I want to start this post with this verse in mind…
Philippians 2:13NIV “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose”
I am sure you have asked yourself and people have asked you; “what is your purpose in life?” or “what do you think your calling is?” I know I have asked these questions to myself numerous times throughout my life. When I read this verse from Philippians it hit me. The question on calling and purpose have halfway been answered through this verse. It is God who works in us to will and act. This tells me that God does the work in our life to fulfill His purpose in our life. But, there is one important thing we must do for God to work in us. We must allow Christ into our life through a relationship with Him, so He can work in us to fulfill His good purpose.
If we invite the Lord into our life and establish that close relationship with Him, He will show us the way to our calling and purpose. This is where most people get stuck as they try and figure their life out by trying different things to discover what their calling is. For some people this could come naturally, but for most out there it can be a long drawn out discovery process. Your calling can be multiple things throughout your lifetime. It can be a calling to serve somewhere, it can be a calling to lead somewhere, or it can be a calling to play in a worship band at the age of 65, you never can tell what God has in store for you if you don’t communicate with Him and get close to Him. So, first thing is first, seek the Lord, then seek your calling.
Seeking a relationship with Christ and understanding His word can help you to recognize His will and His good purpose. You must strengthen your spiritual life through prayer and worship, and be spiritually cognizant of how He works through you daily. Through understanding you will realize that He is providing you with direction and all you must do is follow it. You are the one driving, but God is giving you the directions.
If you are at that point where you think you will never be called to do anything, then it’s time to strengthen your relationship with God. If you feel you have a strong relationship with Him but are still having a difficult time finding your calling, then maybe it’s time for you to start putting in more effort. God will pave the way in this relationship with Him, but He is not going to hand you a future on a silver platter. He wants you to pursue it and work for it.
God’s calling for you is a gift that you need to discover. When you do, you need to own it with all your heart and soul by putting in every ounce of effort to make it possible. When you put in your work, God will do His work in you to fulfill His good purpose!
An important feature of the Framework to Life and what will be an integral part of the content of the book is character. Character is important because it makes up who we are as beings and what people see on the outside. Most important, it is what God sees in our hearts as we live for Him.
Achieving success as you live for God’s purpose is no easy task and requires certain qualities. Qualities such as strength, courage, and perseverance are easy and quick to remember when you are talking about achieving success. The qualities I am referring to, however, are those of conduct which a lot of people tend forget about during times of struggle or in the heat of the moment. Most of the time life can get so busy that we easily forget about God’s Word and how He wants us to conduct ourselves. The more time we spend away from scripture, the more we separate ourselves from Christ. When I went through the Armor of God series last year, I mentioned that the only weapon we have is God’s Word which the Apostle Paul referred to as the Sword of the Spirit. Just like any sword used for battle, knowledge of God’s Word must be maintained and sharpened consistently. Our mind is what takes the knowledge of God’s Word in, before it is inscribed into the tablets of our hearts. Having consistent knowledge of His Word will keep us sharpened so we do not forget the principle values that we must strive to live by every day.
For this article I am listing a segment of scripture that relates to Godly character and conduct as a reminder for all of us. Everyone knows the fruits of the Spirit which Paul presented in Galatians 5. If you have not read Galatians 5 then I highly recommend you sharpen your sword over Paul’s words. Also read Colossians 3 for extra sharpening of character.
The segment I want to discuss is coming from the Old Testament in the Book of Psalms. Particularly Psalm 15 which is titled “A Psalm of David”. This Psalm is about a person’s character as they dwell with the Lord. As you walk with the Lord throughout your life, do you exhibit the kind of character He wants you to project to the world? By looking at the character traits written in this Psalm, most of us can say, this looks pretty simple. But, think about how you conduct yourself during times of hardships and struggle. Do these character traits suddenly get thrown out the window?
I simplified each character trait from chapter 15 for easy reference and mixed in three different versions: NKJV, NIV, and ESV. When I read scripture I normally go through different translations to get a better understanding of God’s Word. Read through these traits below and ask yourself if this is how you conduct yourself as a child of God. If not then lets get to work. For me personally, I can say I have my weaknesses and I also have work to do.
Look at each character trait listed below and think of a recent time where you might have failed to meet one of the standards listed. Also, think about a time where you feel you exhibited this character. Its good to study God’s Word so we can see where we may fall short and see where our strengths are when it comes to personal conduct.
“The Framework to Life is about reaching success with a purpose in life alongside a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is living a life of passion with an eternal purpose.”
Above is the opening statement on the “About Framework to Life” page. I am going to break this down so I can describe how important it is to know what your purpose in life is. Your purpose is also known as your calling. It can be your occupation, hobby, raising a family, building a ministry, or whatever you feel you are called by God to do.
“Reaching success with a purpose” is how I start explaining the framework. Success can be anything someone wants to achieve, whether it’s a short goal in life or a lifelong journey. But I add the kicker, which is the key word, “purpose“. Your purpose is the intention behind what you want to accomplish, it’s the why, the intent, and the reason. As we continue on with the same sentence, here is the most important part, “alongside a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ”. Adding this statement now changes the outlook of your purpose. Why? Read the next sentence from that same statement “It is living a life of passion with an eternal purpose”. Living a life that is bonded to a relationship with Christ means you live for Him and as He lives in you. If He lives in you, then you live a life according to God’s Spirit. If God’s Spirit dwells in you, then you can understand that your purpose in life is now eternal, meaning the purpose we are living for today on this earth may continue on to eternity. Think of it this way, if you live for eternity and every righteous thing you do becomes noticed by those who live in the flesh, there is potential there for them to be changed by God through you. You become a beacon of light for the Lord’s kingdom. This is how God intervenes in people’s lives by using others for His purpose. If this is the case and you eventually see these people living in God’s kingdom, don’t you think this is an eternal impact? I would think so. If you leave a legacy behind you of changing lives after the Father has taken you home to Heaven, wouldn’t your legacy continue to impact eternity?
I am not here to tell you how to find out what your purpose in life is, that is up to you and the Lord. Having a relationship with Him by reading His word and communicating with Him through prayer along with wise council will give you those answers. This framework is simply a way to help guide and protect what your purpose is as you embark on a journey to achieve the dreams that come with it.
There are two words to avoid in life and two words to look forward to. Two words to avoid are “only if”. Two simple words we use every day but when you put them together, there becomes a sense of regret. “Only if” I would have pushed myself a little harder, “only if” I would have taken that opportunity, “only if” I had the courage. Depending how your life is at the point of “only if”, with regret comes remorse, guilt, and maybe depression. Don’t get caught up in an “only if” life.
The two words to look forward to in life are “thank you”. With thank you there is a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. You have received something that you need. God has provided you what you needed so you want to live the life of thanks. “Thank you” Lord for giving me the opportunities, “thank you” Jesus for providing me courage and salvation, “thank you” Father for giving me courage and being my stronghold!
Bottom line is to recognize the gifts God has given you to serve and glorify His name. Use them to fulfill your life’s purpose for Him and yourself.
A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.