by Jay Bransford
In the beginning, God had a vision and a purpose. It involved the redemption of man through Jesus Christ.
“Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the
sin of the world!” – John 1:29
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” – John 10:10, 11
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” – Luke 19:10
God also has a vision and purpose for each one of us. Our job is to discover what it is. Contrary to what some people may think, God is not keeping his vision and purpose for you a secret. He wants you to know, but it is often done so through a process of learning and discovery. This takes intentionality and effort on our part.
What are some ways in which you can discover God’s vision and purpose for your life?
Seeds of Destiny:
God has planted many, many seeds in your life that eventually grow and give you sense of purpose and direction. Those seeds may have been planted by childhood experiences, important or influential people, or significant events. Take some time to reflect upon each phase of your life (i.e. early childhood, schooling and teenage years, jobs and volunteer opportunities). During each of those phases, what significant experiences or events did you encounter? And who were the most influential people in your life? (Think of family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and other acquaintances.) How did each of those people or experiences affect the way you think and believe about yourself, God and the world?
Thankfully, our God is a god who speaks! And studying and meditating on the Word of God is one of the best ways to hear from Him. What has God spoken to you through His Word? Get out your journal (if you have one!) and read through it. As you consider all of the things that God has ever spoken to you through the Bible, what picture does it start to paint about his purposes and dreams for your life?
God also loves to speak to us through others. Have you ever received a prophetic word from someone? What did God say? In what way might those prophetic words relate to God’s overall vision and purpose for your life?
When God knit us together in our mother’s womb, He gave us unique passions, interests and skills that further develop throughout our lives. What are you passionate about? What giftings and skills has God given you? Next, take a moment to consider what some of the greatest needs of the world are right now – in your family, in your local community, in your city, in your nation, and beyond. Often times you will find that the most fulfilling and impactful times in your life are when the work you are doing is something that you are passionate about, that you are skilled to do, and that meets an important need around you. This perfect alignment of your passions, skills and the world’s greatest needs is what many people refer to as your calling or vocation. That’s likely to be where God wants you to be!
Now, put it all together:
Seeds of Destiny
|Phase of Life||People/Events that impacted you||What did you learn about yourself, God and others?|
|Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities||
|Marriage and Parenting (if applicable)||
|What has God spoken to you from the Bible?||How might that relate to your Vision and Purpose?|
|What prophetic words have you received?||How might that relate to your Vision and Purpose?|
Passion, Skills and the World’s Needs:
|Passions||Skills||World’s Needs||What Overlaps?|
In Luke 4:10 the bible says, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to…” How does God end that sentence for you? He wants you to know! Take time this week (and possibly once a year) to reflect on your Seeds of Destiny, Biblical Revelations you’ve received, Prophetic Words that have been spoken over you, and your increasing understanding of your Passion, Skills and the Needs around you. What is God speaking to you through all of it? You can be assured that…. You have a God-given destiny and purpose, and it is GOOD!
* Note: Many of the principles in this article are referenced in YWAM’s Leadership Development Course (LDC). Leaders with 5 or more years of experience are highly encouraged to consider attending the 6-week LDC as an excellent way to continue learning and growing, and to discover what God is planning for your next season of leadership. For more ALLC resources about defining your vision and purpose, see Vision and Purpose.
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