Have you ever thought about the purpose of life and asked, “Why am I here?” If so, you’re not alone. This is a question everyone is bound to ask at some point in their life. This, however, is tied to more than simply human origin. It is connected to value, purpose, and worth.
Genesis 1:26 states, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (ESV). You were made in the image of God, connecting your worth to the greatest Being in the universe. But why did God make you?
God made you, and everyone else, for his glory. In Isaiah 43:7, God says, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” You might think that this is selfish of God…until you realize who God is. In God, we find all of the things we admire and cherish in this world, magnified. Love, faithfulness, courage–God is the source of them all. We naturally glorify these things and enjoy them. Therefore, being made for God’s glory means that we will find our greatest satisfaction in him when we live out his attributes. While on earth, as you grow in your relationship with God, you will be achieving your purpose.
Though each life will look different and manifest the glory of God in unique ways, fulfilling your purpose doesn’t have to only involve big life steps like baptism or going to church every Sunday. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reads, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
God can be glorified in every aspect of your life, not only bringing him joy but yourself. As you magnify God in your words, actions, and thoughts, you’re walking in the exact thing you were made for!
It’s one thing to understand the general purpose of life, to glorify God. However, everyone is given a special way of manifesting that goal. Some are overseas missionaries, others are teachers, doctors, or writers. How can you discover your personal purpose?
First, it’s important to prioritize the goal–glorifying God. Losing sight of this can cause you to stumble and follow your own desires. As you glorify God by following his will in the little things, you’ll be able to more accurately discern where he is leading you in the grander scheme of your life.
Second, pray and ask for the Lord’s leadership. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (ESV). Ask God to help you sense where he is leading your life.
Third, notice where you are naturally gifted and areas that you enjoy serving in. These are often indicators of how God might want to use you. For instance, if you are a musician you could easily use that talent to glorify God through leading worship at church or writing music that points to Christ. These talents are given to help you fulfill your ultimate purpose, so look for ways to use them!
Lastly, it’s okay if you’re not sure where you exactly ‘fit’ in life. Remember, as long as you are honoring God and glorifying him in your daily life, you are fulfilling your purpose! God won’t require you to go on an intense search to discover why he made you specifically. He wants to use you and won’t leave you in the dark! As you stay connected to the Lord through prayer and Scripture reading, he will make it clear.
It’s easy to feel stuck when you’re not sure where to go in life. Perhaps you’ve been seeking God recently, asking him to show you your personal purpose or giftings. Prayer is the best thing you can do! However, there are other additional steps that you can take to help understand where God might be leading you.
First, observe areas of your life that you feel talented in or have a passion for. This doesn’t have to be something as obvious as musical talent or athletic ability. Those can definitely be used for God’s glory, but so can something like organizing, hospitality, and mathematic skills. Reflect on your life and where you’ve not only excelled but enjoyed spending your time. Bring this before the Lord and ask him if he will reveal areas you can use these gifts.
Second, ask others! If it isn’t immediately obvious to you, it’s likely that those close to you can see where your gifts are. This could be family members, friends, or even coworkers. Proverbs 15:22 states, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (ESV).
Third, consider taking a spiritual gifts quiz or reading a book that focused on this information. There are so many resources that aim to help people recognize these things in themselves. There are both Christian and secular sources that can assist in this. Try asking your church friends or leaders if they have any suggestions first.
Last, when you have a hunch as to what you might be interested in or talented in, find how you can serve your church with it! Try volunteering with kids’ church, or on the worship team. Maybe pass out bulletins or see if you can help write for the church newsletter. This is a quick and productive way to discern where you might easily meet a need at church, a need God created you to help meet.
Once you have identified your gifts, you may be wondering where and how you can use them. This will likely not be a cut-and-dry answer for everyone. However, they are areas where you can certainly use any gift to glorify God.
You can use your gift to help others. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (ESV). Look over your church’s ministries and see if you can pinpoint an area where you can use your gift to serve. If you’re not sure, ask a pastor or friend where you might be able to best serve with your particular gifting. It is important to note that you can still serve in areas where you don’t feel gifted. However, you should still seek out ways to use your gift within your local church.
Now having identified your gift, it’s important you sharpen it! If you feel gifted in teaching, study. If you feel like you’re naturally hospitable, read up on the best ways to serve a guest. When you’re not using your gift in service to others, you can still honor the Lord with it by improving and getting it ready for the next use.
Your gifts aren’t just to be used amongst believers, but they are to be shared with the world. The Bible calls Christians “ministers of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). You are to use your gifts to display God’s glory to a world that needs peace with God. As you pray and ask God to help you evangelize, he will show you special ways to use your gifts to witness to nonbelievers.
By using your gifts in the church, sharpening your skills, and evangelizing, you are able to sense your personal purpose and how God has made you to glorify him. Rejoice that God makes each one unique for his grand plan to love the world.