By Michael Okyere Asante
How do you accomplish God’s purpose for your life? Do you ask God to reveal His purpose to you? Do you fast for 21 days before you get to know God’s purpose for your life? How do you do it? Let’s look at the following points:
Identify yourself with the Purpose-giver
No other person than your Creator can tell you why He created you. You were brought here by God: Joseph said, “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” (Gen. 45:8a) The apostle Paul said, “From one man he (God) made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:26-27, emphasis mine)
And so the first step is to identify yourself with the Purpose-giver, God. You must be connected to the Purpose-giver (Eph. 2:18). Whether you are a believer or not, God has a purpose for your life, and the foundation on which your God-given purpose can be accomplished is Jesus Christ (“on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”). Joseph was connected to God, and that took him to the peak of his God-given purpose. The Bible says that God was with him (Gen. 39:2, 21). A personal relationship and consistent fellowship with God is key to accomplishing God’s purpose. Is God with you? Do you have a personal relationship and intimate fellowship with Him? If you do not have Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior, I admonish you to confess your sins to God, ask for His forgiveness and invite Jesus Christ into your life. Identify yourself with the Purpose-giver.
Know God’s purpose for your life
Scripture has proved that ignorance leads to destruction (Hosea 4:6a). You need the knowledge of God and His ways to accomplish your God-given purpose. There is no other place to know God and His ways than from His word and walking with Him. God’s purposes for your life are stated clearly in His word. In his book, The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren outlines five (5) purposes, but I summarize them into three (3): to serve God, to be like Jesus Christ, and to save lives by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:24; Eph. 2:10).
Search through Scripture. You’ll find that all the people who were called by God were mandated to accomplish these three purposes; and they are the same things God asks us to do. Take the kings, the prophets, and the disciples; their lives were woven around accomplishing these purposes. Some of them failed, but others succeeded. Now you may be asking, “What about Hosea who was asked to marry a prostitute?” My response is this: to accomplish these purposes, God gives various instructions to follow. Hosea marrying a prostitute was an instruction geared towards accomplishing God’s purpose of bringing Israel to the knowledge of their condition before God, and entreating them to return to their only Love.
So there are many instructions you may have to follow, and many directions you’ll have to take, in order to fulfill these three purposes stated above. There is a difference between what mission does God want me to accomplish and what does God want me to do to accomplish that mission. For instance, God may lead you to establish an orphanage; the purpose is to save lives. God won’t give you any other task outside His word. Everything is revealed in His word. But as I have already stated, there are specific duties God will have you do in order to accomplish His purposes. This is where the work of the Holy Spirit comes to play as you will need His leading and direction for your life.
Wait for God
God may hinder certain things in your life, or He may delay you in order to accomplish a specific task at a specific time. In such cases, never go ahead of Him. Know that God’s delay is God’s right time, and He alone knows what is best for you. There are other times when you want to move ahead to the next stage of your life, but you realize God wants you to do something before you move on. Mostly, in such situations, waiting is difficult; your spirit may be willing, but your flesh resists. If God does not intervene, you may ignore His calling and so He brings something into your life to help you fulfill His will.
In 2003, after writing the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (public and private) and making an aggregate of 8, I decided to prepare for university education. That year, the Holy Spirit told me I was supposed to wait until 2005 before I enrolled at a university. It was unheard of for a student with such excellent grades to stay at home while his colleagues who did not have better grades advanced in their education. In fact, I rejected this instruction from God and went ahead to apply for 2004 admission.
Surprisingly and unfortunately for me, I did not gain admission to the university. Everyone was shocked; people began to wonder how such an excellent student with excellent grades could be refused admission. I kept the matter in my heart, because I knew it was God at work. I asked God for His forgiveness and humbly asked Him to show me what He needed of me.
That year, 2004, was a great year in my life. God brought two ministers my way, a pastor and his wife. They led me to Christ and we worked together for the salvation of souls in my community. God used us mightily as He worked through us to revive the church and bring deliverance to His people. We evangelized the community and we saw many coming to Christ. It was a great experience I will never forget. My contact with these two ambassadors of God, and the experiences we shared together formed the building materials that strengthened my faith in Christ Jesus. I now understood why God prevented me from leaving for the university.
The following year, 2005, I gained admission into two universities; it was now up to me to make a choice. I also received a half scholarship from my local church. As the best student from my school, a less-endowed one, I received a waiver of my academic facility user fees from the government of Ghana for the period of my study, and further received a scholarship award from the Students Financial Aid Office of the university I chose. I was overjoyed. This is a clear illustration of the difference between God’s ultimate purpose for our lives and the instructions and duties he needs us to perform to accomplish those purposes. Know God’s purpose for your life.
“To obey is better than sacrifice.” Obedience is very important in accomplishing your God-given purposes. Follow where He leads. Sometimes God puts us through simple tests by giving us simple instructions to follow, but we often fail these tests (Ex. 15:26; 16:4-29). The ability to follow simple instructions given by God–not the ability to preach or pray or work miracles-shows that we love God and are growing in our walk with Him. Jesus Christ confirmed, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn. 14:15)
Disobedience comes in three forms: not doing what you are asked to do at all (total disobedience, Mt. 21:28-31a), doing what you are asked to do at a later time (delayed obedience, Jonah 1) and doing a part of the whole assignment (selective obedience or incomplete obedience, 1 Kgs. 13:1ff). Many people in the Bible experimented with at least one of the kinds of disobedience, and it brought them various consequences (Deut. 28:15ff) including a break in fellowship with God. Saul was rejected as king for selective disobedience (1 Sam.); the prophet from Bethel died because of selective obedience (1 Kgs. 13); Moses died prematurely for refusing to heed God’s command (Nu. 27:12-14); and Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale for delayed obedience (Jonah 1). There are many examples, but not all can be mentioned here. The point I am making is that in order to accomplish your God-given purpose, you must follow God’s voice. Be obedient.
Exercise your gifts, abilities, and talents
Just as God prepared Samuel, Joseph, David, and Jesus during their childhood and youthful ages, so God has given you gifts, talents, and abilities to prepare you for your mission on earth. They are to be used intertwined to accomplish this mission. There are certain “little” things God has entrusted into your care. You are going through certain experiences, all in preparation for tomorrow. When you are able to patiently learn from these experiences and watch over the “little” things God has entrusted into your care, He will lead you into the next “big” role of accomplishment (Lk. 16:10-12, KJV).
Whatever gifts, abilities, or talents God has given you, use them in love, with all diligence and commitment. No matter how “small” they are, or how people look down upon them, determine to use them with all your heart. You may not be the one to preach or lead a prayer session, but you may be responsible for cleaning the pews; do it with joy–God is preparing you for something greater. You may be shepherding a very small congregation; do it with all your might–God is preparing you for a huge task. No role is too small to accomplish. If you fail to accomplish that “little” role God has given you, you will deny someone an opportunity to know Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and personal Savior.
Looking through my Christian life, I have realized that if I had not responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit concerning very little things which seemed unimportant, I would have denied many the opportunity to know Christ. If I had not obeyed the voice of God concerning the spiritual growth of many of the brethren I have discipled, they possibly wouldn’t have gotten to this level of knowing God. In most of the cases it seemed unnecessary, but our ways are not God’s ways; and man looks at the outside, but God looks at the inside.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION(R).Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.