What is My Purpose?
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one spirit and purpose.
Phillippians 2: 1-2
Have you ever stopped, looked at yourself in the mirror, and asked the hard question; “What is my purpose?” Like, What am I doing, does my life count, is all of this valuable?” Finding our purpose, our calling- is something I hear a lot about these days. A quick scroll through Social Media feeds and I am bound to see posts of women advertising to me that they can help me find my “purpose” in this life.
Yet as believers in Christ- we have a clear purpose, one that will lead to great joy and peace. Not joy and peace measured by the world’s standards, but a joy and hope found only in the person of Christ.
It’s Holy Week as I write this post, and I want to be clear- the foot of the cross is where all human purpose is found. There will come a day when “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord!” Those of us who know Christ will have our purpose completed and joy made whole, while those that sought for purpose outside of their Creator will still bow before Him, not with joy, peace and hope, rather with shame, guilt and regret.
In Philippians, the Apostle Paul and Timothy point us to a sure and steady anchor that will never be moved. An anchor, for when we lose our way, when the night grows long and the way seems bleak, when our purpose is shaken and we forget that our lives truly do count, they are valuable, and they have immeasurable purpose. Like I mentioned before, as a daughter of the Great High King, your purpose is clear, and the struggle becomes very real when you misplace your identity, and search for purpose outside of Christ and the cross.
The cross is a sticking point for many American Christians. It’s a place we don't often sit and linger. We may visit it in our Lent and Easter readings, but most of the year we pass by, because it is too gruesome to gaze upon. The cross confronts “us” deep down in our soul. It addresses who we are at the core. And that woman- well, she is the woman we hide and don't want anyone to scarcely be acquainted with.
It’s interesting to me that we hesitate to speak of the Cross boldly to ourselves and to others. Because without the cross we would have no resurrection. We don't pause at the blood stained cross and sit with all the nastiness because we are afraid and uncomfortable. But until we are made uneasy, and our skin begins to crawl, the cross will bear no effect on our lives and we will wander in the dark searching for purpose outside of who we are in Jesus Christ.
“What is our purpose in life?” I promise there is hope dear sister. You just have to look in the right direction. Let me encourage you with this passage and we will hash our purpose out on the other side of the cross, which is the resurrection, truth and light!
“Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:1-11, NASB. Emphasis added Vs 2)
Did you notice verse 2? “...make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” This makes me jump for joy. You, and I are called to be united in SPIRIT and to live intentionally with one purpose.
There is no need for struggle or torment over your calling, because I know this for sure- you are called to live a life marked by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a life impacted by Christ should in turn, be a life marked by joy. When you live in alignment with the will of God your joy will be complete and you will carry the same mind as your brothers and sisters in Christ, love will be maintained and then together and united you will stand to live out the divine purpose God has placed on your life.
There is a catch. The cross is our example! Jesus is who we look to and the only person we should ever compare our lives against. Christ emptied Himself for us. He humbled Himself on the cross, took our beating and loved us through it all. We see even further clarification to this united front, the solid mind and the purpose; “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
The lives of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot come to my mind when I think of living a life united in Spirit and intent on one purpose. Jim and Elisabeth were missionaries to the Acua Indians in Ecuador. In 1956 Jim gave his life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ there on the banks of Curaray River. I have spent years reading Elisabeth’s books, her joy, hope and peace through her great suffering has no doubt shaped my faith. Something that strikes me about the story of Jim’s death is his unwavering devotion to teach the Indians of the love of Christ. You see, the morning he and the four other men that were with him were slaughtered, they had made a commitment. They were of one mind and they had one purpose. These men knew this was a dangerous task, they also knew they may never see their families again, yet with great joy and hope in Christ they set out on their mission. It is said that before they boarded the small plane that would take them into the jungle, they gathered with their wives and children, prayed and sang hymns and preached the Gospel to one another.
