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Suggestions From A Searcher — Part Nine

This is the ninth installment of Suggestions From A Searcher.  It is about your unique mission in life.

Your Unique Mission in Life

This is the ninth installment from Suggestions from a Searcher.

A.  Mission in life — What is your (unique) reason for being?

Average performers are goal-driven. 

 Peak performers are mission-driven.”

The primary reason we don’t achieve our goals is that we don’t love them enough.”

Susan Woodring, quoted above, identifies it as a problem that we not love our goals enough.  One obvious solution would be to simply do what you love to do!  There is something to be said for following your passions in life.  In fact, I believe that your worthwhile positive passions were planted in you by God!  However, as we live our lives we take on certain responsibilities and encounter various challenges that might cause us to follow a different path than what we intended.  That too can be the Lord guiding our footsteps.  The beloved movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring Jimmy Stewart, makes that point.  “In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.”   Proverbs 16: 9

I am recommending that you consciously allow the Lord to guide your steps.  Everything we have been working on in this book so far is about how you discover God’s purpose for your life — your mission.  The goals of this workbook are to help you understand how you fit into God’s sovereign plan. He has uniquely equipped you with certain gifts, such as talents and opportunities. Use those gifts in serving Him where you are.  But having said that, I must caution you that there will be unplanned problems that may re-define the mission you earlier perceived to be your part in accomplishing God’s sovereign (big picture) plan.  Therefore, be flexible.  Let the Lord use you as His instrument.  Do not try to manipulate Him to be your tool for accomplishing your own plan.

I find myself repeating myself as I go along and I think I know why.  It is because these concepts, these truths, are inter-related.  Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?  Do you first identify your areas of giftedness or first recognize God’s purpose in your circumstances?  I do not have a totally clear or satisfactory approach, but let me suggest this:

               Spend time with God to discover your gifts.

Use your gifts in following His plan.

                       Trust in Him when things don’t go as you want.

                            Remember Who is in charge. (Hint: It’s not you!)

                                                      Recognize that challenges are part of life.

Dr.Blackaby offers the following advice to people who wonder about what God wants them to do:  “Look around and notice where God is at work; then jump in.”  The potential disciple who hesitated to respond to the call to immediately come and follow Jesus apparently failed to recognize that God was at work in Jesus.  He was awaiting the coming of the Messiah but the Messiah was already present and inviting him to join in the work of the Kingdom of God.

Mission statements are popular devices in the business world today.  In the secular use of mission statements, God is often not an acknowledged factor.  In our law firm mission statement, we tried to incorporate our shared belief that God has called us to serve Him as lawyers who see our work as a ministry.  Then we stated what that work consists of for us:  advocacy, counseling and peacemaking. 


 This next exercise is intended to help you come up with a mission plan for this stage of your life at least.  Considering your past success factors, current interests, life-long passions, God-given talents, and core values, think about and pray about these three important questions:

 1)  What are you going to do?

 2)  Who are you doing it for?

 3)  Why?

           Write your own personal mission statement, incorporating your answers to the three questions above.   Your mission will perhaps change at various stages of life.  Think about where you are now.  What is your present mission?  Why did God put you where you are right now?  Where do you see God at work around you in your current circumstances?   

What Do You Love To Do?

This is the seventh section of Suggestions from a Searcher.

A.  Passions for life — What do you love to do?

It is important to discover your natural gifts so this section is intended to help you do that.  There are surely exceptions, but we usually like to do things we are good at, and, vice versa, we tend to be good at things we like to do.  Therefore, one approach to identifying your talents is to recognize what you especially love to do and to remember events in the past which have been especially satisfying for you.

Using our gifts is how we can glorify God.  Since all we have comes from Him, the most we can do is to simply allow Him to use what He has first given us.  It is thus important to acknowledge that God is the source of all we have, lest we boast.

EXERCISE FIVE:   This section of the “workbook” has four parts.  After taking time to pray, which is part number 1, write out your responses to numbers 2, 3 and 4 on separate sheets of paper.

1)     Pray for God to show you your natural gifts.

 2)     Think about your interests, hobbies, favorite places, sports, school subjects, organizations, etc.   List such things as the ideas come into your mind without worrying about organizing them by categories.  Simply write down activities you enjoy most.

 3)     Think about what you consider “successes” that you have already

experienced in life.

 a.        What is the earliest success you recall?

 b.       List three other successes. 

 c.         Are there any common factors that you identify in your various successes?

 d.       List what you view to be your natural talents.

 4)     If you could do anything and you knew you could not fail, what would you dare to do? 

This is a very telling question because it does not allow for excuses.  Assuming you can do what you aspire to do, what would it be?  There is a saying that “Whatever the mind can conceive, the person can achieve.”  The way I think about it is that God gives us our dreams. He made you so surely He won’t be surprised about your ideas.  Let your imagination fly!  In order to pursue your dreams you first need to recognize what they are.

Whose Are You?

This is the sixth in a series of excerpts from Suggestions from a Searcher.

II.      The Big Picture — Start With Who You Are!

                                       — Then Visualize Where You Are Going.

           Every person was created by God as a unique individual with special talents, interests, and opportunities.  Therefore, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all set of goals or daily routine.  In order to make the most of your life, it is helpful (even necessary) to recognize who you really are.  The following exercises are intended to help you understand yourselves better by following a step-by-step learning process.  Actually, I suspect that much of what you will get out of this will not so much be new knowledge as it will be a reminder of truths you will recognize yet, perhaps, view from a new perspective.

A.  Purpose in life — Whose are you?

A person’s worldview is influenced by various life experiences such as childhood training and anything else that affects how we come to see ourselves.  Many people flounder and do not know what to believe.  Consequently, they do not know where they are going.  You all, to whom I am writing, have been blessed with opportunities to come to a personal faith in God.  You have already expressed your belief in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, and in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.  This book is premised on the Christian faith we share.  Because of your belief in the triune God, you want to live as a child of God, which you already are.  God made you to have a personal relationship with Him.  That is knowledge which requires faith to accept.  You get your identity from the truth that you are a child of the only God and that He loves you.

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