Have you ever examined your life? Do you know your purpose for being here? The Bible says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?…” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
First, we have to be honest and examine if we know Jesus. Then we can discover our purpose, which ultimately is to make Him known.
God makes it very clear that you have a purpose for being here. Understanding your purpose helps you navigate life. It gives direction and a path. You aren't alone if you don’t know your purpose for being here.
Everyone is on a journey. The Apostle Paul knew this journey of purpose well. The key is to make the shift when the Spirit of God moves in our lives. We turn away from our plans and align with the plans God reveals to us through His Word.
The Apostle Paul Knew His Purpose (But He Didn’t Start That Way)
The Apostle Paul, who wrote the book of Philippians, was clear about his purpose for being here. But he didn’t start out that way.
He had ambitions and plans for his life. He received messages from his culture just like we do, such as, “If you want this, you need to do that.” Replace this and that with whatever the world says.
He navigated his life based on what he perceived to be his purpose—killing and persecuting believers.
But then he met Jesus, and his life was completely changed. His purpose for being here shifted directions (See Acts 9).
When he met Jesus, he was the Pharisee of Pharisees, murdering anyone who believed in Him. He thought he was on the right path. He thought he was doing a good thing. However, he suddenly realized his purpose for being here had been wrong.
The Spirit of God revealed to him that, even though he had been a prideful murderer filled with hate and anger, Jesus still loved him and had a different purpose for his life. God revealed to Paul that he could be forgiven and pardoned for all his sin (Colossians 2:14).
You might know the message of salvation and have received forgiveness through your faith in Jesus Christ. This is where you start… but this isn’t the end.
Salvation is more than receiving forgiveness. Forgiveness always comes prepackaged with the future too. God wants to step into your life, forgive you, and then release you into your purpose for being here in this life.
An Invitation to Discover Your Purpose for Being Here
When you read the Bible, it is an invitation to surrender your life to Jesus and to follow Him. If your faith only informs your failures, that is a failing faith. Yes, faith does inform you of your weaknesses and needs, but for a greater purpose: so you can go to God and repent. But it doesn’t stop there. Faith informs your future too.
Philippians 1:21 says…
- “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
What is Paul saying here? Paul is saying…
- “I give my life to Jesus.”
- “I’m here because of Jesus.”
- “My purpose is Jesus.”
Paul could have given his life to anything from money to church planting. But if you were to ask Paul today, “Paul, why are you here?” His response would be, “Jesus.”
Your Purpose for Being Here Is…
- To know Jesus
Paul wrote, “… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10, emphasis added).
The Greek word for “know” in this verse is gnosis, which means a knowledge of spiritual mysteries. This is to know something through experience, as in tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
In other words, Paul is saying the purpose of life is to know Jesus in such a way that you experience Him. Your purpose begins at the moment you begin to know Jesus.
- To make Jesus known
Philippians 1:22 says, “But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell” (emphasis added).
Your purpose in life moves forward in Jesus when you make Jesus known to others. The word “labor” in this verse means to sweat and carries the connotation of laboring to birth a child. In other words, Paul labored for the Gospel during His life so that others might receive life.
Paul goes on to say, “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,” (Philippians 1:23-25, emphasis added).
Paul let the Philippians church know that he would labor to the end because it was necessary. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers—the laborers—are few (Matthew 9:35-39).
When You Don’t Know Your Purpose, You Feel Out of Place
Maybe you know Jesus, yet you lack passion and feel spiritually dry and out of place.
So, let’s examine some reasons you might feel out of place…
- Do you know Jesus the way Paul described knowing Jesus?
- Do you spend time in the Word of God?
- Do you spend time in community and fellowship?
- Do you share your faith?
If so, pause for a moment and read Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 13:5 again, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
- Have you put your faith in Jesus alone? Then start spending time with Him—getting into the Word and praying. Surround yourself with others in community to encourage you. Consider who God wants you to share your faith with.
You might think you can’t share your faith and make Jesus known to others because you don’t speak a certain way or don’t know enough Bible verses.
But God placed you where you are for a reason.
- The Father sent His Son, Jesus, so the world would know God through Him.
- Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to indwell you, equipping you as an ambassador and a mouthpiece.
- All this was done to make Jesus known to others.
Want to know your purpose for being here? It is to live your life for Jesus and to make Him known, laboring till the end.
Warning! Don’t Let the Important Things Be the Ultimate Thing
It can be tempting to let the important things trump the ultimate thing. Over the years, you climb the ladder of life. You have accomplishments and do good things. Then you get to the point of asking, “What was all this for? What is my purpose for being here?”
Eventually, you realize your successes, well-being, and the temporal things—though some very important—are not the ultimate.
As you seek to know Jesus, remaining faithful to Him over the decades of your life, make Him known to others, and you will see how the once important things tend to fade or fall into place, but the ultimate thing—Jesus—remains forever.
Those important things will…
- Be in their proper place because…
- You pursued Jesus and….
- You will know your purpose and…
- Have peace.
Paul wrote, “…to die is gain.”
Paul looked forward to death. When Jesus is your purpose, death is your promotion.
The word “gain” in the verse is the Greek word lucre, meaning to gain money, wealth, riches, or goods to make a profit. This is where we get the word lucrative. Paul is saying that knowing Jesus is the most lucrative investment possible.
Your purpose for being here is to…
- First, know Jesus
- Second, make Jesus known to others
As you put on this belt of truth, you will walk in the peace of the Gospel, having confidence that to live is Christ, but to die is gain. You’re view of life shifts. Your priorities fall into place, and you see death as a promotion, not something to fear.
Want to hear Pastor Chad’s sermon about why you are here? Check it out!