Fulfiling Your Purpose
By Pastor Bill Snider
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." (2 Timothy 1:9 NKJV)
Your purpose equals your calling. God considers your calling as something holy -- something that you are to set yourself apart to fulfil. It is an invitation to a vocation that makes you unique, as well as valuable, to the world around you. It is something that He has designed for you, and only you, to do. Your calling is the way God plans to make an impact on the world through you. It is nothing that you earned, or can earn. He purposed it for you, so it is part of your make-up. You will never find the satisfaction, nor the fulfilment that is out there for you, until you tap into your calling.
Just as important, your calling is part of your salvation. God saved you and called you with a holy calling. Part of the salvation you are to experience is the fulfilment of that calling. No more do you have to wander aimlessly through life. No more do you have to regret climbing out of the bed in the morning. You can look forward to each day knowing that it is going to count for something more than to the benefit of your employer. And, in order to allow your salvation to have its full effect in your life, you must not reject the purpose to which you have been called.
Furthermore, your calling is part of the grace of God in your life. In order to experience the fullness of God's grace that has been unleashed towards you, you must embrace your purpose. The reason your calling is an expression of God's grace is two-fold. For one, you don't earn anything God calls you to accomplish. God chooses your calling based on what He has purposed for you to accomplish in the earth. For two, you will have to learn how to lean on the grace of God to accomplish it. You will not be able to just go out and do it. You will have to be trained, equipped, and supernaturally empowered before you will be of much use to Him.
Besides, what makes your calling so important is that it is part of who you are in Christ Jesus. Just as Jesus coming to the earth and dying on the cross for your salvation was established before the world began, so was your calling. It cannot be changed. This world has been waiting for your arrival. It is waiting for you to fulfil all that you have been destined to fulfil, because it will not survive without you. Have you been adding to the longevity of this planet, or to its demise? Do you realize that all creation is groaning in labour pains waiting for the manifestation of your calling?
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
Things are not going to work together for your good, like they are suppose to, until you embrace your purpose. Once a Believer embraces his purpose and begins fulfil his calling, things will begin to co-operate with him. The world around him will become a fellow-worker with him for his good. Things will begin to work to his benefit and well-being.
Many people think that this will happen overnight. This will not happen overnight any more than you stepping into your purpose will happen overnight. Nevertheless, as you push into fulfiling your God-given purpose, things will begin to work to your good. Those things will continue to work for your good until ALL things are working for your good. But you must remember that how much things are working to your good will always be in direct correlation with how much of your purpose you are fulfiling. So, to the degree that you give yourself to your calling, will be to the degree that this physical world will give itself to your good.
"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance." (2 Timothy 3:10 NKJV)
Paul was a man of purpose as much as he was a man of faith, love, or patience; and he lists that as something Timothy was to follow. I am convinced that in order for us to fulfil our purpose, we must also become people of purpose.
Most people in the world live aimlessly. I don't mean that they are not doing something with their lives, I mean that they are not living with any far reaching focus or intent for their lives. Let's be honest, most people live from pay check to pay check, from weekend to weekend, from vacation to vacation, from holiday to holiday. They tend to focus their lives only on that which is going to guarantee them security or happiness.
If we, as Christians, don't get our focus beyond those things, we will never be any different, or better off, than the world. I believe the only way we will ever get beyond living for ourselves will be by becoming people of purpose. I believe it will be the only way we will ever fulfil our destiny. Why? Because purpose pushes us towards our destiny. It elevates us out of the ordinary and commonplace, and causes us to rise above our natural limitations.
If you want to know the truth, destiny is really nothing more than the accumulated effect of you fulfilling your purpose. Take a hammer, for example. What is the function of a hammer? If you guessed it's to hammer nails, then you are right. Now, what is the purpose of a hammer? Well, if that hammer is in the hand of a framing carpenter, then its purpose is to hammer all the two-by-fours together that will frame a house. Not only that, but its purpose is to frame houses for as long as that hammer lasts.
