A person standing with their back to the camera facing a subway train. The train is moving by at a speed that makes it a blur.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Recently, I had a man share with me that he felt that he had no purpose.  More than we might realize that typifies what many people feel today.  One might be very successful in terms of making a living, raising a family, having significance in the community but still feel as if his life is being wasted–having no purpose.

The greatest realization of purpose one can have is to in accord with the will of God.  God has a plan for each of us, which, when fulfilled, gives one the greatest sense of being “on track” that he can have.  If he is not fulfilling the will of God, no matter how successful he is in a worldly sense, he will feel incomplete and insecure.

First, God planned a path of perfect obedience for us before the foundations of the world.  Paul assured us of the master plan of God when he said:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

God told Jeremiah:

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Secondly, God designed us from the point of our very conception.  The Psalmist affirmed:

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.   My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them” (Psalm 139:13-17).

Thirdly, God has planned the very steps that we take.  Again the Psalmist said:

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24).

For one to realize God’s purpose in his life there are some very fundamental things that he must observe:

Foundational to everything else must be one’s submission to the Lordship of Jesus in every area of his life.  Many tend to have a form of cubical existence wherein they put life into a variety of separate categories: family, recreation, business, social relationships, church, etc. in which they relate Christ to some areas of life but not to others.  There is an old saying that goes something like this:  “If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all!î  One cannot live his life with selective submission to Jesus and expect to realize the purpose of God for his life.  Jesus expressed it this way:ìAnd why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say”  (Luke 6:46)?

Obedience to the will of God.  Obedience involves knowing and doing the will of God.  Some find it particularly difficult to know the will of God.  I would not suggest that it should be easy.  There are several ways one might realize what the will of God his life is, including: intuitive understanding, revelation through circumstances, wise counsel, and hindsight.

Obedience requires one to walk in the best light he has, attempting the best he can to do what he perceives the will of God to be for his life.  Proverbs expresses this way:

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26-27).

Selective obedience is, in effect, failure to obey.  Obedience postponed constitutes disobedience.

Saturating oneself with the Word of God.  One cannot expect to know the voice of God and to be able to trust him in faithful obedience unless he saturates himself with the Word.  God gave the following command to the children of Israel:

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

Prayer without ceasing.  The extent that one desires to know and do the will of God determines the desperation, continuity, and consistency of his prayers.  He will find himself praying about every move that he makes.  It becomes a habit of life.  Prayer doesn’t require that we assume a certain posture or to close our eyes. It doesnít require that we verbalize our prayers aloud or to use a certain pious language or tone of voice.  It is the fullest expression of oneís heart.

Paul described it thusly:

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).

Standing against the power of the enemy.  If one is to do the will of God, he will become a target of the efforts of the enemy.  God has given us provisions which enable us to stand victoriously against Satan’s attacks:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.   Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;   And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Realizing to the fullest extent the purpose for which one has been created is by placing himself completely and unreservedly in the hands of his creator.  It gives the Father great pleasure to bless us far above and beyond all that we can imagine:

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

When one embarks on a lifetime of obedience, he will have times of pleasure and times of pain, times of abundance and times of lack, times of joy and times of sorrow, but through it all, he will know the sustaining and empowering hand of the Heavenly Father.  Ultimately, he will hear these wonderful words that make it all worth while:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).


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