The overwhelming majority of people on this planet never really discover the unique life purpose for which God created them. It seems materialism and the pursuit of all things good have overshadowed the deeper meaning of our life’s purpose. Few people, even serious Christians, are tuned in to the idea of finding and fulfilling their life purpose and divine destiny.
The reason Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose-Driven Life was such a runaway best seller, even in secular circles, is because his book touched a nerve in all who want to believe that life in general (and specifically our individual lives) must have some greater meaning and purpose. Oliver Wendell Holmes described the sad futility most people experience when he wrote, “Many people die with their music still in them.” In other words, what all these people could have been, and should have been, was never realized.
In the story of Esther, during a secret meeting, her Uncle Mordecai reveals to her a plot to kill all the Jews (of which she is one). What he said to her was quite profound. He connected this crisis of extinction for the Jews to her unlikely rise to become Queen of Persia. Mordecai asks her, And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14). He was basically saying, “Could it be, Esther, the reason God made you Queen is because He wants you to save His people from destruction?” Talk about feeling a sense of destiny.
There is something deep within our very beings that nags at us to find meaning and purpose. Too often, we try to satisfy it by making lots of money, accumulating nice things, pursuing power and prestige, etc. A multi-millionaire said some years ago—after spending a lifetime dedicated to climbing the ladder of success—that once he had finally reached the top he discovered, to his bitter disappointment, “the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.” All that he had gained in the climb to “success” was totally overshadowed by what he had lost in its pursuit—his health, wife, family, and friendships.
There are three things we must consider to discover the reason God created us:
#1. God has hard-wired us with certain passions.
God-given passions are the things that excite, motivate, and bring us enjoyment—it may be sports, building things, a moral or social cause, learning, or the arts. Each of us possesses a unique combination of God-given passions used to point us toward a specific purpose and enable us to fulfill it.
#2. God has given us a unique set of talents.
God-given talents are the things that come naturally to us. For some, it is the ability to sing or teach, for others athletics or mechanical understanding. Some people are incredibly artistic, while others have a natural ability to dream of what could be. If you are better at something than you should be for the time and effort you invest, it is probably a God-given talent. It could be a teenager who picks up a basketball for the first time and is surprisingly above average, or a child who captivates all by their singing and yet has never taken a voice lesson. A young man in college who had never taken piano lessons could sit down and play like he had been taking lessons his whole life. He could not read a note of music, but if he could hear the music, he could play it. These are all God-given gifts.
#3. God has planted within each of our hearts a God-given purpose.
God-given purpose has divine, eternal intention for which we have been created. It is not a general purpose such as worshiping Him or living a godly life; these things apply to all of us. A God-given purpose is a specific purpose that He wants us to accomplish for Him with our lives. When you find something to do with your life that is fueled by your God-given passions, utilizes your God-given talents, and accomplishes a God-given purpose, you will find “the fire within.”
Engaging in this activity will bring complete fulfillment and will leave you totally energized. It will feel similar to hitting the sweet spot on a baseball bat and hitting a home run! Now do not think that in order to find your fire within, you need to go into full-time Christian work, become a pastor, missionary, or Bible college professor (all worthy purposes for those who are called).
Instead, you may be like the man, who since he was sixteen years old, felt called by God to be a businessman. He used his passions and talents coupled with his God-given call to build a very substantial family business. He and his family are now impacting people worldwide with their Christian witness. They also have millions of dollars to give away from the success God has given them. Or you may be like a well-known commercial real estate developer who is using his passion for real estate and his talent for making multi-million dollar deals so he can support Kingdom causes that God has laid on his heart. This is his God-given purpose.
Most of you have seen how Tony Dungy, retired Super Bowl coach for the Indianapolis Colts, has used his God-given passion and talent for football as a platform to share the message of Christ with literally millions of people all over the world. He has shared with people who would otherwise maybe never step foot into a church building. This is yet another example of a worthy God-given purpose.
If you do not want to die with “your music still in you” or not knowing the reason why you were created, then be encouraged to discover your God-given passions, talents, and purpose. Find something you love and at which you are gifted and do it for God’s glory. It will fulfill your calling and have an eternal impact and you will indeed discover your fire within.