"There is so much noise in my head" That is what a special lady said to me when we discussed finding clarity in our purpose. This was the second time we were having this discussion. Our conversations that lead to this question usually happen while we dissect what we have heard someone preach or teach within the church walls. And I am talking about good teachings full of life and encouragement, but for some of us, we still need a bit more clarity.
We hear we have a purpose, but why? We hear we are given gifts to use if we are saved and set apart by Jesus, but why and where is my specific place? Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Let's break down some of the questions and take our next steps to live out the plan and purpose we are given through Jesus Christ.
Why are we given gifts to use? The simple answer - it is for the common good.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2: 8 - 9
"To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." 1 Corinthians 12:7
What is the common good? If we briefly look at the Greek word here, it is symphero, and it means "to bear or bring together; to bear together or at the same time, to carry with others, to collect or contribute in order to help, to help, be profitable, be expedient." (blueletterbible.org)
What is the common good that we are working towards as Christians? Again it is a simple answer and it is to bring God’s kingdom to this earth by making disciples. It is to share the gospel, the good news, the hope only found in Jesus Christ. It is to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to walk out the calling they have been called and allow others to do the same in your life. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but our gifts are not about us. They are given to us to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our number one goal "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations," The common good is to build on the everlasting Kingdom of God and not your own kingdom. And to do it all out of love. Love for God and love for others. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself."This should cause us all to pause and take a deep breath of grace because it means that God is the One in control of the outcome, not you or me. We are meant to plant seeds of life and water them with fervent prayer.
The next question after we figure out the why could be where is my place? It is right where God has you at this moment. No one can tell you exactly what you are supposed to be doing. My encouragement is to take a look around you. Make a list of the people God has placed in your life. And then intentionally ask God how you can serve them. Ask yourself if there is anyone who needs to hear the gospel? Is anyone on your list walking in this life without the hope of Jesus? Is there a brother or sister in Christ who needs your encouragement? Have you been blessed with the financial means to give to ministries that rely on donations to operate? Are you involved in your local church? In what ways are you serving your church? Are you abiding in Him every second of your day? Worshiping Him as you do the mundane task of every day? Those are all ways to bring His Kingdom to this earth. You may have little ones in your life. Are you speaking life into them that they are created on purpose with a purpose? Are you teaching them scriptures daily? There are so many more questions I could add. Because the specifics of your calling is very individualized, not one teaching, not one blog post, not one book could tell you exactly what to do. Only your Creator can show you those good works He prepared for you beforehand.
Here are some practical steps to help turn down the noise and find clarity in your purpose.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Dig deep into the truths of His Word weekly.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Ask Him about every step you are about to take.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Ask someone you trust to share what they believe your gifts are.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Get involved in your local church and serve.
“So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12
Ask yourself what your passion is? If you are seeking God, He will give you desires and the ability to serve those around you.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Don't compare yourself to others. No task is less than another one. Every small thing done for the glory of God welcomes His kingdom to the earth. Not one person's good is better than the other.
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:6
"...when each part is working properly, makes the whole body grows so that it builds itself up in love." Ephesians 4:16b
Remember it is not about you and me. It is about the glory of God and the good of others. It is about bringing His kingdom to this earth. Serve with love in the place God has planted you at this very moment.