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Time to Seek God’s Purpose for Your Life?

Former university professor of marketing and communications, Sallie is an independent publisher and marketing communications consultant.

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Do you spend so much time doing things that you don't have time to examine what might be your purpose in life? If your life is becoming filled up with more and more things to do, no matter what direction these things are coming from, it’s possible you are not living a fulfilled life—a filled-up life is not necessarily a fulfilled life. In fact, most people begin to realize as they slow down the pace of their lives that they have been missing out on the things in life that really matter. In life, quantity does not always mean quality.

If you are seeking God’s purpose for your life, then you’re searching for more than simple fulfillment of worldly desires and worldly ambition. When you finally discover God’s purpose for your life, you’ll see that it involves more than a career or a job that you find fulfilling, or even one that provides you with the financial means to live well. While these things may be part of God’s purpose for your life, your whole God-given purpose on earth has to be much more than just a job or a way to acquire material possessions.

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Your Purpose: It's More Than What You Do

As Leo Tolstoy said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." So, if you think your only purpose for living is to work in a specific job or career area, you could be missing out on opportunities to change yourself. Working on you is part of God’s purpose for your life. When you do the work on you that is required to get you to the place of spiritual maturity God wants for you, you will then be a perfect instrument for him to use on earth for his purpose and yours, because they will be one and the same. Once you begin to do the work on yourself that God needs you to do, you’ll soon discover it to be a process that will always in progress. Why? Because it is a constant struggle being a spiritual being inside of a physical body. For that reason, you’ll always be working on perfecting you while you’re also working to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

While you’re working on yourself and evolving spiritually, you'll find a need for more in your life than just your job, and more than just material possessions. Sure, your job presents ample opportunities for you to live and grow in your faith. But you’re not one dimensional, and you have a lot more to you than the person you are at work. God has given you a life that is to be lived to its fullest potential. Your life is more than just work, just as your body is more than just what you look like on the outside. For this reason, you should think about your purpose as it applies to all aspects of your life. Your purpose has to do with your spiritual growth and development, your work, your family, your friends, your leisure time, your interactions with other people, your ability to care about and your willingness to help others, and much more.

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Purpose, Spirituality, and Ambition—At Odds?

Do you want to grow and prosper spiritually as well as financially? Do you sometime wonder if, as a Christian, it is wrong to have goals that are materialistic in nature? Is materialistic ambition against God’s purpose for your life? The answer to questions such as these has to be “No.” It cannot be against God and his purpose for your life for you to desire material things. Living on planet earth requires material things. And it cannot be against God to be ambitious because God has placed us—spiritual beings, inside a physical body, in a physical world, where a lack of ambition, ultimately, can lead to financial and physical ruin. The key, of course, is moderation. Too much focus on material things, and too little on spiritual things of God (as outlined in Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit), can obscure your focus as you examine your life while seeking your purpose.

The scriptural response to the questions I asked in the preceding paragraph, I believe, can be found in this passage from Ephesians 1:9-12 (KJV) which says:

“Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”

I believe one thing this scripture is teaching us is that God means for us to utilize all things, including those things that are in the physical world (which are on earth), and those things that are in the spiritual world (which are in heaven), to fulfill His purpose for our lives. I believe the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse from Ephesians that Christ has given us a predestined inheritance in all things. Living life in fulfillment of God’s purpose for it allows us to claim our predestined inheritance from Christ. It allows us to see a connection to God in our desires and in our need for physical or worldly things, just as it allows us to feel a connection to God in our desires and in our need for spiritual things.

If you enjoyed this Hub, you might also enjoy these, by the same author:

A Season for Every Purpose

Are "Virtual Christians" for Real?

Housetraining Your Anger

© 2012 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD

Comments

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 16, 2012:

Thank you so much MsKrysma. I appreciate your comments, and I'm glad you like this Hub. You're right. It's "healing" to want to connect with/seek what God desires for us.

MsKrysma on May 16, 2012:

This is a great hub. It's so important to seek what God desires us to do.

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 16, 2012:

Yes, Dave, you're right. But since your next breath could just as easily not be your last, it's good to connect with your purpose and reasons for being given another chance to breathe. I guess my glass will always be "half full." : )

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on May 16, 2012:

drmiddlebrook: It is good to see that you are optimistic, but fact is fact. Your next breath, could be your last.

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 16, 2012:

Hi Christinme,

It's always good to hear different approaches to listening to God. I agree that purpose can change. Thanks for reading and sharing. I appreciate it!

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 16, 2012:

Hi Dave,

I don't think our purpose is a "one-size-fits-all" kind of thing, and I'm glad you've found yours. Every individual is unique, for a purpose. Thanks for sharing.

Christinme on May 16, 2012:

My purpose as a Christian is to be Spirit led, taking one day at a time , obeying God and what HE drives me to do. Many come into my life with needs which i try to meet in the best way i can with the resources i have been blessed with. When their needs are met they draw away until God sends more to me. We all have a divine purpose but remember that it may be just for a reason or a season. My life is pure joy and peace as I spend time with my saviour to re energise myself, and delve deep into the bible to feed my spirit and soul.

Commit yourselves to God and chill out , let Him take the stresses and strains away .

May God bless you and bring you peace and love.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on May 16, 2012:

drmiddlebrook: Actually my purpose in life was predestined years ago by God. I live day to day accepting whatever comes my way, because it is right and it is easier that way. There is no sense, none at all seeking for or seeking to know the future, because that is impossible to learn.

A friend once told me that if you want to make God laugh, tell God what you have planned for your future.

We cannot go back into the past to change what was. We cannot go into the future to see what is going to be or what might be, all we can do is to live one day at a time, moment to moment, and hope that our next breath, is not our last.

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 15, 2012:

I'm sure you're right, and that just feeds right into the idea that God's purpose for us is always a work in progress. He's never finished with us! Thanks for such an insightful comment.

AnnRandolph on May 15, 2012:

I also believe our purposes changes at different times in our life. Great hub. Thanks for sharing.

Eric Cramer from Chicagoland on May 15, 2012:

I agree that we all have a purpose from God. Great hub.

Sallie B Middlebrook PhD (author) from Texas, USA on May 15, 2012:

That's right, MsLofton. It takes some time, sometimes, to figure it all out, but I think you're right--we all have a God-given purpose for being.

MsLofton from IL on May 15, 2012:

Amen I love it!!!!! I believe we all have a purpose!

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