What is my purpose? People ask this question a lot nowadays. It seems like everyone, both in and out of the church, is trying to discover their life’s purpose. That’s great, and I do believe that God has a purpose for allowing each of us to come into this world, I believe He has things that He wants each of us to do on the earth and He knows the plans that He laid out for each individual person. I also believe that until a person fully surrenders their life to God, they won’t fully walk out the plans that God has for them.
Purpose is an awesome thing and we all want to live life with purpose; we all want to live full and fulfilled lives and do things that we love. However, I also believe that what we in the church today have defined and labeled as “purpose” is not purpose but assignment(s) and sometimes gifts He has given us to carry out those assignments. Christians often say things like, my purpose is to be a teacher, a preacher, to be a millionaire, a wife, a prophet, a lawyer, a businessman/woman, to travel the world and preach, etc. But in actuality, according to the Word of God, those things are not our purpose, those things are our assignments. When you are in Christ and called according to HIS purpose (see Rom. 8:28), those things can’t be our purpose because they aren’t HIS PURPOSE, they are assignments.
Purpose vs. Assignment
So, what’s the difference and the connection between PURPOSE and ASSIGNMENT? PURPOSE is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists; Something set up as an objective or end to be attained; intention. The thing is since before the creation of man, God already laid out a purpose – objective, intention, reason for creating – mankind. So if God has a purpose already laid out for us, that means we as His children can’t have a “purpose” that isn’t HIS PURPOSE. I want to highlight a few verses to explain this. The first verse is Genesis 1:26 which says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” God created mankind to be made into His image and likeness; this was His objective, His end goal, and His intention for our existence. Now ever since the fall of man, we’re no longer automatically born in His image and likeness, we are now born in a sinful nature – the nature of Adam, the first man. That’s why Jesus came to make us born-again through Him, the New Man. When we are born again, we go through the lifelong process of sanctification to be conformed to the image of the Son – Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Jesus came to help us get back on the track of fulfilling God’s original purpose, intention, and design for mankind. Jesus Christ came to return us back to The Father because the Father’s purpose for us was ALWAYS for us to be like Him in His image and likeness.
The second verse is Matthew 28:19-20 which says, “’Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” In this verse, Jesus was talking to His disciples. They had accepted Him and had begun the sanctification process of being made into the image and likeness of God. Now they were commissioned with the purpose of making more disciples; they were commissioned to help in the work of tuning mankind back to the heart of the Father so that those they discipled/ministered to could, in turn, be made back into the image and likeness of God. Jesus’ purpose for making disciples was for them to go and make more disciples and help in accomplishing the original purpose that God had for mankind. When we become born-again by giving our lives to Christ, His initial purpose for us is to make us into His image and likeness. The verse in Genesis is backed up in Romans 8:29, which says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” So, these two verses tell us that from the beginning of time, mankind was predestined – purposed – to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. So, OUR GOD-GIVEN PURPOSE IS TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD AND TO WIN SOULS TO THE KINGDOM. John 3:16 tells us that Jesus died for the whole world and whoever chooses to believe in Him will not perish. Whoever chooses to believe in Him will fulfill HIS purpose for their life of being made in His image, by becoming a disciple and will essentially be commissioned to go and win other souls to Him so they too can fulfill their purpose of being conformed to the image of the Son. This is our purpose! This is God’s purpose – desire, objective, end goal, intention – for EVERY SINGLE human being.
Someone can be a teacher, a doctor, or even a preacher, and never really allow God to conform them into His image or win souls to the Kingdom. Someone can be a millionaire and still die not having fulfilled God’s true purpose for them. You can be a successful business owner and accomplish all of YOUR purposes for your life but still die full of the purposes and plans that God had for you because you never submitted to Him. Purpose – God’s purpose, goes far beyond the positions and the titles we fill.
So, if our purpose is the same – to be conformed to the image of Christ and win souls to the kingdom – then what is our assignment? Our assignment is HOW we win souls to Him. The way God uses each of us to accomplish that goal of winning souls to the Kingdom and turning the hearts of man back to the Father is different. God can have you to be a husband/wife, a banker, or a businessman/woman, a missionary, etc., but those things are your assignment(s) to accomplish GOD’S PURPOSE. Your assignment is the vehicle and the ground He uses to help accomplish and fulfill His purpose. ASSIGNMENT is defined as a position, post, or office to which one is assigned; A specific task or amount of work assigned or undertaken as if assigned by an authority. God has given each of His children at least one assignment, He has specifically and uniquely assigned each of us to do something on this earth and to use that thing as a vehicle to win/minister to souls.
