Where we are in life is the sum of the choices we’ve made. Where we’re going will be decided by the choices we make today. We must have a guiding sense of purpose that comes from God, because God created all of us for his purposes.
Colossians 1:16b …Everything was created through him and for him.
Without God’s purpose, we will surrender to pointlessness. The opposite of a pointless life is a life of purpose on purpose. Rick Warren writes in The Purpose Driven Life:
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, peace of mind, or even your happiness. It is far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, it must begin with God.
Purpose Drives Decisions
Jesus knew his purpose and it drove his decisions. He knew people’s expectations did not align with his purpose. Instead of letting others drive his decisions, he let his purpose drive them.
Mark 1:36-38 Later Simon and the others went out to find [Jesus]. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.”
If you don’t have purpose driving your decisions, you will be driven in circles.
Purpose Diminishes Distraction
We live in the most distracting time in history. TV, internet, and smartphones badger us for our attention. If you have God-given purpose, it will guide you through distraction toward God’s purposes for you. Consider Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s brother returned to Persia from Jerusalem and told him,
Nehemiah 1:3b-4a “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
Nehemiah realized God was calling him to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. Purpose drove him to accomplish this task. He would not let distraction stop him. Like Nehemiah, we have to be so committed to God’s purposes for us that no distraction will stop us.
Purpose Pushes Us Through the Pain
Most people take the path of least resistance. No one likes pain! Purpose pushes us through pain – like for Nehemiah. Purpose shows us that pain is beneficial.
James 1:2 …When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
Hardship refines us into the people God is calling us to be.
Purpose Empowers You to Please God
Moses was a prince of Egypt. He could’ve had everything, but he saw his people suffering and took a rash action that led to exile. But God had bigger plans. God called Moses back to Egypt to free the Israelites. Purpose empowered him to endure opposition. He realized that what God was calling him to do was what God created him to do; that a life of purpose is a life on purpose.
Our calling is a part of God’s purpose in creating us. When we know this, we can better live lives of purpose on purpose. Purpose empowers us to please God even when the going gets tough.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Choose a Life of Purpose on Purpose
A life of purpose on purpose starts with a choice: trusting Jesus; it’s a choice we make every day. We choose God’s purpose over our pointlessness, even when it’s hard. We help others pursue God because God’s purpose for all of us is to lead others to him. That’s why Jesus said:
Matthew 28:19-20 …Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What are some of your purposes in this world? What makes you think this?
- Reread Rick Warren’s quote above. Explain why you agree or disagree with his views.
- Read Mark 1:36-38. What was Jesus’s purpose during his earthly ministry? How was this purpose different from what people expected?
- Have you ever known someone who didn’t feel like they had any purpose or that life didn’t have any purpose? Share as you are comfortable.
- Do you think it’s true that without God’s purpose, all people will ultimately surrender to pointlessness? Explain.
- Have you ever let someone other than God drive your decisions? Or have you seen this happen to someone else? What happened?
- Read James 1:2. What are some times you’ve seen purpose push people through pain and diminish distraction?
- Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Why is it important for people to have a sense of purpose in life? Why is it important for this sense of purpose to come from a relationship with God?
- Read Matthew 28:19-20. What is God’s ultimate purpose for all people? How should this influence how we live as Christians?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.