What is my purpose?

I don’t know about you, but purpose is a really important thing for me. Purpose can be defined as ‘The reason for which something was created or for which something exists’ and finding, knowing and understanding the reason why I was placed on this earth is what I long for each and every day.  It is so essential for us as humans to feel that we do have a reason for existing because, put simply, a sense of purpose makes us feel needed and valued and reminds us to think of something other than our own lives.

  • We all have a purpose – Jeremiah 1v5 ‘Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.’

Of course we all have an individual purpose. Some of us were sent to be doctors who save lives everyday; some to be teachers, to mould and inspire young minds; and still others, to be pastors and mentors to spiritually guide others through life. The common theme in each of these things is that, no matter what our purpose and our passions, they have been hand selected and placed on our hearts by our God.

  • We were created to glorify Him – Romans 9v17 ‘I made you for this reason: to show my power in you so that my name will be talked about in all the earth.’

But it can be easy to get caught up in our earthly purpose- our job or education or what we think we ought to be doing with our lives and, despite each of these unique and personal purposes, we all have the same one; one which, ultimately, is so much more important than anything else we may feel called to. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks the question, ‘What is the chief end of man?’, and the answer: ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.’ Personally, I find the words here quite overwhelming- while the message itself is not taken directly from scripture, the wisdom behind it most certainly is. If we, in all that we do, were to glorify God, we would always be doing good for the world. But it can be easy to be sucked into the whirlwind of technicalities of trying to always to do the right, or the good thing when really all He wants from us is that we enjoy His presence and rest in His love.

  • His plan is the one that never fails – Proverbs 19v21 ‘People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord’s plan will happen.

C.S. Lewis once said, ‘The Catechism says that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.’ I think the sentiment with which he speaks here is one which understands the true meaning of what the catechism describes as ‘man’s chief end’. God created us. In His image He created us. Male and female He created us. To enjoy and nurture a relationship with Him, our Heavenly Father, He created us. And this is all He asks: that we enjoy Him forever.

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