Your assignment is not your purpose, your assignment helps you fulfill your purpose which is God’s purpose. I wholeheartedly believe that you can have more than one assignment in each season and in life. And your assignment isn’t necessarily a career/career path, it can be to visit sick people in the hospital or to help out a family member for some time; your assignment can be to serve someone or serve a ministry for a period of time. Even being a student is an assignment if you understand that your main purpose for being at that school is to be a light to the other students. In all those tasks, God will use you to minister to souls in word and/or in action. He will use you to be a light and to compel men to come to Him or encourage those who already know Him to continue in Him. God even uses your assignment to shape and mold you. All of those things – everything He tasks you with – work together for your good and according to HIS purpose (Rom. 8:28).
There are many people all over the world doing the things that we call “purpose” today, but they don’t even know God. That’s why it’s possible to have those titles and positions and still not be walking in purpose. The world has its many purposes, but when you come into God you’re called according to HIS purpose, not your own. And you allow Him to lead you concerning the assignment(s) He has for your life. He knows the gifts, talents, and the skill sets He has given you. He knows how to develop them, and how He wants to use them to work together for HIS PURPOSE. When we walk in God’s purpose and assignments for our life, it will blow our minds and be much greater and more fulfilling than any purpose we could ever call ourselves to.
Identity Is In Who You Are, Not What You Do
When you believe that your purpose is your titles, positions, skills, and talents, then you will place your identity in those things, you will place your value and your worth in WHAT YOU DO instead of in WHO YOU ARE. So many people are caught up in validating themselves by trying to discover and walk in “their purpose.” The beautiful thing about being called according to God’s purpose is that it makes you a SON before you ever do any works. The moment you accept Christ and surrender your life to Him, you are adopted into SONSHIP (Rom. 8:15-16). Your identity is in being a son (son applies to males and females, sons and daughters). Your identity is not rooted in what you’ll do in life or what you’ll do for God. Before God even shows you or gives you any assignments, He wants to make you rooted in sonship first.
Many people are trying to discover their “purpose” but haven’t begun to walk in SONSHIP yet. Many Christians are praying and fasting for God to show them their “purpose,” but they haven’t even learned to be yielded and obedient to Him as a son. The “purpose craze” is very similar to the “relationship craze”: I just got saved yesterday, now I want God to put me in a relationship and show me who my husband is. I just got saved yesterday, and now I want God to show me my purpose and let me walk in it right away. It’s the Martha syndrome – We want to go work and do all these wonderful things for God, but we haven’t sat down at His feet long enough to even learn of Him, learn His ways, or allow Him to deliver us from our worldly ways and mindsets. We want to skip the process and skip discipleship; we want to skip being made into the image and likeness of God and run off and try to represent God in our self-made, self-ordained relationships and purposes, and then have the nerve to put God’s name on it even though it looks nothing like God and poorly represents Him. The church looks the way it does today because we try to skip God’s process. God is not going to show you your purpose (which is really your assignment) before He teaches you what it is to be a son, and how to WALK in sonship. How can you properly represent a God that you have not taken the time out to really get to know? He wants to make you a son and teach you sonship BEFORE He adds these things (assignments, relationships, etc.) to you. He wants to make you mature in sonship so when He adds these things to you, people see HIM and not your flesh. He wants to conform you into the image of Christ before you sends you out to represent Him.
Sons are made into the image and likeness of God. Sons are led by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14), not by their own desires. Sons are submitted to God. Sons do what the Father says to do and go where the Father says to go, just as Jesus did. Sons go through a process of learning how to hear and obey the Father’s voice and leading. Sons know that if they never do anything for God, He still loves them, and they are accepted in Him. Sons know that if they never stand up on a stage to preach or never see their name in lights or on flyers and programs, they still have identity greater than any of that. Sons don’t try to get attention or glory for themselves, they know that EVERYTHING that they do is for The Father and for HIS glory alone. Sons know that GOD sets up the stages and platforms He wants them to be on for HIS glory, they don’t try to open their own doors because it’s not about them. Sons know that they represent the Father in everything. You’d be surprised by how many people call themselves walking in God’s purpose, and even ministering and yet do not understand these fundamental things. The fruit of their work speaks for itself. They jump to trying to walk in their purpose because it’s a form of validation for them. And honestly, it’s the “new thing,” the “it thing” in Christendom right now. Many people are jumping on it without first digging into the Word to see what God has to say about purpose.
