Purpose of LifeQUESTION: Purpose of life - Do I have a specific purpose?ANSWER:
We've heard it called the rat race - that endless treadmill where people exhaust themselves in pursuit of money, prestige, power, or fame. Some of us climb aboard just to escape the boredom of daily existence - only to find ourselves unable to stop running as we look for the purpose of life.
What we are really looking for is something to fill a void that is in each one of us - a vacuum that is put there by God and can be filled only by Him. It is God's way of making sure each of us - even those who don't believe in Him - keep searching until we find Him and the purpose of life He has for us.
What we will find is a far different race and a far greater purpose than the one we've been endlessly toiling toward on our own strength. The Apostle Paul describes it this way in Acts 20:24:
"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
This task has always been the same - to worship and glorify God and His kingdom and to spread His love to others. Yet, miraculously and wonderfully, it is different for each one of us, based on our God-given gifts and talents.
Part of the beauty of God's creation is that we are all to live in community and in harmony together, as if each of us was a part of a single living body.
Romans 12:4-8 describes it this way: "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
To find this purpose, we need to get to know God. This is best done by learning to pray regularly for His will and by reading His word in Scripture so we have a better understanding of who He is. We may find we naturally start using our talents and abilities in new ways - ways that help bring others closer to God.
This doesn't mean we will all quit our jobs and become missionaries. God calls each of us to bring His Word where we are. He needs emissaries in every occupation, in every walk of life, in every corner of the globe.
So we may not change jobs, but by dedicating our work to God's purpose, the job itself will be transformed into something wonderful.