Would anyone else say it’s a different world today? Can we still find our purpose and place in it?
- We’re more polarized than ever as a society.
- We’re lonelier than any other time in history.
- Children and young adults are more anxious and stressed than at any other time in modern history.
- The workplace and job market are forever changed, but we’re not quite sure how to navigate the changes.
- Schools are understaffed and struggling.
- Outrage and cancel culture are accepted norms.
- Suicide has skyrocketed in teens and young adults.
In a world seemingly spinning out of control, do we possess any ourselves? Some argue no, some yes. But the bigger question is, where do we find hope and purpose in this cultural sea of confusion?
God has a good deal to say about our purpose and place amidst this cultural current pulling us under and dragging us out to sea.
Out on my patio early one morning contemplating the world and my place in it—my next season and what God is up to in my life—I felt a sense of confusion and doubt bubbling to the surface—a now familiar feeling.
In between seasons for a few years now, I’m still floundering, struggling to find my place.
I think, “Maybe this is it,” then another opportunity arises, and I’m back at Jesus’ feet requesting clarity.
But what I’m realizing is, He rarely lays out a 5-year plan complete with planner and spreadsheets.
Look at Paul. He spent 3 years in Arabia / Damascus before going to Jerusalem to begin his ministry. (Gal. 1:16-17)
It took Moses 40 years of wilderness sheep-herding before the Lord met him in a bush of fire and revealed his purpose.
God’s most valiant—and vulnerable—vessels spent a season in preparation before fully discerning their calling.
Returning to my patio and prayers: a beautiful Bible study I participated in this spring provided much-needed insight.
Over the next few weeks, I would love to share how the Lord used this study during my continued season of in-between to speak clarity into my confusion. He started right out of the gate with lesson one, day one.
“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,
God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-3
Profoundly surprised by these familiar verses written in modern-day language from The Message, my pen started flying.
“This is my purpose: living every day fully embracing what God does for me; it’s the best thing I can do for Him!
It’s not about a move, a job, writing, or teaching. It’s about Him. Just get my eyes off ME because God brings all goodness TO me.
The best way to understand myself is by looking at Jesus and His ongoing work, not calculating my purpose by who I am or what I do for Him.
This brings profound freedom:
- Freedom from trying to make things work.
- Freedom to be obedient to what He puts in front of me.
- Freedom to look at Him and not my future, plans or purpose.
My purpose is singular: HIM!”
When we remember to fix our attention on God, we will be changed from the inside out!
Simple yet so challenging. This may be the season I’m in—a season of preparation. And that’s ok.
When I desire transformation more than information, preparation propels me towards purpose.
Is this you, dear one? Are you in a season of waiting, wondering, even willingness, but the path is not yet clear before you?
I would like to end with a prayer, trusting Jesus to reveal Himself and His plans for you in His perfect time. You can make these words your own.
My Kings, Please help me keep my eyes on You. Not on me or Your plans for me. Help me keep my head down, focused on what You do for me, not what I’m supposed to do for You. Grant wisdom and favor in my going out and coming in. Guide my steps upon Your paths of righteousness, for Your namesake. In Your precious name, Amen.
Meet me back here next week for more strategies to discover your unique purpose in any season.