Understanding Your Purpose In Life
by Emmanuel Obu
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“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (1Kings 6:7)
Rick Warren’s best-selling book, “The Purpose Driven Life”, is very apt for us to consider in dealing with the question of “why on earth am I here?”. Just like someone said, “when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”, a lot of us need to come to terms with the reason why we are here. Some important things must be resolved in our hearts about our existence here on earth. We are not just here for the fun of it; we are here to fulfill a divine mandate and we must understand that fact.
There is a lot of ‘noise’ today in the house of God because we have a clash of purpose. People are unaware of the fact that we can all be ‘high-flyers’ without been collusive but cohesive. The air is big enough for birds to fly without colliding with each other, so says a popular saying in Nigeria. We can all be what we desire to be when we all understand our purpose here on earth. We can live our dreams when we realize that we are part of a bigger script written by the Creator to affect the world positively for Himself and for His pleasure.
AMBITION VERSUS VISION
There are certain things that rule in the affairs of our core existence in life. An understanding of these basic things will guarantee us the rights into the privileges of life and what life generally stands for and holds for us.
Questions have been asked in previous times about how we can understand the reason for existence. I wish to state categorically here that existence only functions properly when it coincides with what the will of God is. Many of us pursue after success in life in direct opposition to God’s will. The majority of human problem is as a result of the confusion we have been shaped with by society or even the formal education we have. A lot of us have confused the concept of ambition with vision. We pursue vigorously at ambitions as the vision of our lives, and they unfortunately drive us in the wrong direction, away from God.
Ambition is your personal pursuit for personal fulfillment and or happiness, while vision is the reason why you were created; your purpose for being in this life. Your vision is what the marketers call your ‘raison d’etre’ – your reason for living. While ambition is personal and selfish, vision is much more tended towards others and selfless in nature. While ambition seeks gratification from personal fulfillment, vision is gratified when the needs of others are meant.
The ready example I give to people when I make this distinction is equally as simple as it is – when someone says, “I want to become a doctor”. That is an ambition and the person does not find fulfillment and joy till that becomes a reality. On the other hand, someone can say, “I want to be a doctor so that I can be of service to mankind and help those who may not have the opportunity for quality healthcare”. What difference did you find in these two statements? That is exactly what I mean when I say the difference is easy to spot.
Therefore, if our lives must make a meaning, it must grow beyond us and touch others. You cannot live by yourself and make a meaning in life. Personal fulfillment becomes much more interesting when we pursue the fulfillment of other people’s dreams. Go check this out, the people who make the most and profoundest impact in history were people who lived beyond self and reached out for the good of all. Mike Murdock will always quip, “what you make happen for others God will make happen for you”. It is as simple as that – you draw life and the essence for living when you live outside of yourself and make the dreams of others come to pass. Remember, the Law of Harvest is as real and true as the Law of Gravity (Gen.8:22; Gal.6:7-10).
A popular servant of God in Nigeria was quoted sometime ago as saying that his reason for being is to ensure that the vision of his senior pastor becomes a reality. What a servant of God! No wonder his success has been inevitable; because as his pastor is moving forward he is also moving forward. How I wish a lot of us have this sense of security about our calling. The truth is we cannot all be leaders all at the same time. There will be a time when we poured water into the hands of our ‘Elijahs’, and serve them (2Kings 3:11). What gives us security about our future and our calling in life is the assurance that we are right at the center of God’s will for our purpose.
HOW DO YOU DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE?
Another pertinent question to ask in this regard is: “What is the will of God and how does one begin to understand and appropriate His will in the fulfillment of what one has been created to achieve?”
The answer is the Word of God (John 5:39). The Word of God is the cheapest way to discover one’s God-ordained purpose. When you correlate the Word of God with the way you have chosen to live your life then you begin to discover the purpose for your existence. In the case where you have derailed from God’s documented ideals then you know without any iota of doubt that you are not in alignment with His purpose for you.
Therefore, if you do not understand what the Word of God says concerning your life you cannot equally understand what His will for your life is. God’s word is His will; and you need to understand it in relation to your purpose.
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