You were created on purpose with purpose. The bible undeniably teaches us that “…we are His [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). In short, you are the solution to a problem and becoming that solution is your purpose!
The challenge isn’t always knowing if you have a purpose. It’s discovering what your purpose is that can feel mysterious and at times a bit overwhelming. If you ever find yourself asking “What are those good works that God prepared beforehand for me to accomplish? What’s my purpose?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s millions of people just like you asking the same questions and on the look out for a Life Coach or Purpose Coach.
Before we go any further there’s something you need to know; you CAN discover your purpose!
But please, don’t confuse success with purpose because it’s possible to be successful and completely miserable. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe that fulfilling your purpose will lead to success, but success itself does not equal purpose.
It’s possible to wake up every single day and go to a job that pays you well, but leaves you empty. You can have more degrees than a thermometer, but still resent the alarm clock every morning because it’s nothing more than a reminder that you have to drive that long commute back to that life sucking environment called work – again; back to that company – again; back to that dead end job again – all the while knowing that there’s so much more inside of you.
Life is too short and too precious for you to spend it all trying to pursue a career when you could be fulfilling your unique, one of a kind, God given purpose.
In this post I’m going to present you with what I call THE BIG 10. Ten questions that will help you eliminate those self imposed “invisible” limitations that typically keep people from discovering their purpose. These ten questions are designed as a Purpose Coach to help you discover the evidence that’s already present in your life that will point you towards your purpose. I suggest working through this list slowly, prayerfully, and with a notebook and ink pen in hand. You might even want to come back to it everyday for the next ten days and journal your thoughts each time you sit down to apply the BIG 10 to your life.
Let’s get started.
THE BIG 10:
1 – What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail?
It’s the first question I ask people who are struggling to discover their purpose. Fear of failure is by far the greatest obstacle that keeps us from discovering and walking in our purpose.
I’ve watched people struggling with this fear drown themselves in an ocean of “what if’s.“
- What if I leave my job and the business I want to start falls through?
- What if the church I plant doesn’t grow?
- What if the degree program that I feel passionate about turns out to be too difficult and I can’t graduate?
The “what if” question may take on a lot of different forms, but the source is the same – it all goes back to a fear of failure.
When it comes to pursuing your purpose, the most devastating thing that could happen to you is not failure. The most devastating thing that could happen is for you to become successful at the wrong thing.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]The most devastating thing that could happen to you is not failure. It’s becoming successful at the wrong thing.[/shareable]
2 – What in life bothers you the most?
The reason something bothers us is often because our purpose in life is to help fix that problem.
- In the bible, it bothered Nehemiah that the wall around Jerusalem was broken down. Why?Because repairing that wall was a part of his purpose.
- It bothered Moses that the nation of Israel was in Egyptian captivity. Why? Because it was Moses’ purpose to lead those people to freedom.
- It bothered Jesus’ disciples that the crowd of 5,000 men who came to hear Jesus teach were hungry and there was nothing to eat. Why? Because Jesus intended to use this moment to teach His disciples that the reason it bothered them was because He was going to work through them to fix it!
So, let me be your Life Coach for a moment: what bothers you?
Sex trafficking? Addiction? Homelessness? Biblical illiteracy? A lack of leadership in our culture? Watching young couples struggle in their marriage? Maybe empty seats in church bothers you or people not knowing how to handle their money?
The reason something bothers you may very well be because God created you to become the solution to that problem.
3 – How have the struggles you’ve endured impacted your life?
Purpose is often born out of adversity.
Where you’ve come from is often a clue to what God’s calling you to.
- Jesus took Peter from catching fish to being a fisher of men.
- Jesus took the Apostle Paul from persecuting the church to building the church.
- Joseph was sold as a slave and betrayed by his brothers, but he was carried away to the very nation that he would eventually lead.
So, how has what you’ve been through impacted your life?
4 – What would you do with your life if you knew your family would support your dream unconditionally?
Sometimes we dismiss our true purpose because we don’t believe we would have the support of the people closest to us.
I’ve talked to men and women alike who knew exactly what they were passionate about, but couldn’t muster the courage to pursue it because they didn’t feel like they had the support of their family. I’ve sat and talked with collage students who felt trapped because they were pursuing the degree that their parents wanted them to have rather than the one they felt called to.
At this point in the discovery process, I want you to imagine receiving the full support of the most important people in your life, even if you don’t think they’d give it to you. This might help you uncover another clue to discovering your true purpose.
5 – What would you do with your life if you knew that you wouldn’t have to face the pain of dealing with your past?
Sometimes the most intimidating obstacle standing between us and our purpose is our fear of having to deal with the pain of our past.
We often want to pursue our purpose, but we don’t want to have to dig through the baggage of yesterday to do it. If that’s you than listen to me very closely: As long as your fear of the process is greater than your frustration with your progress, you’ll never fulfill your purpose.
