// If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the question “What is God’s will for my life?” I would be a very wealthy woman.
I know you can relate. It’s the question we ALL ask ourselves when we are trying to make decisions about the future, regardless of age or gender.
Now, after twenty-five year of pastoring, that question hasn’t gone away. In fact, more people are asking it than ever.
Thankfully, I had a very wise person say to me years ago…
“Shauna, God’s will isn’t a straight line. It’s more like a backyard with a lot of options and a strong fence.”
What on earth does that mean?
Well, let’s think about it for a minute… He is a GOOD FATHER.
1. What brings you joy?
No good parent wakes up every morning and dictates to their kids EXACTLY what they must do each minute of the day. Of course, there are times when we ensure that they do their chores and help around the house; that’s a normal part of family life. But that doesn’t happen all day, every day.
Imagine if you will, the MOST AMAZING BACKYARD ever, full of the best toys and equipment, perfectly suited to a child’s personality and tastes.
What would you see there? Perhaps a bike, skipping rope, swing set, art supplies, train set, cars and trucks, sand toys, reading books, writing books, puzzles, dolls, swimming pool. I can see it now! //
How odd would it be for that child just to stand there looking up at her father and ask, “What do I have to do first?”
What do you think her daddy will say? I think he’d look at her kindly and say,
“What would you like to do first? Would you like to ride your bike and then perhaps draw some pictures? Or you could play for a while, and then we could read a book together? Everything here is yours, my darling—YOU decide what you want to do.”
Now, can you imagine our Heavenly Father saying those same things to us concerning our life purpose? My friends, that’s EXACTLY what God is like with us. He loves to bless us and give us options.
How do I know that? Because we were made in His image! And if we who are imperfect love to give our children options for fun, why do we think that He’s any different? He’s not up there scheming ways to make our lives miserable. That’s not in His character at all.
Recognizing what brings you joy is a good place to start when trying to discover your life purpose. In fact, those desires and dreams that are lying deep inside of you… HE PLACED THEM THERE TO BEGIN WITH.
Get to know Your Father, and let Him develop and mature those dreams.
2. Your boundaries have fallen in pleasant places
The next thing to consider are the boundaries that He’s given you. No, I’m not going to debate about what’s fair and what’s not. Boundaries are a good thing—get over it.
THE FENCE TEST: Some years ago, a university group studied the effects that fences had on elementary-school children (Gr K-6).
- Do you know that, in the schools WITHOUT fences, the children subconsciously played closer to the school building and didn’t even get close to the outer limits of the playground? I seem to recall that they only used about 35% of the playground, probably because they felt safer closer to the buildings.
- But in the schools that HAD a fence, those children played everywhere and anywhere. They displayed more confidence and boldness, and they even played right up against the fence line. They used ALL of the space allowed and MAXIMIZED THEIR FUN!
How cool is that?
My friends, that’s what God has done for us. He has given us strong boundaries to protect us from decisions and influences that would otherwise hurt us.
Psalm 16:6 says it this way,
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”
Proper boundaries will ALWAYS make you feel more confident and more alive.
So, how can you truly know what your purpose is?
- Read the Bible! In it, you will find both His promises and His boundaries for you. He will never ask you to do something that is contrary to what He’s said in His Word.
- Pray and listen. God loves to speak to His children.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you, a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”
- Walk with pastors/teachers/mentors who can help you grow in maturity. Christianity is not a drive-through; it takes time to mature, but it’s always worth the effort.
And the next time you want to complain and say,
“God, I’m bored. What should I do now?”
- Fun is your responsibility. Decide what you’d LIKE to do first.
- Don’t fight your boundaries. They are there to MAXIMIZE YOUR FUN!
With much love,
Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the prompt word was PURPOSE.
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For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out Kate Motaung’s site!