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?