(By Michelle Snippe)
My daughter and I were discussing the other day the desire of younger women to “know their purpose.” We both agreed that we sometimes complicate the answer to that question, and that really, the simple answer is this: live for the glory of God.
That is our primary goal and God-given purpose in life.
But that’s slightly vague, I know. We kind of want a bit more than that so we can point our compass in the right direction and get to doing all the specifics God has for us to do.
Well, if you’re hanging on the edge of your seat waiting for me to give you that “bit more” so you can get on with those “specifics,” I might disappoint you. But what I do have for you is Scripture, and we know that the light of God’s Word shines on our feet to lead us where God wants us to go.
Proverbs 3:5,6 says,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and he will make your paths straight.”
When we trust God and His plan for us and we avoid using our limited understanding to try to create our own path, God will direct us to our purpose.
That, paired with Philippians 2:13, which says, “For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose,” builds the framework for knowing and living out our purpose.
Avoid relying on our limited understanding.
Get to know Him.
Be sensitive to His voice.
Then, we’ll know the next right thing to do.
That’s what one of my favorite authors and podcast hosts Emily P. Freeman always says: just do the next right thing in love.
I get it — that doesn’t sound super significant. We like to feel like our purpose is big on this earth. But I don’t think that “feeling” necessarily comes from doing big things. Famous things. Ground-breaking things. It can, but not always. Some days, it truly is just about the next right thing.
The next right thing God whispers in our ear. (Help the young mom.) The next right thing we read about in God’s Word. (Encourage that suffering sister.)
The next right thing in life sitting right in front of us. (Make the meal without complaint!)
If we truly want to live a life of purpose according to God’s definition of purpose, I think we spend time with Him, we listen to His voice, we fulfill the command to love Him, love people, and trust Him to lead our way. It’s not a “formula,” but it is direction.
I recently heard someone say that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet, not to our football field.
Isn’t that the truth!?
So often we want the big picture. We want to know that what we are doing at this moment is going to have value and make a difference in the world. Listen, YOU have value so whatever you do that is done for the Lord, with His good purposes in view, and gives Him glory has value. No question about it.
Maybe we don’t have to spend so much time figuring out what the grand purpose of our life is, but rather simply pay attention to the arrows along the way that align with His Word, while listening to God, trusting that He is placing them along our path to lead us to what He has for us to do.
Remember, this life is not about us. It’s about God and giving all the glory to Him. Follow Him, friend. He’ll always lead you to your purpose.