This is a guest post from Joshua Williams - a proud member of St. Timothy & St. Athanasius church, a co-founder of the Perechrosis group at George Mason University and, above all else, "an aspiring revolutionist for the Kingdom of God." You can follow him on twitter, @PrestigiousJosh. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Imagine getting on a sailboat, sailing for 25 years and then stopping all of a sudden. You've forgotten where you came from… you have no idea where you are… and you don’t have a clue where you’re going. All this time you’ve sailed aimlessly with no clear direction and now it’s too late to do anything about it.
Unfortunately, that’s life for too many of us. In a generation where distractions couldn't be more numerous, this is where many of us find ourselves.
But that is NOT what God wants for us. That’s because unlike us, God is intentional. Everything He does is intentional and done with purpose. Everything.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
Some people are apathetic about life – having no vision – just going through the motions. Others are doing all the 'right things', but if you asked WHY they wouldn't have a clue.
Then you have the good people with purpose, but because it's not God-given it ends up drowning with them in the midst of a storm of events, anxieties and trials.
But how about Jesus? How did He live His life? Was His life like ours?
Regardless of your religious affiliation, it’s no argument that Jesus was the greatest man to walk this earth. He cast out demons, created eyes for a blind man, walked on water, and raised a guy who was dead after four days. Miracle after miracle after miracle.
But that isn’t what makes Him the greatest in my eyes personally. There’s more. What is it you ask?
(drum roll please)
HIS CONFIDENT PURPOSE AND CLEAR VISION!
Everything Jesus did was clearly connected to His purpose and His vision on earth.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. (John 8:14)
God wants nothing less for all His children.
I'm not a parent but I can't imagine having children who are clueless about their life. No goals, no dreams, no aspirations – just casually wasting their lives, as if it didn't mean anything. To see my kids live like that would kill me.
And if I'm not a parent and feel that way, how much more for real parents! And how much more than that for our Father in heaven! The One who “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
All that Jesus is by nature, God desires us to become by grace. That includes living with clarity and purpose.
Let that sink in.
Realize that there’s no quick fix here. No one can give you a purpose or vision for your life. And there’s no formula for how to find one yourself.
What I can give you though is some simple and practical advice that worked for me. Some steps that I followed to help find clarity on God's purpose for my life.
1) Be QUIET in God’s presence
Too many of us need to be constantly stimulated by something (social media, games, TV) or someone (obsessive relationships, damaging friendships, self-idolization). You’ll never find vision there. Go to a quiet place, turn off your phone, make the sign of the cross and then take a deep breath.
2) Prayerfully read the SCRIPTURES
I don’t suggest just opening the Bible randomly and ‘eenie minie moeing’ a verse. It doesn’t work that way. You need some sort of plan. Choose from the many reading plans out there and start reading!
And as you read, pray some more. Ask God to give you direction and to reveal your purpose. Beg Him to grant you true vision. God likes when we humble ourselves and desperately cry out to Him.
3) WRITE it down
Writing down your experiences with God will help you more in hindsight. It’ll show you how everything God has been revealing day-to-day is connected. If you’re patient, this can prove to be of great value for getting some clarity on God’s purpose for your life.
Never forget: we worship a BIG GOD and in the grand scheme of all His creation, though we’re one of His smallest creations, we hold the most GLORIOUS purpose of all. But that purpose comes only for those who believe.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
For discussion: why do you think God has big dreams for you?