So many people try to find their identity and purpose in being a prophet, evangelist, pastor, speaker, minister, nurse, and so on but haven’t yet understood what it means to be a son. We as the church have begun putting all of our value in what we can do for God and what we can do for society, to the point that if we’re not doing anything or if we haven’t discovered our “purpose” we feel useless. The thing is, those positions and titles in themselves hold little power and the power in them is very limited. Our true power comes from being SONS OF GOD. Your sonship helps you to walk in your positions and titles with POWER, AUTHORITY, and PURPOSE. And if those positions and titles are ever taken away, you still have power and you can still walk in purpose because they aren’t tied to what you do but to who and Who’s you are. What is your identity found in?
Your Purpose Is Not About You
The way purpose is preached today, you would think it’s ALL about YOU – your desires, your dreams, your goals, your ambitions, your plans for your life. Purpose in God is not about you, IT’S ABOUT HIM. Romans 8:28 even tells us that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” That verse clearly lets us know that God calls us according to HIS PURPOSE, not our own. Why would God tell you to die to your flesh and then make your purpose all about you – someone who’s supposed to be dead?? When you read the Gospels, you see that when Jesus called the disciples it was never about their objective, their aim, their goals, their wishes, or their purpose. The disciples NEVER created or chose their own purpose, Christ already had a purpose laid out for them since the beginning of time. In fact, Jesus told them to lay down their life. Many of them had occupations, families, and ways of living that clearly suited them. But Jesus told them to follow Him and He would make them into fishers of men.
God’s purpose for mankind has always been about winning souls, it has ALWAYS been about reconciling man back to God and returning the hearts of the children back to the Father. We have taken it and twisted it to make it about our ministry, our platform, our stage, our calling, our agenda, our businesses, how we want to be used and seen, etc. All the while we have used the name of God to cover up our true motives and intentions. GOD IS NOT PLEASED! We’ve been preaching purpose all wrong and it has led to a false gospel and a false Christianity that is all about YOU. We make decisions that benefit us instead of other souls. We don’t even consider that God may want to put us in uncomfortable situations to put us in position to witness to a soul. Nowadays, anything that makes you uncomfortable and doesn’t fit your plan is not from God. But when we read the word, it’s very clear that God made the disciples very uncomfortable. He made them uncomfortable so that He could disciples them – conform them into His image, and send them forth into the world to change the whole world. This began a ripple effect throughout history of disciples making disciples. These disciples turned the world UPSIDE DOWN, but it began by God first making them uncomfortable. God’s objective has always been souls.
If you look throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, when God called or used someone, it was for the PURPOSE of saving souls (Joseph, Moses, Esther, The Disciples, Apostle Paul, etc.). It was never about them. He gave them different ASSIGNMENTS (ways to fulfill His purpose) but their PURPOSE was always the same, it never veered off of the initial purpose that God has for mankind. We will all be used in different ways, our assignments will be unique to each of us, but the purpose for the assignments will always be the same – to win souls. If your assignment is to be a housewife and stay at home mother, then as you raise your kids and tend to your home, you are training them up in the ways of God so when they leave the house, they can be equipped as sons and daughters of God who are equipped to win souls. You are to help your husband fulfill his assignments and God’s purpose for his life and your marriage. When you go out to the grocery store or meet with other moms, ask God how you can win and minister to the souls you come across. If your assignment is to be an elementary school teacher, you cross paths with many souls, young and old, who need to see the light and love of Christ. If your assignment is to be a business owner, as you are working to build your business, you should be a light and a representation of Christ in your industry and to your employees and contractors; it shouldn’t just be about making money. You are a SON first and foremost before you are a business owner, Kingdom agenda always comes before your own.
We have to shift our mindset to knowing that our purpose is ALL about Jesus and building the Kingdom. Our purpose is to first and foremost be conformed to the image of Christ which requires death to self. And as we are being conformed, when God sees fit, He will begin to reveal the specific assignments He has for us to help fulfill His purpose for mankind. The truth is if you think that your purpose is your positions and titles, then when you feel like you have accomplished those things, then you’ll stop working; you’ll think you’ve done all that you were meant to do and souls will never be your focus. But in reality, as long as there is breath in your body, God can still use you to fulfill His purpose and He is still fulfilling His purpose in you. Kingdom citizens don’t take breaks, we never stop building the Kingdom. As long as we are still on this earth, God has work for us to do, even if it’s as simple as telling someone that Jesus loves them or interceding for the lost in our private time, it’s work and it’s an assignment. So, either you’re going to be sold out to Christ and your life is going to be about Him and HIS PURPOSE, or it’s going to be all about you, but it can’t be both.
