Today’s devotional: following God’s purpose for our lives, not our own

What’s your purpose in life? What do you feel called to do? Christians often talk about discerning God’s purpose for our lives, or about learning “what God wants us to do” with our talents and skills.

These are reasonable things to ponder. But in this devotional from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers cautions us against presuming to know for certain what God has in mind for our lives:

After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek great things for yourself, thinking, “God has called me for this and for that,” you barricade God from using you. As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. Your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord.

The truth is that we simply cannot know for certain how, exactly, God plans to use us. God might use us in exactly the way we expect… or His plans for our lives might be completely at odds with what we want or imagine. Christians must be prepared for the possibility that at any time, God might pull us out of our carefully planned routines and present us with challenges and opportunities we never imagined.

Does this frighten you or reassure you? Have you ever had the experience of serving God in a way you would never have planned or guessed?

5 Responses to “Today’s devotional: following God’s purpose for our lives, not our own”

  • Cecelia says:

    This particular devotional is an eye-opener regarding finding out what IS God’s will for MY life. It is really not what others think it is and it is not necessarily based on what gifts and talents that God has already given to me. It is exactly about total surrender of every earthy interest and self-interest and these are two different aspirations – the selfish and unselfisn – and move towards that which is God-centered. If I am frightened of the thought any t all, then it means that I am not submitting my will to God’s and need to strive towards total surrender AND remain in it continually. Yes, I have had the experience of serving God in a way I would never have planned or guessed. It was very fulfilling; but sometimes I feel that I need to know how amd when to separate my inner being from earthly and self interests, that is, things of the flesh from that of the spirit. I know I need to sharpen my ears to listen more keenly to the voice of God and then not only act on his command, but act quickly. I have also had the experience of the consequences of delayed obedience – simply put, it is disobedience because “later” was not part of His command and He used someone more alert. I have also had the experience of “over-anxious” obedience, i.e. not paying attention to details and so mis-carried out His command and defeated the purpose He intended. The Bible says that we should be anxious for nothing and that illustrates that even in carrying out His Will. It also shows how easy it is to step outside of God’s Will and that God’s timing is perfect and it brings profound contentment. What God has purposed for us is always superiorto anything that we intend for ourselves.

  • Irene says:

    Andy,

    thank you for a nice post! :)

    I have got a fresh positive experience of letting God lead.
    Just no more than a week ago, I had been under great pressure of deadlines and important projects, and all of them had appeared to fail. I had seemed a complete loser to myself for not being able to follow my own plans and had felt disappointed.

    What made me feel even worse was my observation that there had been little place for God in my daily life. I had given up several Christian activities because of lack of time and energy after all the hectic schedule. And I had not been thinking about God’s intentions; I had set my own priorities.

    Then, after I realized that God has the right to rule over my life, I asked Him to take control over my whole next day. A new thing was that I did not pray in a manner of verbally recognizing God as the Lord of my life but not taking it literally, as I would do sometimes. No, I was so desperate that I just begged Him to take my life into His hands.

    And I am so much grateful God did. the next day after the prayer (that was yesterday) turned out to be one of the best days in the last several months. I managed to finish the task I had been struggling with and proceed to the next stage of my major project. Then I addressed several other pending errands and managed to finish early enough to go to the lecture in the church that I wanted to hear. Before the lecture, there had been a liturgy, though it had not been announced before. I was happy to participate in the service, particularly after I missed some. Besides, I spoke with a friend I had not met for quite a long time.

    Today, I also had experienced several pleasant events and made some little personal achievements. Yet, I am quite afraid what might happen to me if I surrender to God’s will. It is a risky choice, in my opinion. I respect heroic Christians who followed God and I know I need to do so, too, but I still have this fear about myself. But thanks to God I hope I will give up myself to Him more readily from now on.

  • brayan rodriguez says:

    i am happi about what hppend to irene kepp going:)

  • Gracy says:

    GOOD PURPOSE = GOD’S PURPOSE?

    Let me start by saying that there’s one single prayer that push you direct into God’s purpose:God use me as I am and as You like.I surrender all that I am and all that I have to You.Even if what you do might seem good, it can never please God unless it’s His own purpose.Let’s take the exemple of Saul in the Bible in 1 Samuel 15. God had asked Saul to destroy the Amalekites and all their belongings;but saul left Agag their king and all their best belongings including their Sheep, cattle, lambs…When God sent Samuel to complain, Saul said there was a GOOD PURPOSE behind his desobedience: he wanted to offer those good things to God as sacrifices.Inspite of this explanation, God rejected him as Israel’s king.Let’s put a very big difference between GOOD PURPOSE and GOD’S PURPOSE!!!

  • Douglas A. Coleman. says:

    The bible has already made it clear that, GOD created this world out of His own will, and created human in His own image to rule and subdue it, it’s simply like building your own house, and adopting a child to live in and to take care of it, that’s a totally undeserve accreditation.

    Now human must know and understand that we had no part in creating anything in this world but GOD, so the one who creat us knows the plan He has for us, (jer.29:11-12). GOD has already sworn by Himself assuredly to bless us, so if we as human really do trust and believe in Him of His capabilities, then we should disregard our ambitions, goals and plans which will fraustrate in turn lead us to the grip of this wicked world of generation being controlled by the devil and his cohorts.

    Exodus 19:4-5 states that if you’ll obey and follow my instruction and my will, then you shall be a peculiar tresure for me, foe all the earth is mine, that means GO is so much concen of we being on His schedule, rather than ours, so that He can place us on thepinnace of life where His glory can be seen.

    Another typical example, how can we be given and sit on a chair we do not know, wheather it is well screwed or nailed without inspecting it during our visit to a friends house or in a church congrgation, but it has become imposible for many to trust the one who holds this world in the power of His hand.

    In Gen.12:1-3, God told Abram to leave his family house to a place he (Abram) dosn’t know, and He will bless him, Abram becae Abraham because of the word trusted ad relied on, and God called him His friend.
    All this happened because he yielded to God’s plan for his life, if we wants be called God’s friend and enjoy theblessings of Abraham, then we must let go ourself, Amen and Amen.