How to Live Purposefully

June 15, 2022
By: Essentino A. Lewis Jr.

“Everyone ends up somewhere, but not everyone ends up somewhere on purpose.”  Several variations of this statement have appeared in books, blogs, and posts over the last several years and they have each resonated with me as I continue to meet many fantastic, godly, intelligent, hard-working, committed, well-meaning, positive, capable people who, for a variety of reasons, have been unable to discern a clear direction for their lives.  They are all heading somewhere but not necessarily heading there purposefully.  And because of this they often feel as though they are spinning their wheels day to day, simply maintaining the regular and routine rhythm of life or, at worst, wondering through life from one place to the next.  God does not want us to live this wayThe Bible says, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). 

Our Promised Land

While there will come seasons of our lives when uncertainty exists, as a general matter, I believe God wants us to move purposely toward the place He has prepared for us.  I call this destination our Promised Land.  Now, of course, to speak of the Promised Land in relationship to our lives does not necessarily mean a physical location.  The Promised Land in this context is more metaphorical than literal.  Indeed, our Promised Land is not likely a land at all, but it is, instead, the unique situation and setting where the Lord can get the greatest glory out of our life and, as a result, where we can experience our greatest joy and fulfilment in HimThat was, after all, the true purpose of Israel’s Promised Land as well; it was a place where God could be glorified through His people and His people could find rest, contentment, and satisfaction in Him.  Of the Promised Land, Joshua instructed the officers of Israel to “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you saying, ‘The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land’ (Josh. 1:13). 

In this way, we each should be moving toward our own place of promise. The Bible teaches us that even before creation God had a particular “place” in mind for each of us.  God said through Isaiah, I am God, and there is none like Me declaring the end from the beginning.  And from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’” (Isa. 46:9-10) God is intentional about His plan in everything and knows His desired outcome before He begins His work.  This intentionality is true not only in the world but also in our lives, such that God knew His purpose for creating each of us before He did itBut the greatest blessing is that He not only knew His plan for us but also commits to accomplishing it.  That’s one reason the Apostle Paul could write with assurance, Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6).  

Let God Lead

No one else can say that everything they set out to do ultimately gets completed.  All we have to do is look around us at the many loose ends, unfinished business, and bestlaid plans to know that the promise of completion in all things can only be made by God.  That truth about God has such wonderful implications for our lives.  It means that even before God began the work of our creation, He placed inside of us everything we need to accomplish the plan and purpose He has established for usGod never under-resources His plans.  Peter acknowledged as much in saying, God’s divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).   

The Good News

God created each of us with His purpose in mind.  The psalmist wrote, For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them (Ps. 139:13-16).  In writing these words, David was not making a generic statement about all of creation (even though the statement applies to all of creation) but was praising God for the individual, specific care and attention God gave to creating him.  In the same way, each of us is a unique creation of God, formed and fashioned intentionally for a unique and special work in the world and God’s kingdom.  How wonderful is that! 

God designed you with a plan in mind.  He created you with purpose and He is committed to accomplishing His will in your life.  Be encouraged. 

Essentino A. Lewis Jr.

Essentino A. Lewis, Jr. is the pastor of Clifton Park Baptist Church (Silver Spring, MD), a congregation representing over 30 nations and 19 native languages. In addition to his leadership in the church, he is committed to community and civic service. He was a practicing attorney for over a decade before his call to full-time ministry. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter @pastoressentino

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