I was a glazier, by trade, for about fifteen years. (For those of you that don't know what a glazier is, it is someone who works with glass and mirrors. All that glass you see on commercial buildings and high-rises was put there by glaziers like me.) Now, I have some tools that have been with me for those fifteen years. Not many, but a couple. I have others that have been with me for eight to ten years. I don't use my glazing tools anymore, but I won't get rid of them. Why? Because they served their purpose beyond what I thought they would last, and now they have so much sentimental value to me that I can't throw them away. That sentimental value is honor. It is glory. They fulfilled their destiny by fulfilling their purpose over and over again until I no longer needed or could use them. Now they rest in their honor -- safely put away until I pull them out and show them off.
Just as Paul, the apostle, discovered: once you become people of purpose, you step into the biggest adventure of your life. There was Paul, furious with this new sect of Christianity. It was a threat to the well-being of his Jewish heritage. He had resolved to crush the life out of this new religion. Or, so he thought.
"While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." (Acts 26:13-19 NKJV)
It was on the road to Damascus that Paul ran into Jesus. Not only did he get stopped from carrying out what he had planned to do, but he left that place with a new purpose, a new destiny. Jesus called him to two basic things. One, He called Paul to be a minister and witness of the things that he saw and that would be revealed to him. And, two, He called Paul to open the eyes of the Jews and the Gentiles, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.
Paul left that place committed to fulfil the heavenly vision. He had no idea where it would take him, and I don't think he really cared. He had been entirely wrong in his persecution of Jesus and the Church, and now he was going to make it up to Him. He embraced his purpose, and gave himself completely to fulfilling it. As a result, Paul fulfilled a purpose that continues to speak to us, today. He wrote half of the New Testament, and probably single-handedly did more to launch the Gospel out into the non-Jewish world than anyone. At least, that is what the book of Acts indicates.
The moment Paul embraced his destiny and began to fulfil his purpose, he began an adventure that lasted for the rest of his life. He had no idea where his new purpose was going to take him, but he lived it fearlessly. He saw many miracles. He raised the dead and healed the sick. He witnessed to kings. He brought blessing and comfort to thousands of believers -- most of whom he, himself, got saved. Of course, he also ended up in jail a few times.
The point to all this is that when you embrace your purpose, you will embark on an adventure that will last for the rest of your life. You won't know where you will end up or how you got there, but you will know what your life will be about until the day you die. And you will know that your life really counted for something. You will see things, and do things that you won't believe even though you are seeing it with your own eyes. You will be used to accomplish great things for God, and you will see first hand the value you have, because you yielded to your purpose.
However, you can't be afraid of the adventure you will encounter once you yield to your purpose. You can't be afraid where you will end up in life. You can't be afraid that, like Paul, you might end up in jail. You will simply have to trust God with your life.
People who are afraid of adventure, never yield to their purpose. They may come up to the threshold of their purpose, and peer into it. But they can't find the courage, nor the determination, to enter into it. These people will never know what it really means to trust God with their lives.
"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them." (Romans 12:4-6)
The above verse says several very important things about our purpose in the earth. First of all, it says that we are part of a whole, and that fulfilling our purpose depends on us being connected to the Body of Christ. We are members of one another. We cannot isolate ourselves from the each other and still fulfil our purpose. Secondly, it's saying that our purpose is to perform a function in the Body of Christ. That function is the duty you will be performing repeatedly, or the capacity in which you will be serving. Thirdly, it is saying that your purpose is your gift. That word "gift" can mean a spiritual endowment or a miraculous faculty (Strong's Concordance). Your gift is your spiritual endowment or miraculous faculty. That also means that every born again believer has a supernatural ability to offer to the Church. Your function is to use your supernatural ability in the service of the Body of Christ.
Your purpose is to fulfil your function, and your function is the supernatural ability you have to offer to the world around you. It is what makes you both special and important to the rest of the Body of Christ. However, because your gift has been given to you, it is up to you how much business you do with it. There is a need for you to seek God until He begins to enlighten you as to what your purpose is. This will take some work and some patience on your part. Then once He shows you, you will have to be diligent to go do it.