These men were together, they had a plan and a purpose and they lived it out. A rare known fact to many is that all four men the afternoon they were speared to death, were carrying firearms. My eyes well with tears as I write this. One mind dear sister. One Spirit. Intent on one purpose. Jim and the other men knew that the chance of the tribe being unfriendly and desiring to kill them was so real that they had discussed a plan in the event that they would be attacked. It was decided that under no circumstances would they retaliate or fight back, not one man was to draw his gun! And they didn't. They all died willingly for the cause of Christ that hot day in Ecuador.
Why would they not fight back? There was intent purpose in the choice they made, because other missionaries had been there before and had retaliated, causing the Acua tribe to be fearful of “the white man” as they called them. You see their actions of self sacrifice, paved the way for Elisabeth to return to the tribe later on. These men knew the cost of the cross. Elisabeth did return with her and Jim’s daughter Valarie about a year after the deaths of the missionary men. She cultivated a friendship with one of the women of the village, which led to connections to the Acua tribal leaders. The first man she saw come to Christ was the Chief who led the spear attack on Jim and the others. The Chief went on to be like an uncle to Valarie.
Elisabeth said the evening of the tragic loss, as the sun went down, her and the four other women were found in a circle, holding hands and praying; “Thy will be done. Your Kingdom come.” and they sang a hymn to return to their homes with only joy and peace God could give. She spent many more years in the jungle serving the people who killed her husband with an unwavering joy, before returning to the United States. Not only did these missionary men embrace one Spirit and one purpose the women did as well. Elisabeth knew the cost of the Gospel and the great joy of serving and giving her life for Christ.
Our purpose will probably not be to give our lives in such a way for the Gospel dear friend. But in ordinary spaces, in the mundane places of our lives is where it’s at. It's remembering the cross when we are living our day to day lives with our spouse, our children, our friends and our communities. It’s finding joy in the sacrifices that we make day in and day out as we image Christ in all the circumstances that mark our lives. In regular, ordinary moments it's us dying to self, humbling ourselves and remembering Christ’s affection and love toward us, so we can pour out love in the lives of others. This truth will empower you to walk intent in your purpose to saturate everything in your life with the Gospel. And the Gospel is the Cross, the death, burial and praise Jesus the resurrection.
One Spirit. One Purpose. Don’t miss it. Your life is extremely important! You will go to people, reach others, and share your own story with a community of human beings that I will never know. The one Spirit is Christ, and the intent purpose is to proclaim the good news of the Gospel in everything we put our hands to. Whether you're working in your home, folding laundry, washing dishes, kissing scraped knees, writing reports for a fortune 500 company, serving in a foreign land, volunteering, at the gym lifting, taking a barre class, talking with your neighbor, responding to the current crisis at hand… no matter what- you have been set apart, crafted for a divine purpose and that purpose is to live in the glorious light of Jesus Christ!
Our culture would tell you that your purpose is to “love yourself more.” Christ's purpose for you is “Die to self, humble yourself, give willingly and sacrafically for others.” I want you to know that you are not enough, (don’t bite that bait)... but Christ is ENOUGH and He is working in and through you. Your intent purpose as a disciple of Jesus Christ is to seek hard after Him, know Him more and make Him known. You cannot live this purpose-bathed life in your own power, you must look to the cross, glory in the resurrection and walk in the Spirit. John Piper says; “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” True and complete joy is yours for the taking, it is found in one Spirit and one Purpose! His Spirit, His Purpose. “That your joy May be complete!”
Brittany Brown ~ CTC Influencer
Brittany is a Pastor's wife, homeschool mom, women's ministry leader and blogger. She is a certified yoga teacher, certified Biblical health + life coach and functional nutrition coach. For the time being she has set aside her wellness career. Brittany loves Barre and HIIT workouts with yoga thrown in the mix. Brittany now spends her days homemaking, teaching her children, helping her husband, studying theology, writing, and counseling women through her local church. She is passionate about calling women to live in the fullness of Christ, rejoice in the ordinary and find joy in the mundane.
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