Perhaps you have heard it said that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Have you ever thought to yourself, “What is that plan?” Maybe even, “If you love me, can you tell me?” Some of us feel like we would do exactly what God wants, if He just told us. Others spend their lives wondering what they are “supposed” to be doing. How do you know if you are doing what you were made to do?
Several weeks ago Shanna was not able to be at church because she was at home with sick kids. When I came home she asked me how the day went. I told her there was a moment when I was praying and realized I had been doing exactly what God wanted me to do by preaching the gospel that morning.
I believe we all have something we are made for, where our purpose, placement and personality meet.
Purpose: We all have a purpose in life. Very simply stated we were created for God’s glory (Isa 43:1-7; Col 1:16). That seems very general though. What does it look like for us to glorify God? For followers of Jesus we are given a very specific mission that fulfills our purpose of glorifying God. That mission is to share Jesus with the nations. It is called the great commission and is stated at the end of each Gospel account and in Acts (Mark 16:15, Matt 28:18-20; John 20:21; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8). It is not optional, and it is not fuzzy in anyway. It is a mandate from the King. It looks different for each of us based on our placement and personality.
Placement: God has placed each one of us in a specific place at a specific time. You weren’t born in the 1500’s, 1800’s or even the 2100’s. You were born at this point in time in human history. You live in a specific part of the world. You had specific parents and as a result have had specific experiences (Acts 17:26-28). That is your placement and it wasn’t an accident.
Personality: Everyone of us has a personality. Some people are introverts, some extraverts. Some people are A type and some are B type. Everyone of us has a personality that is given to us by God and shaped through our experiences, and each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Each one of us bears the image of God through who we are (Gen 1:27). One of the amazing things is no two people are exactly the same. God through the unique way He created you and the specific experiences He has given you, has formed your likes and dislikes, your sense or humor and seriousness. God has made you and developed you to relate with the world around you in a way that is very unique to you.
So what were you made for? Well, you were made for that place where your purpose, placement and personality intersect. That spot where God fulfills His purpose in your life through your sphere of influence and your personality. Do you know what it is like to do what you were made for?
I love what Peter and John say when they are standing before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4 and are commanded to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:20 “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Jeremiah says it like this, Jeremiah 20:9 But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
In other words, I have to do this. This is what I was made for. They found that place where their purpose intersected with their placement and personality. Where is that for you? What were you made for?
Some helpful resources on this topic: