A Prayer for Clarity about Your God-Given Purpose
By Heather Caliri
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” – Psalm 138:8
My old friend Pedro leaned against my kitchen counter, drink in hand, and asked me a question I knew I should be able to answer.
“How is God using you these days, Heather?”
At the time, I didn’t give myself credit for how I already served God. I couldn’t recognize God’s purpose in my ordinary life because I didn’t really understand what purpose was. I couldn’t see it, even though it was right under my feet.
Here’s what I got wrong about finding my purpose.
1. I thought "purpose" was a fancy destination, not a long, dusty journey.
For most of my Christian life, I assumed finding my purpose was like a cosmic job search. I should put together a mental resume and seek out job openings (ministry or service opportunities) that fit my profile. When I landed a “purpose,” I should keep it for life.
In truth, our purpose is an ever-evolving, multifaceted apprenticeship to Jesus, not a single, clearly defined role that lasts forever.
I’ve found great comfort in realizing that the ebbs and flows of my life are both modeled in Scripture (wandering the desert, anyone?) and reflected in nature (the cycles of tides, moons, and even my own body.) I’m on a long journey towards God’s kingdom, not parked ‘til retirement in a cosmic cubicle.
2. I thought "purpose" would be prestigious, but I’ve often found it in the mundane.
Your mundane, purpose-driven but less-than-loved tasks might look different than mine—making peace with singleness, caring for an elderly parent, or enduring financial hardship. We all live ordinary lives with ordinary, necessary, but not-fun challenges.
3. I thought ‘purpose’ was deadly serious, but it's brought me deep joy.
Serving God is ultimately pleasurable. Seeking his purpose should bring us deep joy.
That does not mean it’s a walk in the park; we will endure hardship, work humbly at thankless tasks, and be braver than we prefer. But if our purpose doesn’t, on the whole, make us alive, something is terribly wrong.
4. I thought finding "my purpose" was up to me, but God brings purpose to our lives.
God creates in us every gift and ability that allows us to be useful. His Spirit gives us bravery, wisdom, and fortitude. He shepherds and guides us. We can do nothing apart from His power.
Lord, thank you for helping me find clarity about my purpose. Help me remember that I ultimately can find satisfying purpose when I seek after you. Lord, as I work to understand my purpose more fully, I pray that your joy would be present. I pray for grace and wisdom. Help me long to serve you above myself, even above others. Help me walk daily in dependence of you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Editor’s Note: This devotional was adapted from 4 Things I Got Wrong about My God-Given Purpose by Heather Caliri. You can read that article in full here.
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Originally published Sunday, 02 May 2021.