The Hard Questions
Figuring out where, why and how God is going to work in one’s life is something that all Christians battle with.
Confusion… confusion… confusion…
The Lord sends you one way, then after a while, closes the door and sends you in a different direction. And then, just when you are settling in, He uproots you again! Confusing indeed!
Lord, why am I here? What is your purpose for my life? How do you want me to serve you?
If you have never asked yourself those questions, you are lucky. I have asked myself these hard questions so many times – even as recently as last week!
The question is – what does God say when we ask Him these questions?
Lord, why am I here?
Okay, this may shock all of you who are reading this, but I ask myself this question very often!
It’s common to ask yourself this question when you are faced with situations that make you feel insignificant and invisible. I asked myself this question many times when I was in campus, struggling through lectures with content that was Greek to me. I asked myself this question when I got my first job where I was treated like an outsider. I asked this question when I found that as I grew older, my friends became fewer. I still ask this question today whenever I find myself in a confused state or overwhelmed by the cares of this world.
So, then, how does God answer this question?
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT)
I like the words, “planned for us long ago.” The Lord clearly had plans for us long before He even created us! Now – not only does God have good plans for us, but He delights in taking us through these plans, teaching and directing us every step of the way!
Psalm 37:23 “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (NLT)
Whenever I begin to ask myself why I am here, I remember that there is a reason He created me and that it’s my job to accomplish what he created me to do. The most encouraging part is that I do not walk alone, even when the tasks are difficult and confusing because He is there to handle every detail!
So what’s the answer to the question above? I imagine it would be something like – “You are here because I chose you from the beginning of the world. I created you for a purpose that only YOU can fulfill. Trust me.”
Lord, what is your purpose for my life?
It’s one thing to know that God had a plan when He created me; it’s another thing to find out what that plan is!
In campus, I used to encourage myself over and over with the words from Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you…etc., etc.” I found great comfort in these words until the time came to leave school. “What on earth am I going to do with the rest of my life,” I asked. You see, my graduating grades were the bare minimum to pass the course – so job prospects were not exactly good.
Just before I started my final year, however, I had prayed for direction. I wanted to know what God wanted me to pursue after college. I wanted Him to tell me what I was supposed to do the rest of my life. Then He reminded me – music. “What?” I asked… “Where will I even begin?” Though what he said made sense, I had no clue how everything would work out.
I graduated and continued to trust the Lord to open doors for employment. I left everything in His hands. Just about a year after leaving campus, I got my first job as a music teacher. The rest is history.
Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” (NLT)
Friends, I wish there was a formula or blueprint that we could all apply when asking God to reveal his purpose for our lives, but there isn’t. God chooses when, how and why to reveal his purposes, all for His reasons. Maybe he wants to teach us patience, trust, or perseverance, or maybe there are things He wants us to let go of before He can reveal His will. The bottom line is, when we do decide to ask the Lord to reveal His purpose for our lives, we must be ready to trust Him. We must also be ready to accept whatever He sends our way because whatever He does in and through us is for His glory.
The answer to the question above would, therefore, go something like this – “My purpose for your life is to bring glory to my Name. Trust me.”
Lord, how do you want me to serve you?
This is the easiest question to answer, right? We don’t even need to ask God for direction here because we know where our talents fit! For example, the guy with the gift of the gab should join the evangelism team, the lady who is a great host should join the hospitality team, and the couple who run a successful business should run the business people’s fellowship.
Wait- should they really ‘jump’ into these ministries simply because they are talented in those fields? Yes, and no.
Let me break this down. God is the one who calls us to ministry and He is, therefore, the one who sends into the areas where He wants us to serve. Before we jump into ministry, however, there is something we ALL need to do.
Surrender ourselves to Him.
Romans 12:1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)
God will happily use someone who is ready and willing to let Him take the lead when it comes to ministry. Because ministry is all about fulfilling God’s purposes for the kingdom, it is imperative that we learn to surrender to His purposes for our lives so that we can be effective ministers.
How does surrender work? Consider that Jesus surrendered his life on the cross for us. He effectively agreed to do what His Father wanted so that we could have eternal life. He let God take charge. And though he died a painful death, Jesus rose again and eventually ascended into heaven where He sits at God’s right hand. His act of surrender and service resulted in Him receiving the honor that only a faithful servant would.
The point of surrender may not be pleasant, but the rewards of serving the Lord wholeheartedly are way greater than the pain experienced beforehand.
The answer to this question, therefore, would be, “Surrender yourself to me, and I will show you where I want you to serve me.” Give your life to the Lord, and let Him decide when and how He wants to use you. Until then, remain at His feet, learning from Him and enjoying His presence!
Dear friends, thanks again for stopping by and reading this week’s blog post. Have you ever asked yourself these hard questions? If you have, I hope and pray that the answers shared in this article have helped you. Please share your thoughts in the comments section as you share this article with your friends and family. Have a blessed week ahead!