God given purpose.

SEEK GOD FIRST

Your first objective is obedience to God. Do not search for your purpose else you will be preoccupied with it instead of with God. Simply walk in the Spirit the best you know how and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit the best that you can. Let God lead you and not you lead yourself.

MEETING A NEED

There is still much that you can do regardless of whether you know your purpose or not (though knowing your purpose is not necessary based on our previous discussion). Do you see any needs around you that you can fulfill or help to fulfill? Does your church need ushers? Does your family need spiritual guidance? Find a need and meet it. Of course it would be much better for you to do something that you at least don't mind doing and best, enjoy doing.

IMPROVEMENT WHERE You ARE

Can you improve on what you are currently doing? Can you become a better engineer, doctor, nurse, trash man, custodian, mechanic, etc.? Can you use the opportunities provided by your occupation to minister life to others or are you waiting to get into ministry at your church?

Remember that all Christians are called to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can use the opportunities that come up to do that. Why not improve on your preaching (proclaiming the Gospel) with the resources that you presently have access to? Why not use what you have at your disposal to lead others to Christ? Above all else, people need the Lord. It is a wonderful thing for you to help them get to Jesus Christ.

Edifying Fellow Laborers

What can you do with the resources that you currently have access to, to build people up in the things of God? How can you, a typical or average doctor, lawyer, engineer, florist, cleaner, etc., help other Christians to grow in the Lord. It is important that the Gospel is preached so that people come to Christ. However, it is also very important that the believers have an opportunity to grow in Christ so that they may spread the Gospel according to the way that God has made them.

 

 

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