Discovering Your Purpose

As a pastor the primary question people ask me is “How do I discover my purpose in life?” Normally when someone ask this, he is referring to finding a career path that he enjoys. The thought behind the question is great! Everyone wants something to live for, a reason to wake up in the morning, a feeling that they are contributing to something much bigger than themselves. However, I believe the question is misguided.

Let me explain. I don’t think your purpose is discovered. I think it’s already been stated. If you’re a Christian I believe that Jesus has already told you what your purpose is - and it’s not a particular career path. If you place your purpose in a career you are going to wind up sorely disappointed at the end of your life.

Let’s say you’re a doctor. And your purpose is to help sick people get well. That’s a good purpose but it falls short of being a GREAT purpose. Because at some point that sick person is going to get irreparably sick and die. What then?

Or let’s say you’re a lawyer. And your purpose is to help people navigate litigation that could constrain them from living their goals. That’s a good purpose, but it falls short of being a GREAT purpose. Because while that person may have lived their goals for a period, at some point they’ll cease to live. What then?

Or let’s say you’re a teacher. And your purpose is to help students gain the knowledge and life skills to be a valuable and constructive member of society. That’s a good purpose but it falls short of being a GREAT purpose. Because at some point whatever he/she contributed to society is going to be forgotten. They’ll pass away and be nothing more than a footnote in history at best. What then?

You see a purpose CANNOT be found in a career. Instead, think of your career as a way to carry out the purpose Jesus already gave you!

Jesus stated our purpose in Matthew 28 with the LAST words he told us before he left earth to be with God in heaven:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Very simply put, Jesus said we must make the rest of our lives about seeing people far from Him come to know Him! We are to make the rest of our lives about REACHING PEOPLE FAR FROM GOD and TEACHING THEM HOW TO FOLLOW HIM STEP BY STEP!

Why did God call you to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a teacher? Because he needs doctors to reach doctors. He needs lawyers to reach lawyers. He needs teachers to reach teachers.

He has called you and placed you in the exact context He wants you in order for you to have maximum ETERNAL impact with your life! Your PURPOSE is to use your career as a platform to see more people come to know Him!! When you and I begin to wrap our hearts and minds around that, it changes EVERYTHING!

It changes how we wake up on Monday mornings. It changes how we interact with co-workers, bosses, and employees. It changes the attitude we carry with us to work! You and I are Jesus’ representation to whatever sphere of influence in which He’s placed us!

This week, I want to challenge you to be on mission. But not just to help sick people feel better, or help stuck people navigate litigation, or help students get an education. Help LOST people become FOUND!! Help BLIND people SEE! Help DEAD people come back to LIFE! Don’t us your career to change history; use it to change ETERNITY!

- Davey Blackburn

Davey Blackburn is the lead pastor of Resonate Church. You can find him on Twitter at @daveyblackburn.