God’s plan and purpose for your life is just like anything else: take it out of context and it’s nearly impossible to make sense of it. To have the right framework for understanding God’s will for you, you first need to understand God’s will for…well…everything. Will you ever know the absolute specifics? Maybe not, but a boat load of context that can make sense of those odd twists and turns is within reach.
God’s will for creation
The entirety of creation was designed and created to collaboratively serve the plan of God. Within that design are a host of specifics as the creativity of God is seen in nature’s diversity, the enormity of God in the expansiveness of the universe, the faithfulness of God in sustaining everything, and so on.
God’s will for man
Within all of creation, an overwhelmingly unique part is us. Nothing else is designed/described with as much personal terminology and nothing else is so intimately crafted and given life as the man is (Genesis 2:7).
Along with his unique beginning, man also has a unique place in God’s creation. As His “image bearers” God tasked man with being His most direct representative on the Earth; to have dominion over the world, to care for it, and multiply himself to extend God’s representation throughout the world (Genesis 1:26-30). God also created man to live in perfect, God-reflecting harmony with God and with his fellow man.
Man’s fall & God’s mission
Having free will and then being tempted by the devil, man failed. God’s creation corporately became ravaged by the rebellion of man; treason had been committed against the King. However, the King has not forsaken His dominion and has purposed to reclaim that which man has thought himself able to rule alone. Upon His eventual return, those in rebellion against his Sovereignty will be expelled and justice will be comprehensively executed and God’s people will experience the fullness of God’s intention for man and the world he will live in. In the end we see that peace finally comes, and God and His people go into an eternity of unshakable perfection. We typically call this mission of God “the Gospel.”
God’s will for the Church
In word and deed, the Church (big C), all of the Christians throughout the whole world, exists to make the love and Gospel of Jesus present in the world; from the burbs into the darkest alley to the most distant village. I think my favorite passage for this is 1 Peter 2:9 – You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
The Church is best represented through the local church (small c), which is where God calls you and I to function as followers of Jesus. The local church makes the expansive character of Jesus, as shown in the Church, tangible and interactive within a community.
God’s will for the Christian – We’re almost there!
The local church is obviously much more than just a building with pretty windows and pews. The local church’s essence is the Christians, the Jesus followers, that make up that local faith community. The individual believer, then, takes the character of Jesus into an even more personal and intimate setting. Christians take the hope of the Gospel into their home, workplace, school, neighborhood, family, etc.
Sharing the Gospel’s good news and then walking with people as they embrace it, wrestle with it, get it wrong, and try again is what Jesus did with His disciples. He then commissioned us to go and live in a like manner. Each of us is an ambassador on an urgent mission. The King is coming and we are His ambassadors; offering a chance at reconciliation and peace to those still in delusional rebellion (2 Cor 5:20).
God’s specific will for you
…I dunno. But I CAN tell you that if you are a Christian, if you have been saved from your part in the rebellion and have your hope in Jesus, then God’s will for you isn’t about you at all. It’s about His mission and His Kingdom and the people He’s put you around. Does that degree or job help you serve the aim of the Gospel in some capacity? If not, then don’t do it. Will that guy or girl facilitate you being a better member of God’s royal priesthood? If not, kick em to the curb.
If you don’t acknowledge that God’s purpose for you isn’t ultimately about you, then you’ll always feel lost. Unless you find His purpose, you’ll never truly find yours.
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