What is my unique life purpose?
Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash
“A cock must crow, a mole dig, to the glory of God.” --C.S. Lewis
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
You are gifted
First, you must know that you were created for a purpose I don’t mean just the big, overarching purpose of living for God, although that is certainly true and anything you do must start there. I also mean your particular vocation, your calling. God has gifted you with a unique set of gifts to be used for His purpose, to bring Him glory, to be his hands and feet in the world. Whatever our gifts, we should rejoice in them, knowing that a perfect God planned it perfectly.
It’s so easy – especially for we women--to get into the comparison game. And the way this game is played, it comes out in one of two ways: either we are the ones who fall short as we compare ourselves to someone else or they come up short as we believe we are so much better. Neither position is a Godly position.
The first position, falling short, means that you are really criticizing how and who God made you, as though He, too, missed the mark. How absurd! An omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal God is flawless.
The other mistake, believing we are so much better than the other woman, is just as ugly because in this instance, we are setting ourselves up as God (that “wanting to be like God” was the basis for the first sin and every sin thereafter). We’re setting ourselves up as God because we are worshipping ourselves (I’m so much better), as though we were responsible for our abilities, and we demean another special, lovely, immortal person whom God loves fiercely and created uniquely – just as He loves and created us. So we are breaking the first commandment, “To love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; to have no other gods before him.”
And to live our mission as God gifted us doesn’t limit us to the “spiritual” realm. Doing God’s will for us in using our unique talents in our unique calling doesn’t mean that we must be kept behind the church door to fully live our calling and give glory to God. No, with a surrendered life it is everything we do. Olympian and Christian missionary Eric Liddell whose true story was told in the movie “Chariots of Fire,” said:
“When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”
Once we know who (and “whose”) we are, we have an identity. Knowing that identity, inwardly we dive deeper and outwardly we soar higher. Inwardly we take account of the gifts we’ve been given; outwardly we seek to understand how to relate to those gifts, the larger framework, the bigger “why”. We have a clearer sense of our purpose. And now we want to act upon that purpose, translating who we are and why we’re here to what we do. This is our mission. And this is the way to meaningful living.
But in order for us to ensure that we are doing what we should be doing in the way we should be doing it, we need to first surrender it, to give it up, to lose our lives before we find them. The Godly paradox.
“For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?” (Mark 8:35)
We must surrender
So to have our lives we must give them up. We must surrender, like Christ, “Not my will, but yours be done.” This requires trust in God and trust grows and gets stronger the more we get to know God. We may know intellectually that he never fails, that his promises are true, that he is totally trustworthy, but until we understand with our renewed minds and commit with our new hearts to that trust, it doesn’t matter. Trust isn’t some intellectual curiosity; it is a way of life, deep, vigorous, and raw.
What surrender is not
Surrender” is not synonymous with “slacker” In fact, when you surrender yourself to God to be used by God according to His good will and purpose for your life, you are going to be very busy, life will be full, and robust, you will be fully living on a new dimension, meaningfully.
Surrender isn’t an “opt-out” but an “opt-in”. We are to present to God our bodies as “a living sacrifice”.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
“The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar . . . . “
So surrender isn’t a one-and-done; it’s a conscious act of the will in obedience, daily, sometimes hourly or minute-by-minute.
More about surrender
Surrender is not one way to live; it is the only way to live. Because only by dying to ourselves can we fully live as God intended us to live.
You are free to surrender to God . . . or not. Be aware, as Pascal had pointed out, if you don’t surrender to God, you will surrender to something, and surrendering to anything but God is idolatry, a road fraught with frustration, disappointment, and self-destruction. You are free to choose; however, you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
By surrendering ourselves, our wills, our purposes, our gifts, to God for his use and his glory, we give Him control of our lives. We find we have more peace. We are more relaxed. We no longer worry as much. We recognize the lie that we are in control of our lives and are now living the truth with God in control of our lives. You will be able to say, with the apostle Paul, “. . . I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.” (Amp)
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Copyright 2022. Sandra A. Eggers. Sharing is encouraged; however, please give credit where credit is due. Thank you.