4 Different Views on Finding Purpose
We interviewed several champions of the faith to hear their thoughts on living a life of purpose - their diverse views come together to show us keys on how to live a life that makes an impact in this world and in eternity.
Studies agree that one of the longings of the human heart is the desire to have significance. Everyone has this unexplainable ache to live a life of meaning, hopefully one that positively impacts others. But what are the different ways we can live a life of purpose?
How would you describe living a purposeful life?
Gary Morgan, who founded School of Prophets in Melbourne, Australia, believes God wants His people to be His partners, not just spectators.
Gary Morgan: Your life does not just happen, it is a matter of being yourself on purpose for purpose. My thinking behind this is to invite people to partner with God – to be a co-driver in relation to your destiny and not just a backseat passenger. Let God drive your destiny, but you must also be intentional and obedient in stewarding what He gives you. You will know you have lost your purpose when your passion is replaced by pressure. The challenge for us is to live on purpose for purpose; to keep the passion alive and translate life’s pressure into something that works for you, not against you.”
John Rinehart, founder of Gospel Patrons, believes that God has an assignment for each person ‘to shine His light into the darkness.’
John Rinehart: God wants to work in you and work through you. That’s why you’re still here and not in heaven already. You have come into the kingdom for such a time as this. What they don’t teach you in school is that God has a big and awesome purpose for your life, a dream for you that connects to his eternal plans. Just showing up and punching a clock is not why He created you. Hanging on until you make it to Friday or vacation or retirement is not the life that’s truly life. You were made by a King and saved to build a kingdom.
Finding your part to play in the kingdom of God is not optional, it’s essential. It’s not a special perk for a select few. No, you were handmade by God for a purpose. Through Jesus you have been born again, forgiven from sin and freed from shame, in order to complete the good works which God has prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10).
“What they don’t teach you in school is that God has a big and awesome purpose for your life, a dream for you that connects to his eternal plans.” –John Rinehart
Is it possible to find purpose working in the marketplace?
For The Titus Group VP of Strategic Partnerships David Tan, who previously worked as an auditor and eventually a chartered accountant, there was often a question of how his vocation could be meaningful.
David Tan: In the past, it did not make sense to me, as to how my physical work of auditing had any spiritual meaning and Kingdom impact. What is the ultimate value in the marketplace of sales, finance and economy? The stark world of corporate business seems cold and devoid of love, driven by a focus on money.
While I was wrestling with these thoughts, I remember praying over the severely infected eye of a cleaner in my office building one evening. Within two weeks the sight in his eye was restored. As I reflected on the miracle, I began to see that the concept of healing could be applied to structures – both natural and man-made. Plant and animal life, buildings and landscapes ravaged by disasters could be healed and restored to their former and intended glory. From this perspective, healing can actually be ushered into villages, regions, cities and nations as well.
“As I live out Kingdom values in my office, being faithful in stewarding whatever I have been entrusted, a greater measure of authority and favor is released. When I display excellence, innovation and integrity at work, God’s glory is magnified in the world.” – David Tan
The more I considered this, the more it made sense to me. God is a Healer; enterprises managed God’s way and for His purposes can bring restoration to broken systems and promote societal well-being. People are transformed when companies make the Biblical command of “loving our neighbors” the core of their mission – a focus on improving the lives of their employees and customers. Seeing business as a force for good and an agent of transformation brought new meaning to my work.
When I cultivate my strengths and talents, and apply them to the marketplace, I am bringing ‘heaven to earth’. As I live out Kingdom values in my office, being faithful in stewarding whatever I have been entrusted, a greater measure of authority and favor is released. When I display excellence, innovation and integrity at work, God’s glory is magnified in the world.
Outside of work and business, are there other avenues for living a purposeful life?
Joy Shuo, mother to four biological and two adopted children, shares how partnering with God has released heaven to her sphere of influence.
Joy Shuo: After a few years of working hard at mothering, I finally felt that our family was in a good place. As I was reflecting on my life one day, I found myself asking the question: “What’s next? Now that I have a stable home and a great family, what’s next?”
I became aware of a growing desire to accomplish something beyond building my own family. Feeling limited in my intellectual abilities, skills and talents, I prayed: “Lord, I want my life to count. If I can impact one life, what would that look like?” The answer came in a whisper: “You can love a child.”
“Yes! I can love a child,” I thought to myself. My four children were well-nourished, loved, happy and confident. I knew that I could give a child a loving and stable home and I was thankful that God did not ask me to do something that was beyond me.
Can you give us examples of how God helps us live out this life of purpose?
John Rinehart: Scripture says each of us has received a gift (1 Peter 4:10). Our gifts differ according to the grace given to us (Romans 12:6). But each of us has been given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). The unique spiritual gifting in your life is for our good.
I have found that God’s giftings often fall into three types of roles. If you honestly evaluate yourself you could probably see yourself in one of them: you speak, you serve, or you lead. If your calling is to speak, you study God’s word, exhort God’s people, and proclaim God’s truth. You witness to the lost and create opportunities to talk to people about Jesus. If your calling is to serve, you come alongside people, execute plans, and make stuff happen. If your calling is to lead, you work hard, build strategies and systems, create resources, form partnerships, and give generously.
Joy Shuo: I always thought that a mother’s love was the strongest, fiercest and most sacrificial love that one could experience. However, I could not trust myself to selflessly and unconditionally love a child who was not born my own. I needed God’s love to love a foster or adopted child – a child who was not originally my own.
I prayed to God to fill me with His love. He flooded my heart with it and I felt waves flowing into me to love the children He was bringing me. I had revelations of the Father’s love for the orphans, a glimpse of His love for this fallen world.
Once we started fostering and adopting children, the media came for us, wanting to hear more. I was afraid and apprehensive at first. But I decided that if He wanted to use me, a mere “donkey”, to speak, if He wanted to use the foolish of the world to confound the wise, I was willing to be a fool for Christ. We went on radio, newspapers, magazines, TV programs and online digital platforms with the purpose of advocacy – to raise more families to foster and adopt.
God was the one who put that dream in me – to help orphans – and it was a powerful one. When we wrap our thoughts around His purpose, transformation takes place. I believe that we will one day see every child placed in loving homes where they can experience transformational love. My dream is for Kingdom families to fully express the heart of God, the Father to the fatherless, and open up their homes to orphans.
Read the full conversations with these individuals in Champions 2018.
Read our conversation with Gary Morgan where he elaborates on discovering God’s will.