Useful Purpose

Useful Purpose

Nowadays, there is so much talk about finding your destiny, purpose or calling that it has become an industry. The vague promises of “entering your destiny” and following your dreams is appealing to many because it offers hope for a better future. There is nothing wrong with having hope, but if you really want to fulfill your purpose/calling/destiny you first need to define what that means. For the sake of not repeating purpose/calling/destiny, which basically means the same thing, we will refer to those three only as purpose for the rest of the message. So what exactly is a purpose? Purpose is your usefulness. Purpose is the reason you were made. This simple fact is lost many times when people contemplate what their purpose is. Instead, many are taught that their purpose is to gain wealth, fame and power. These are desires, not a purpose. Sometimes, even in the church, this view of purpose is taught proclaiming, “God will move you into your purpose of success and blessings.” Again these are desires, not a purpose. It is fine to be successful and blessed, but the real purpose you were created, was not only to be wealthy and blessed, but to be useful. In 2 Timothy 2:20-21 Paul writes, “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” God made us for a purpose of usefulness to do His good work. Usefulness to the Lord can take many different forms. You can pray, minister, preach, give, prophecy, work in the ministry of helps, or many different things, but God ultimately created you to be useful in some way. There are no unused Christians in the body of Christ.

Laws of Usefulness: Even if you are not a Christian, the law of being useful is what shapes our world. No matter if you are a painter, computer engineer, carpenter, or doctor you have created a niche in which you are useful to others. You are hired to a job because they need your skills and are useful, or you have created something that is desired by the world and thus, you have become useful. In modern times, people that are glorified are those who have created or done something that is loved by the masses. Athletes, musicians and actors are praised by certain people because they have created a feeling that is deemed useful — entertainment (in most instances entertainment is highest valued in society). No matter if you agree with their usefulness or not, somewhere, a segment of people finds their work useful. People gush about a certain song they heard by an artist, or recount a great play by an athlete, or desire to look like a moviestar because in seeing, hearing or experiencing their work it elicits a positive feeling, thus making that entertainment seem useful. This usefulness factor can also be applied to inanimate objects. For example, the iPhone is useful to millions of people around the world, so much so they are sold out for weeks whenever a new device is released. People use iPhones everyday because of its usefulness and as a result it has made Apple the most valuable company in the world. Now, for the Christian, our usefulness is suppose to be for His good work. However, many believers are very confused because the world is delivering an opposite message. The world says the highest form of usefulness is something that entertains us. God says, the highest form of usefulness is to do His good work. The two couldn’t be more at odds. One is for a selfish desire, the other is a selfless act.  

Divided Interest: The world we live in is constantly pushing things on us and pressuring us in some form by saying, “this will be useful for you.” A person only has to look at the internet or television ads to see the pressure we are constantly under for competing items deemed useful. You need this new car. You need these high fashion clothes. You need that new computer. And some things are very useful, however, when people are under an avalanche of sales pressure they tend to over-consume and have a skewed sense of what is truly needed. Moreover, mass consumption teaches people to become consumers exclusively and disregard taking any great leap in discovering their purpose. It is tough to find your purpose under a mountain of debt and addiction to buying. However, you can break free. Take stock of your life right now and figure out the things that are needed and truly useful. Cut away the things that are not. Don’t wait, do it now. Make yourself available to the Lord and act on your faith. Don’t divide your attention with fruitless endeavors when it could hold you back from your purpose.           

Waiting Game: Many times people say “How do I find my purpose?” or use the excuse, “I am waiting on God.” If you wait your whole life to be useful or claim ignorance, you will never realize your purpose. No one wants to come and go in life and never truly be useful. Yet, many are doing just that by waiting and waiting. Even if you don’t know what your purpose is, you should start by testing things. Maybe you want to be a missionary — then take a short-term trip. Maybe you feel called to work with kids — then get involved at a church or an organization that does that. Whatever it is, don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out. Just begin. Little by little more will be revealed.

Getting Started: Here are some keys to getting started in realizing your purpose. 1. Start somewhere. Take action and don’t feel like everything has to be revealed immediately. Test out what your purpose might be. If you find that your heart isn’t in it, move onto something else. Keep searching until you know in your spirit that this is the purpose for your life. 2. Remember, the whole world is competing for your attention. It will try to sell you on something every minute. Cut out those distractions and practice self-restraint so you can actually hear God. Look deep into yourself, wanting to change, and honestly ask God to reveal your purpose. You’ll be surprised how quickly God speaks when you truly seek Him. 3. It is better to give than receive. Practice being useful in something everyday. Help your parents, say a kind word to a co-worker, apologize if you have wronged someone, share the Gospel somewhere, do something that is useful to others and make it a habit. 4. Look to please God, not man. Your purpose is not to gain the base things of the world, but to do the good work of the Master. 5. Be bold and don’t give up. The last thing the enemy wants is for people to wake up and realize God has a purpose for their life. The enemy will try to stop you, but persevere and run a good race.