The good news? You’re not alone. God will give you what you need to overcome your past so that you can walk in your purpose. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
If you feel like old pain might be keeping you from discovering your purpose, read my article The Stronghold that Poisons Your Purpose or Purpose Killers Part 3 – Dead Dreams Come From Painful Places.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]As long as your fear of the process is greater than your frustration with your progress, you’ll never fulfill your purpose.[/shareable]
6 – What comes easy for you that doesn’t come easy for your friends or family?
We often overlook the things that we already do really well. This is why everyone needs a Life Coach or Purpose Coach – someone who can see the gifts in you that you can’t see.
These things often come so natural that we never stop to consider the fact that it might really be supernatural.
We assume that because it comes easy for us, it must be common and therefore easy for others also, but that’s not always true. Not everybody can work with computers, people, money, or business the way you can. Not everyone can draw or take photographs like you can. Not everybody can organize their life as easily as you, cook as well as you, listen as good as you can or make a house into a home the way you’re able to. Sometimes the treasure of our purpose is hidden plain sight. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says it like this, “…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…”
So, take a minute and take stock of your life. What do you do that hardly takes any effort to produce results? What do you that when you do it you make it look easy? You may be surprised to discover how much treasure God’s buried inside of you.
Don’t take what God’s already equipped you to do well for granted. It may indeed need some polishing and development, but even in its rawest and most undeveloped form it can be another clue that will help lead you to your purpose.
7 – What are you willing to sacrifice for?
This is a big one. Sometimes in order to hone in on your purpose the question you need to ask yourself isn’t “what am I trying to get,” but rather, “What am I willing to give up?”
Jesus repeatedly said no to what appeared to be great opportunities so that He could put Himself in a position to fulfill His purpose. And when it comes to sacrifice, Jesus led the way. Hebrews 12:2 says, ” Jesus…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus was willing to sacrifice what looked like “good opportunities” on the front end to fulfill His ultimate purpose on the back end.
Discovering and developing your purpose will require seasons of sacrifice. You’ll have to say no to “good thing” now in order to say “yes” to a great thing later. And not everyone will understand or agree with the decisions you make when you get serious about pursuing your purpose.
So what are you willing to sacrifice for? The answer to this question may very well be a clue that leads you to your purpose.
8 – What would you do with your life if you knew money wasn’t an issue?
Sometimes we allow limited resources to put limits on our purpose.
Personally, I believe that if its God’s will, it’s God’s bill. God doesn’t need what you don’t have in order to fulfill His plan for your life.
It’s been my observation that a lot of people miss their purpose by putting the wrong priority on money either by focusing on the presence of it or the lack of it. In fact, the bible says:
“… some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6:10
Remember – there’s nothing wrong with making money or having money. Just make sure money doesn’t have you. Bishop Dale Bronner may have said it best when he said, “You don’t have to choose between God and money, you just have to choose which one you’re going to serve.”
One of the worst mistakes people make is choosing to pursue a paycheck rather than pursue their purpose. That’s backwards. If you pursue your purpose the paycheck will eventually pursue you. NEVER allow what you “don’t have” now prevent you from becoming who you will be later.
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]Stop pursuing a paycheck. Pursue your purpose and the paycheck will eventually pursue you.[/shareable]
9 – What in life are you naturally passionate about?
What do you spend your time thinking about, talking about, reading about, watching, or listening to? We have to be careful with this question because it’s possible to misplace our passions and want something that God doesn’t want for us.
However, when this question is applied correctly, with pure motives, your passion is often a powerful clue that will help lead you to your purpose. Our passions and interests are often times put there by God Himself as a means of pointing you towards your purpose. Psalm 37:4 says that if you’ll delight yourself in the Lord, “…He will give you the desires of your heart.” That doesn’t mean that God will give you whatever you want, it means that He’ll put the proper desires in your heart to pursue His will and purpose for your life.
I often say it this way “Your gifts + Your Passion = Your Purpose.”
10 – If you had ten extra hours per week that you could spend on anything, how would you invest those extra hours?
The reason we often won’t pursue our purpose is because we keep telling ourselves “I don’t have time.”
- I don’t have time to write that book.
- I don’t have time to work on a business plan.
- I don’t have time to launch that blog or website.
- I don’t have time to go back to school, read a book, serve in ministry, find a mentor or life coach, or get my vision for my life or family down on paper.
But the truth is, we make time for things that matter to us the most.
Time is your most valuable resource. The way we invest it will determine what we get back out of it. Your answer to this question may help uncover what you’re truly passionate about and you may need to restructure your days in order to make time to work on your purpose. Once you discover your answer to this question – make up your mind to make up your mind! No more excuses. Carve out and protect some time each week to work on discovering, developing, and protecting your God given purpose.
Just think – had you just spent 10 hours a month last year (120 hours) working on your purpose – how much further down the road could you be right now? (To read more about the dangers of apathy and the threat it poses to your purpose, click here).
You were created on purpose with purpose. No matter what you’ve been told before – I want you to know that if you stay engaged in your own process, you CAN and WILL discover your God given purpose. Let’s stay connected so I can help coach you in your purpose.
Let the journey begin!