How Do I Discover My Assignments?
Now, these are the questions that we should be asking: What is my assignment and how do I discover it? How does God want to use me to help fulfill His purpose? One of my favorite verses, Romans 12:1-2, puts it pretty well: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” When you lay down your life to God as an act of worship and allow Him to transform and renew your mind, then you will be able to discern the perfect will of God. God can’t trust you with His assignments if you won’t first lay down your life and second allow Him to transform you. If you haven’t died or are unwilling to die to your old nature, then you are not ready to receive any new things in Christ. He has to renew your mind by giving you the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). God can’t give you any assignments if His purpose of you being conformed to the image of Christ isn’t taking place. Only sons can go out and make more sons, only disciples can go out and make more disciples. Many of you are in church and working in church buildings but you have never made the transition of becoming a son of God, you haven’t become His disciple yet. This is honestly the first step.
Then you have to wait on Him. God releases things to us in HIS timing, not our own. We may want God to tell us certain things, but if it’s not time yet for those things to be revealed, then we simply have to wait. But what do you do while you wait? You continue to serve and live for God. Remember, His purpose for you is first and foremost to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is a lifelong process. Even after you know what your specific assignments are, you are still being conformed to the image of Christ Jesus, and you will continue on this journey until you take your last breath. Being conformed to the image of Christ is the best process we could ever go through – it’s a lifelong process of sanctification. It has its ups and downs, but it’s a beautiful journey and it prepares us for eternity. God uses EVERY aspect of our life to conform, shape, and mold us into His image. Also, while you are waiting, there are some roles you play in your life right now. You may be a daughter/son, an uncle/auntie, an employee, a student, a manager, etc. Ask God how He wants to use you in these roles to minister to people around you. He may simply show you certain things about those around you and ask you to fast and pray for them consistently. He may have you encourage or minister to them here and there. He may have you to serve them in different ways so they can see the love of God. He will ask you to love on them when they mistreat you. These are ways and things that God uses to one, conform you, and two, use you to win souls to Him.
Sometimes we’re waiting for God to give us these huge assignments and tasks for the Kingdom, but He really wants us to be faithful where we are right now. He can’t trust us with much if we are not faithful with little. So many people want to be sent to the nations, but they can’t even show love to their rude co-worker. We pass by people every day who are going through so many things and we don’t have a heart to pray for them, encourage them or witness to them. We want to bypass the nations that are right in front of us and jump to the nations across the ocean because it looks and feels way more glamorous. You have to have a heart for souls in order to be sent to the nations, but it has to begin with the souls right in front of you. Be faithful over what and who God has placed in front of you, be faithful about yielding to God and allowing Him to take you through that conforming/transforming/renewing process, and in HIS DUE TIME, He will entrust you with more. Just remember that no matter how He uses you, it is ALWAYS about HIS PURPOSE and SOULS, not about you.
Let Jesus Be Your Example
Jesus Christ is our example. He came with The Father’s purpose in mind. Not once did He veer from doing The Father’s will. If we are called to be like Him, then this has to be our heart and mindset as well.
God’s desire is that no man should perish and that all have the chance to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus came to give all of us a chance to repent. If we’re called to follow His example, then what we do has to revolve around offering salvation to those we come across. This is our purpose!
If you’re not called according to God’s purpose or don’t want to be, then you can say that your purpose (objective, aim, end goal) is to be a (fill in the blank), because you’ve created your own purpose. But if you belong to Jesus and you are a SON of God, then your only purpose is to be conformed to the image of Christ and win souls for the Kingdom. EVERY BELIEVER is called to minister and help build the Kingdom in some way. This work isn’t just reserved for those who are “called to ministry.” Ministry is your everyday life; we’re all called to ministry in some way. A minister is simply a servant. You may not have the official title of a minister, but you are called to serve people for the Kingdom in some way, shape or form. God wants to use you in some capacity.
As you take on the mind of Christ and follow His example, you will find yourself serving and ministering without anyone ever giving you a title because it will be a lifestyle, a lifestyle filled with walking in the PURPOSE OF GOD! The earth patiently waits for the SONS OF GOD – those called according to His purpose – to rise up and manifest HIS PURPOSE on the earth (Rom. 8:19).
True sons walk in their Father’s purpose, not in their own. Walk in purpose!