22 September, 2018

What Does Purpose Look Like?

Last week, I shared my developing thoughts on purpose, and the excitement in knowing that God’s purpose precedes our existence. I noticed many of you seemed to relate to the last paragraph, where I addressed those who don’t know what their purpose or calling looks like yet. Maybe you have an idea, but don’t know how to put it into action. Maybe you know the direction or field you're passionate about, but can’t pinpoint what the next step is. Maybe you don’t have any idea where God could be calling you or what your life purpose might be. 
I want you to know that not knowing where you might be going in life, or what you’re called to, is nothing to be ashamed about. We are never promised to know everything about the future; we are simply guaranteed God will be there. He promises to be with us always. (Joshua 1:9)

My mum said something recently to the effect that our purpose doesn’t have to have a label, a name. Our society is obsessed with labels – whether it’s for different personalities, lifestyles, health conditions, or groups of people in general, we’ve been trained to search for a name for things, as if that proves their existence. I know I’ve applied that to the search for a specific purpose too. We want to know exactly what we’re meant to be doing, down to the last detail. It’s true some people have a specific vision for their future: a mental health professional working with struggling youth of indigenous backgrounds; a nurse working in a specific overseas mission field; an author writing inspiring true stories for Christian young people. 

Very recently, I gained a clearer vision of my purpose, but I can't see all the details. And for a long, long time, while everybody implied I ought to have my life sorted out, I had no idea. There were directions I thought God might be leading me, but nothing specific. I couldn’t name my purpose, so did it even exist? We rarely consciously ask that, but it’s the way we’ve been taught to think, and it’s wrong. Just because you or anyone looking on doesn’t know the details of your future, does not mean that it isn’t purposed. We know it is because God says so (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 1:4) and He can’t lie. That’s assurance. Your purpose absolutely exists, even if you can’t see it yet. 

And, the truth is, whether we have an idea of our specific calling or not, our day to day life will look exactly the same. If we’re living in response to the promptings of God’s spirit in our hearts, it doesn’t matter if we don’t know what’s next. Following God is letting Him lead our decisions and everyday choices, regardless of whether we know what specific direction that’s going to take. 

Maybe that’s what it means to live our purpose. The Bible talks about knowing God’s will in past tense. In a broad sense, we already know what our purpose as children of God is. We are to reflect Him, be love to those around us, share the gospel, submit to the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives, and other instructions given in the Bible. It isn’t elusive or hard to understand; God’s word outlines it all for us. This is our purpose.  

The Bible talks about different gifts and roles people have as part of the body of Christ – I’m not undermining that. It may sound like it still comes back to the question how do I know which one I’m called to? But they’re gifts of the Spirit. They’re given to us; they aren’t ours. If we’re connected to God, obeying His promptings through the Spirit, we will automatically be walking in our giftings! There’s no figuring out to be done on our behalf, we simply follow.

I’ve been reminded so many times, and I still forget: everything about the Christian life comes to a surrender of ourselves to God. That is our purpose, and as we follow, He will work out the details. 

I know it’s hard to be in a state of restlessness where the possibilities are overwhelming and the unknowns even more so. I can only offer what I said in the previous post: cling to God. The questions you have? He is the answer. The doubts you have? He is the truth. The uncertainties, fear, overwhelm, pressure, and frustration? He is always, always, going to be everything you need. Maybe not in ways we could label, but in the quiet workings of His heart with ours as we abide in Him, and it becomes His life we live. You are chosen to be a child of God, first and foremost, and there’s always a place by His side for you. That is your purpose. 

Much love,
Jessica xx


  1. Thank you. This post. It's exactly what I needed to read right now. Your words are so encouraging to me! God has given you an amazing gift with words! Keep using that gift for Him! Thank you again, for this post. <3

    1. You're so welcome - praise God it could be relevant to what you're going through! Thanks so much for your continual encouragement. May we both keep growing in Him! xx

  2. Jessica, another beautiful post. I love how clearly you write. Thank you so much for sharing your gift; you are encouraging me and countless other people, as well!
    {Georgie Grace}

    1. Seriously, all glory to Him! I'm so happy to be an encouragement, and your lovely comments really brightened my day. :) Thank you!!

  3. I've been in that "state of restlessness where the possibilities are overwhelming and the unknowns even more so" (you have such a way of putting things!) for several years now. But your post, as always, is a reminder and an encouragement: God has a purpose for me even if I don't know it; I will not ruin that purpose by not knowing the specifics rIGHT NOW, and I should [attempt to] rest quietly in His care. Thank you, Jessica.

    1. I feel you, girl! Every time I think I have some direction for my life, things completely change, haha. Aw, I'm so glad this could be an encouragement! You totally do have a purpose and special things ahead - keep trusting! Thank you for your sweet comments, as always. :) xx

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this, Jess.
    Surrender is so important when it comes with our walk with Christ yet we so often gloss over it. We have to surrender our future to Him and let Him show us our purpose. And you’re right, we may not know exactly what our purpose will be day to day but we still have a general idea of it.

    1. You're welcome! :) Yes, it's so true! And maybe it's only when we are quietly surrendered we can see what He's had there for us all along. Thanks for your comment, Sarah! xx


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