For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
What do you want to be when you grow up? This is the question that we ask children throughout their school-going lives. Most children change their answers frequently and, the older they get, the more frequently the answer seems to change. In my experience, the answer changes so often because they think they have to pick one thing.
Personally, I still ask myself this question frequently. What do I want to be when I grow up? Grown-up feels like a destination that I keep aspiring to but never reach? When will I feel grown up? Maybe I will feel grown up when I stop getting lost on my way to my brother’s house (he has lived there for more than 5 years). Or maybe when I stop calling my mom to remember a recipe or to ask how to get a stain out of something. When will I stop calling my dad everytime my car makes a weird noise? I feel like I still rely too heavily on my parents on a daily basis to be described as grown-up.
How does this relate to purpose? When I started thinking about God having fashioned us for a purpose, I realized that I still held some beliefs about God’s purpose for me that are biblically unsupported. For me, purpose felt like a destination, much like the feeling of being grown-up. I was expecting to arrive at my purpose. If that is how it works, then all the time leading up to the arrival is just fluff, backstory to set the stage. It will be a good story to tell when I get there but ultimately inconsequential to the end result.
The Holy Spirit led me to the life of Joshua in the scripture. He was born in Egypt before the exodus. He fled with the Isrealites into the wilderness and during the 40 years of wandering, he served as an assistant to Moses and a guard at the tent of meeting. He was called on to be a spy and an explorer when they reached the edge of the promised land. When he followed Moses as the leader of the Israelites, he became a worship leader, a captain in battle and a preacher. As I was reviewing his life, God asked me this question: Which one was Joshua’s purpose? The obvious answer is that all of them were. It was then that I realized what God was getting at. I am not waiting to arrive at my purpose. I am living my purpose right now.
The purpose for which God has fashioned us is a process. The ultimate purpose for all of us, as followers of Christ, is the same: to lead the lost to Christ. I think we all know that part, but I was getting discouraged waiting to see what God would make me into. How is He going to turn me from a directionally challenged, tired mom into the purpose filled woman of God who stands confidently at the beginning of each day ready to take on the enemy in the name of Jesus?
The answer is that He will carry me from one purpose to the next the same way He did with Joshua. In each season, Joshua was fulfilling his purpose, and each season before He was preparing him for the next purpose he would fulfill. When Joshua was serving as an assistant, an assistant was what God purposed for him at that time. The leader was in training but it wasn’t time for the leader yet. God fashioned an assistant in Joshua just as He fashioned the leader. What God wanted me to see is that purpose is not a destination at which I will arrive one day. It is a journey through many doors. I walk in His purpose daily right where I am. The real question is, do I accept His call to that purpose? Will I accept His call to rear my children to serve the Lord? Will I accept His call to weep with those who weep? Will I accept his call to live in the joy of the Lord before a world who believes God will suck all the fun out of their lives? When I am called upon to speak at a church, will I allow my own fear to stifle the purpose to which I am called that day? When I am called upon to use my administrative assistant skills to help further the cause of Christ through the church office, will I scoff because it isn’t the stage?
This study of purpose led me to ask some hard questions but it also led me to some freeing realizations. When I accept my purpose for today, it frees me from the worry about what comes next. I’ll walk through the door before me and let the Lord concern Himself with the next one. As the doors open, I will say yes and give it my best effort and God will fill in all the cracks. I do not have to be the best writer. I will pray and study and write then God will prosper my efforts, not my perfection. After all, He planned all that He would have me do long ago. Today’s purpose is why I was made new in Christ Jesus. Today I will do the work that He sets before my hands with all my might for His glory. What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to be today? Do it all. There will be a season for each good work that God has planned in advance for you to do.
Lord, you are the Grand Designer. In my desire to fulfill your purpose in my life, help me resist the urge to tell you what that should be. Show me what you would have for me to do today. Help me to allow the worries of tomorrow to wait until then. I will rest in knowing that you have fashioned me to do all that you have called me to do and that, as the seasons for each purpose arrive, you will continue to sustain and equip me. Give me the courage to say yes to you every day. I love you and I trust you, Father. Thank you for all that you are in my life; encourager, healer, guide and friend. Amen.
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