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Finding my God-given purpose has been the most defining moment in my life so far. I mean, obviously right? Figuring out the reason you were born SHOULD be the most defining moment of your life.
But seriously, I love that I get to do something beyond working day in and day out for a living. I get to touch the lives of others (like you) with my writing and encourage you on your own purpose-journey with the lessons I’ve learned. I feel like I’m making a difference, however small, in the life of someone else.
But looking back, I realized that in the process of discovering my purpose; I found quite a few other things along the way. Here are 6 other things I found when I discovered my purpose.
When I gave my life to Jesus, I understood that God loved me so much that He sacrificed His Son for me. But it took 10 more years before I understood how truly unconditional that love is. In the Peshitta, the Aramaic version of the Bible, the word used for love in John 3:16 is “chav”. It means “an open-ended love; a love not necessarily returned. This means that from the beginning, God has loved the world; everyone ever created, without expecting anything in return. There are no conditions to His love. There is nothing so great that I can do to earn His love and nothing so awful that I can do to cause Him to stop loving me. He simply loves me. This is what true love looks like.
Discovering and accepting the Father’s unconditional love for you is the first step to finding your purpose. And it helped me discover the very next thing I found…
As I accepted the Father’s love for me, I started to love myself the same way… unconditionally. And then… I began to see myself as He saw me. My identity isn’t in what I did for Him or others.
Realizing that God didn’t love me because of what I did for Him helped me to relax and just “be”. I didn’t have to be “Deborah, the mother” or “Deborah, the software developer”, or even “Deborah, the worship leader”. I am simply Deborah, a child of God.
You need to understand who you are before the Father will show you what you are meant to do. The Father’s heart, the place where true love lies, is where you will find your identity.
Realizing that God didn’t love me because of what I did for Him helped me to relax and just “be”.What a relief. I could just be me. I didn’t have to hide my flaws anymore (as if I could hide anything from Him). Or wear a mask and pretend everything was alright. I didn’t have to act as though my life was perfect. It was an enormous weight off my shoulders. “He sees the depths of my heart and he loves me the same”. If Father God could see my heart and still love me unconditionally, who was I to complain?
Father’s unconditional love gives you the courage to accept yourself as you are. If you mess up, others might look down on you, but He never will. He’s always there to guide you, help you pick up the pieces, and show you how to do better. And He will do it all with a Father’s love.
A Love for Others
When God looks at us, He does not see us as we are now. He sees us as who He created us to be. That doesn’t just apply to those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That applies to the entire world. Because He loved us FIRST.
My journey to the Father’s heart began when I asked Him to show me how much He loved me so that I could love others the same way. Let me warn you. If you’re going to ask Father God for the same thing, be prepared to love some hard-to-love people.
But if we’re going to bring the unsaved into the Kingdom of God, we have to demonstrate His love to them. Even when it’s challenging. When we look at them, we have to see them as He created them to be, love them like He does, and do our part to lead them into their own God-given purpose.
Before finding my purpose, it was hard for me to tell others about Jesus. Was I doing it right? Did I say the right thing? Did I use the correct scriptures? And when I did work up the courage to share and the person didn’t accept Jesus, I felt like a failure.
But I became so enamored by Father’s love for me, I wanted EVERYONE to know how much God loves them. I was so excited about the fact that He had crafted a unique purpose just for me. I wanted everyone to know that had a purpose, too.
So that’s what I’d tell people… every chance I got. As I drew closer to the Father, I would hear what was on His heart for someone and, if given the opportunity, I’d simply tell them what He said. More often than not, it would be about how much He loves them and that He had something special for them to do on earth. It was amazing to see the moment of clarity when someone understands that they were not created by chance. That they have a part in God’s grand plan.
Knowing my God-given purpose helped me to focus. No longer was I running after every good thing. I didn’t need to be a part of every ministry. I didn’t have to earn God’s love.
But I DID need to steward my purpose well. When I started this blog, I was still working full time and getting up at 3 a.m. was the only way I could find time to write uninterrupted. But this meant I had to get to bed earlier and couldn’t be as active in church ministry during the week. I had to learn to set boundaries and to say “No” so I could say “Yes” to the things that would move me toward my purpose. I understood that while there were a lot of good things I could do for the Lord, I don’t need to be involved in all of them.
There are plenty of good things you could do for God, but focus helps you to say yes to the ones that align with your purpose and not to the ones that don’t.
My journey to finding my purpose has changed my life in profound ways. I found true love, my true identity, and learned to accept myself with all my flaws. I also learned to see others through the Father’s eyes, developed the courage to tell them what’s on His heart, and the discipline to focus on the things that lead me toward His plans for me.
What about you? What other things have you found since you’ve discovered your purpose? Go ahead and share them in the comments.
Deborah Ruck @ As Bold As THE Lion blog