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First and foremost, I would say that the purpose of any Christian's life (wherever they might be and whatever they might be doing) is to witness to the reality of their faith through their conduct (especially their Christian love toward others), and to look for opportunities to share the gospel with others (1 Peter 3:15). Also: Study the Bible in order to understand the attributes and actions that characterize a God-centered life. Pray with faith for God's guidance and direction in your life. With regard to determining a life's work, do a personal inventory: Strengths/weaknesses: What are your natural talents and skills? Likes/dislikes: What do you enjoy doing? What are you especially averse to? Take standardized tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (which can be found for free online) that group people into personality types based on whether they are predominantly introverted or extraverted (I or E); sensing or intuitive (S or N); thinking or feeling (T or F); and judging or perceiving (J or P), and then contain lists of vocations that are suited to each of the sixteen possible combinations of types. Actively pursue courses of action that would prepare you for or lead directly to your desired goal. Pay attention to events (including those that seem random, or even unpleasant or adverse) for ways in which God may be using or speaking through them to lead you toward or away from a particular direction (even if that direction differs from that of objectives that you are currently or consciously pursuing). Give thanks to God for all outcomes.
God says in the Bible that he created human beings (Gen 1:26-27). It also says that God has plans for our lives (Jer 29:11), that his will for us is “good for us, it is pleasing to us, and it is perfectly suited for who we are” (Rom 12:2). God wants us to seek his will for our lives and he will reveal it to us and also give us all the other things we need in life as well (Matt 6:33). So this process begins by “asking God in prayer” to reveal his will to us (Matt 7:7). As a general principle, the Bible teaches that our #1 purpose in life is to worship Him. This worship involves our mind, will, emotions and physical bodies. In other words, everything we think, say and do should bring glory and honour to God for who he is and what he has done for us (1 Chron 16:8-36). The Bible goes on to say that the best way to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives is to obey what he has commanded us to do (1Kings 8:61; Deut 28:2); Rom 2:13; Matt 28:19-20). This will of God began with the Ten Commandments and was greatly elaborated through the teachings and example of Jesus. The Bible has a lot to say about God’s “general will” for our lives that is applicable every day. But the real question is…. Does God have a specific will for each of us that includes our career, marriage, children, where we live, what friends we have, what activities (religious and secular) we engage in, etc? I think this is a fascinating question to study. When we look at the life of Jesus, we know virtually nothing about God’s specific will for Jesus life', before the age of 30, when he was called into his public ministry. We know he grew up in Nazareth and trained and worked as a carpenter with his father Joseph (Matt 13:55). Once Jesus began his public ministry we know a great deal about God’s will for him as recorded in the gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John). Now our primary purpose includes being his witness and sharing his gospel message with a lost and dying world (Acts 1:8). But what about you and me? What is our purpose for life? When we look at the lives of the people recorded in the Bible we see that many of them led very normal lives for the culture and world at that time. These common purposes were then interrupted by God’s special purposes that get recorded for us in the Bible. When we look at the life of David we see that he was simply a shepherd boy with 7 older brothers until God anointed him to be the next king of Israel. Then we know quite a bit about David’s life. But really, he was still given great freedom by God to make his own decisions as the king of Israel. When David was unsure what to do, he inquired of the Lord, and God revealed his specific will (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel). Another great example is the life of Paul. He was simply a zealous Pharisee, among many others, until he met Jesus on the Damascus road. Then we know a lot about God’s will for him, but there are huge gaps in recording Paul’s daily life (Acts 9-28). We know he worked as a tent maker to pay his way to preach the gospel. We also know he made plans that the Holy Spirit would not let him proceed with (Acts 16:6). In conclusion, I believe our purpose in life is a mixture of “exercising our free will,” to choose those things that fulfil our passions and dreams, while always worshipping God and being Jesus’s witness 24/7. When we maintain a close personal relationship with God we will hear his voice (John 10:14-16), when he calls us to fulfil some “special purpose” he has for us. The resources of the world, as mentioned above, are a great help in learning how to fulfil our passions and dreams, as we exercise our free will. However, when it comes to fulfilling God’s special purpose for us, we must rely on his specific revelation to us, by the Holy Spirit, as we maintain a close personal relationship with him. Just like everyone else recorded in the bible who was used by God, after he called them to his special purpose.
The bible says to seek first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you (Matt 6:33). In other words pray and seek God for His direction for your life and he will make your path to follow. This doesn't mean that one just sits at home waiting for opportunity to come knocking. God expects us to do our part by applying for jobs, studying and sorting out whatever situations we may need to in our lives. Even if we make the wrong decision God will make it right for us as long as we put Him first in everything (Rom 8:28). Psalm 37:4 says to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. When we are close to God His desires for our life becomes our desire and our purpose in life becomes clearer.
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