Living a Life of Purpose
Four individuals with diverse backgrounds tell us how to live a life of purpose and how our influence extends beyond the walls of the church.
Studies agree that one of the longings of the human heart is the desire to have significance. Everyone has this inexplicable ache to live a life of meaning, hopefully one that positively impacts others.
What are the different ways we can live a life of purpose?
God Wants Us to Co-Drive Our Destinies
Gary Morgan, who founded School of Prophets in Melbourne, Australia, believes God wants His people to be His partners, not just spectators. “Your life does not just happen, it is a matter of being yourself on purpose for purpose,” he holds.
What does it mean to ‘be yourself on purpose for purpose’?
“My thinking behind this encouragement is to invite people to partner with God – to be a co- driver in relation to their destiny and not just a backseat passenger,” Gary shares. “Let God drive your destiny, but you must also be intentional and obedient in stewarding what He gives you.”
Gary believes that a lot of times, people can go about life reacting mainly to pressure instead of moving according to purpose.
“You will know you have lost your purpose when your passion is replaced by pressure,” he advises. “So the challenge for us is to live on purpose for purpose; to keep the passion alive and translating life’s pressure into something that works for you, not against you.”
Each of Us Possess A Unique Assignment
John Rinehart, founder of Gospel Patrons, believes that God has an assignment for each person ‘to shine His light into the darkness.’
“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,” he asserts.
“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,” he adds. “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.”
When asked how God usually uses people, John can give three broad categories: speaking, serving, and leading. He links these to the Old Testament offices of the prophet, priest, and king.
“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,” he describes. “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.”
Business Can Be An Agent of Transformation
But is purpose limited only to those who work in church or clearly ‘ministry’-related activities?
For The Titus Group’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, David Tan, who previously worked as an auditor and Chartered Accountant, there was often a question of how his vocation could be meaningful.
“What was the ultimate value in the marketplace of sales, finance and economy?” he asks. “The stark world of corporate businesses seemed cold and devoid of love, driven by a focus on money.”
Just like many other employees in the marketplace, David felt that his office job seemed totally disjointed from traditional ‘ministry’ activities, such as church planting, missions, volunteering, or evangelism.
“It did not make sense to me as to how my physical work of auditing had any spiritual meaning and Kingdom impact,” he confesses.
But after praying over the severely infected eye of a cleaner in his office one evening, and seeing full restoration of the eye within two weeks, his perspective began to change. “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.”
He realised that all natural forms of life had, for one reason or another, fallen short of their original design, but could be restored to their ‘intended glory.’ “From this perspective, healing can actually be ushered into villages, regions, cities and nations as well.”
As David contemplated this, he began to realise that God’s nature as a healer could find expression in the way that businesses impacted a nation: businesses running with God’s Biblical standards can actually bring healing and restoration to systems that have been broken by worldly values and perspectives.
“People are transformed when companies make the Biblical command of ‘loving our neighbours’ the core of their mission – a focus on improving the lives of their employees and customers,” he asserts. “Seeing business as a force for good and an agent of transformation brought new meaning to my work.”
Bringing Heaven to Earth is Not Limited to Church
How does being an agent of transformation happen for someone who works regular office hours?
“When I cultivate my strengths and talents, and apply them to the marketplace, I am bringing ‘heaven to earth’,” David explains. “As I live out Kingdom values in my office, being faithful in stewarding whatever I have been entrusted, a greater measure of authority and favour is released. When I display excellence, innovation and integrity at work, God’s glory is magnified in the world.”
Meanwhile, bringing God’s kingdom to earth is not limited to the church or the marketplace. Joy Shuo, mother to four biological and two adopted children, shares how partnering with God has released heaven into her sphere of influence.
“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 this child,” she confesses.
As she prayed to God to fill her with His love, He did so much more: He shared His heart for the orphans, which led Joy to advocate actively for orphans.
“The media came for us. I was afraid and apprehensive at first,” she admits. “But I decided that if He wanted to use me (a donkey) to speak, 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 programmes and online digital platforms with the purpose of advocacy – to raise more families to foster and adopt.”
It is encouraging to see the different ways that Kingdom builders can bring heaven to all the different spheres of society: in the marketplace, in the church, in the home, and even in the fields of education and government.
How about us? Where and how may God use us to further His Kingdom?