Imagine a world without purpose? The book of Proverbs makes this observation:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (19:21).
How do we know God’s purpose for our lives?
Christian author Kevin De Young says in his book ‘Just do something’, that God’s purpose for our lives can be spoken about in three ways.
First, there is God’s will of decree. This is God’s ordained will that cannot be thwarted. He works out everything according to his sovereign purposes. Ephesians 1:11:
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
Second, there is God’s will of desire. This refers to what God has commanded. It’s the way he wants us to live. Matthew 7:21:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
We walk in obedience to his commands, and say ‘no’ to ungodliness (Titus 2:12).
Last, sometimes we speak of God’s will of direction. What job should I take? Where should I live? This is where the gift of wisdom comes into play. Though God is sovereign over our circumstances, we are not given the specifics, as if we might be told to move to Melbourne or Antarctica (rarely do people feel the call to the latter!).
De Young says ‘Trusting in God’s will of decree is good. Following his will of desire is obedient. Waiting for God’s will of direction is a mess.’
Rather, Jesus calls us to seek first his kingdom, and trust that God will take care of our needs, even before we know what they are and where we’re going (Matthew 6:33).
We don’t need to imagine a world without purpose.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).