You’re a husband, a mom, a banker, a teacher, a nurse, a truck driver, a construction worker, a radio operator, an entertainer, a cook, a retailer, a computer programmer, or a real estate agent. Your home or work life seems fine as far as it goes, but sometimes a voice in the back of your head wonders, “Is this all there is?” Part of you believes that God can use you where you are right now, but another part of you wonders whether there’s something much bigger in God’s purpose for you.

Having a purpose in life is something most people desire, but may not know how to experience. It makes a difference in your health also. Research in recent years has demonstrated that those with a high sense of purpose in life tend to engage in healthier lifestyle behaviors, develop chronic illnesses less frequently, and experience better mental health. One exciting study showed that seniors with a greater sense of purpose were significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in the following years than those without such a sense of purpose.

Yesterday I listened to an inspiring interview with Bob Goff, author of Love Does and founder of Restore International. His unique life has inspired many in using their gifts to help those in need. He described his law practice as “fundraising” for the humanitarian work he’s done, such as providing legal defense for those imprisoned unjustly in central Africa, or founding schools to teach witch doctors how to read using the Bible as a primary textbook. Perhaps your “day job” right now is your “fundraising,” providing insight, money, or other resources you can leverage to help others.

But perhaps you still have a nagging sense that you’re not fulfilling God’s purpose for you in your current life. Whether or not you identify with Bob Goff’s perspective on your day job as “fundraising,” don’t keep looking for God’s purpose for you to be separate from your daily life, or only something you can enjoy sometime in the future.

3 Stages to God’s Purpose for You

In my own life I’ve discovered three stages to knowing and experiencing God’s purpose for me. You may appreciate this perspective on your own life and purpose also.

1. God’s purpose for Everyone. Ultimately, God’s purpose for you is to be transformed to become like His Son Jesus (Romans 8:29) and to live with and enjoy Him forever. (John 17:24) That’s not as ethereal or impractical as it may seem. Are you more like Jesus today than you were a year ago? What are you doing to cooperate with God in your transformation?

Experiencing God’s purpose for you in this area means things like overcoming your addictions and hangups, developing emotional and spiritual maturity, learning to love others well, and letting His Word transform your mind. The broader aspects of God’s purpose for you can only proceed when you are making solid progress on these most important aspects of your character.

2. God’s Purpose for You Right Now. Don’t discount how God can use you exactly where you are right now. There are people you can touch with His grace and love in your everyday life: your family, your coworkers, your clients/patients/customers/students, your online connections, or anyone else you come in contact with.

How you interact with others is both God’s training ground for you, and part of how He needs to use you today. If you do your daily work with excellence, integrity, humility, courage, and love you ARE fulfilling His purpose for you right now. God has a way of bringing you “around the mountain” again and again until you learn what He needs you to know before He can take you to another stage.

3. God’s “Legacy” Purpose for You. There’s something God needs you to do that will make a difference for His kingdom now and after you’re gone. That may be raising a child or supporting a spouse that has a larger stage with which to impact others. But if you have a personal desire to do something “bigger,” don’t discount it too soon. And that something “bigger” is much more likely to be related to the “big world out there” than something directly in church work.

At some point you’ll see how the lessons God is teaching you right now are vital for you to fulfill that Legacy Purpose. Step forward and take some action right now toward that purpose, even if that action seems small. God can multiply every investment you make and build it into a legacy that will impact others for His kingdom.

I can see so many ways in which God used everything in my life to prepare me for the role I’m stepping into today. My experience in computer programming as a college student, my medical training and experience (both scientifically and in relating to patients), living many years as a single woman, my experience in different business/medical settings, living in a number of cities and cultures, and now being married to a broadcasting/media expert have all been extremely important in what I’m doing now, and what I’m about to do.

What are the ingredients of your history that God is mixing into the YOU He needs you to be? What aspects of your character is He working on before taking you to the next step? What are the pieces of your life today that are preparing you for a bigger platform? What steps can you take even now to explore, gain experience, and step into the Legacy Purpose God has for you?

Your Turn: What one thing can you do today or this week that will move you forward in one of these 3 stages of God’s purpose for you?

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