When you think about being committed to your purpose, what do you think of? Is there a 10-step process that you imagine needing to go through? Is the end goal what you see come to life in your mind or the struggle of achieving it?
Usually, when we think of our purpose, we envision some way in which we can be successful in the calling we feel in our life. Inevitably, it’s a calling we believe is mostly about us. We think this because we believe our purpose must take the shape of our own aspirations and no one else’s. The vision we have is often vibrant with all the personal greatness we can imagine.
But what if your purpose isn’t about you or how you measure greatness?
What if this amazing gift and dream you’ve stored away in your heart serve a larger cause? We know that purpose comes from God. It’s His intention to collaborate with us in answer to the healing the earth needs. We have been distinctly chosen for that reason--in 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
The verse doesn’t say you were chosen so that “you may proclaim the praises of YOU”. Many of us get caught up in wanting the accolades we think come from “chasing our purpose”. We want to be noticed for our hard work and eventual achievements. Nevertheless, what the Bible tells us is the direct opposite of this belief: “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You…” 1 Chronicles 29:11-12.
Clearly, it isn’t that we can’t want greatness or hope for it, we just need to understand that this is not the reason God gave us purpose. Friend, the purpose isn’t about you, it’s about what God has purposed to do for others through you. We all have the capacity to do something marvelous but, in the end, the goal should simply be about fulfilling our purpose on the earth in collaboration with God Himself.
What is significant to note about the nature of purpose is that it has both internal and external work. So far, we’ve discussed the external nature of purpose, but what about its internal nature? As with most things in life, a flourishing purpose will affect us as we seek to affect others. In other words, the revolution must begin with us. At its core, the purpose has a work of internal deconstruction. In building a thing of beauty in the world, we usually discover a personal need to break something down within ourselves. That could be overcoming bad habits, cultivating consistency, or addressing past traumas, alongside any number of other things. We, by intention, don’t get to go unaffected by our own purposes. Perhaps that is where we find space for believing our purpose is only about us and what we can achieve.
Friend, if we could understand that our purpose is about God and that it belongs to Him, we would create the room in our hearts for God to do “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think”. Ephesians 3:20
Now, it’s your turn. This is your opportunity to reconnect with your purpose. These journal prompts are meant to help you along your journey:
1. Take a moment to examine the beliefs and desires you have about your purpose flourishing. Write down what stands out.
2. What scares you about staying committed to the fulfillment of your purpose?
3. To be successful in your purpose, there is work to be done at the heart of who you are. What internal work have you been avoiding?
4. Seeing growth in your purpose can be difficult if you don’t measure what you’re looking for. What milestones can you set in the next week related to the internal work you’ll be doing?
5. Being intentional about your purpose will create changes to your current routines. How do you plan to make room for your purpose so that the work you’ve done is reflected long-term?
Friend, I want you to remember that you were specially chosen by God. He loves you deeply and He intends to see everything that He put in you come to fruition. Our problems arise when we take this journey on ourselves and run out ahead of Him; or worse, stop moving altogether.
Recommit every day if you must, just remember each day is a new opportunity to flourish in your God-given purpose. Waste the opportunity and see everything stay the same. Or, stay determined and see even your smallest achievement become part of the story where you overcame.
This piece is written by Esther Smith and is a part of the Haystack Creative series. Follow this series with micro-content on Instagram & Facebook.