Are You Fulfilling God's Purpose For You?

“For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

God has a plan for my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says it's a good plan. A plan to prosper me. I want to be involved in that plan. Periodically, I think it's necessary to examine my life and see if I am headed in God's direction, following His plan.

I get side tracked easily. So frequent examination is better than occasional review, for me

Annual goal setting helps. Monthly goal reviewing helps. Daily time spent with Jesus helps. Inner promptings from the Holy Spirit helps. But every once in a while, maybe every 7-10 years, a prolonged time of analysis and reflection is necessary.

Consider the LORD established a Sabbath year. Every seventh year th people were suppose to let the land rest. Plant no crops. Eat only what grew up on its own, with out any tending. It reminded the people that the LORD was the ultimate provider of everything, not man.

Forgoing the normal activities related to land preparation and planting, the people naturally had more time to reflect. Hopefully, they used it to reflect on the work of God in and through their lives. That's what I'd do!

I am not a farmer, so I have no Sabbath year. But I recently decided to conduct my own period of extended reflection and examination. It's probably been 20 years since I've taken such a serious look at my life and what God is doing in and through me.

I collected a few books on the subject and went through the process outlined in each one. The books are listed at the bottom of this article.

As I went through the processes, I discovered common themes suggested by all.

Identify My Values

I have to know what things are important to me. Do I like security or risk? or both? Do fame, fortune, or success appeal to me? Do I want honesty? authority? creativity? intellectual stimulation? Do I value challenges, peace, leisure, financial freedom? None of these are mutually exclusive.

I reflected on 54 different values and decided which 5 were most important to me and which 5 were least important.

I found I most valued: Problem solving, Time freedom, Challenges, Health & Fitness, and Solitude.

A List of Over 250 Values

Another List of Values to Chose From

Understand My Personality

God made each of us different. I was told once that my personality is the best gift God has given me to impact the world for Him. (A personal relationship with God and the free gift of eternal life in the presence of God where assumed at this point.)

The most recognized personality test available in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI types each person using one of two types for each of four dimensions. Sixteen different combinations or “types” are possible.

After answering a series of questions, I was typed along these four dimensions.

1. How I energize: Introversion, rather than extroversion
2. How I gather information: Sensing, rather than by intuition
3. How I make decisions: Thinking, rather than feeling
4. How I live my life: Judging, rather than perceiving

Once typed, a series of explanations helped me understand how to best take advantage of my personality type.

The official MBTI test must be administered by a trained professional. But online temperament tests are available which you may find useful.

On-Line Personality Test

Another On-Line Personality Test

Yet Another On-Line Personality Test

Alternatively, you may be able to read the descriptions and type yourself. That's what I did. I took the official test 20 years ago. This time I read the descriptions and typed myself. Close friends confirmed they believed my conclusions to be accurate. I think you and your friends can all help each other figure out your temperament types and do a pretty good job.

Identify My Spiritual Gifts

A number of spiritual gifts tests are available on line.

An On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Another On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Yet Another On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

I've completed a few of them over the years. The one I did recently confirmed what I suspected. I most probably have the spiritual gifts of administration, leadership, teaching, and wisdom.

But I try not to focus too much on my gifts. Jesus said we are all suppose to be servants (Matthew 20:26-27) I prefer to serve other people and let my spiritual gifts rise to the occasion as opportunities present themselves.

Identify My Skills (My Strengths)

We all have skills. Skills develop while performing different roles and functions in life. I worked as a couple of fast food restaurants part-time over the years. I learned to deal with people, take orders, follow directions, show up on time. All skills.

I have training as a teacher. I know how to prepare lesson plans, speak in front of a large group, break down difficult concepts so they can be easily understood. More skills.

After I listed as many skills as I could, I selected the top 7 or 8 that I enjoyed doing. These would be considered my strengths. I picked these five: problem solving, accepting challenges, reading/studying, analysis, and goal seeking.

Identify My Working Style

My styles include things like:

How do I like to solve problems?

I like to solve problems through development and extension of existing solutions.

How do like to process information?

I like to process information by collecting data and facts and evaluating them.

Do I like to work alone or with others?

I like to work alone in a challenged and orderly manner.

Do I like structured direction or freedom?

I like freedom and the responsibility that goes with that freedom.

An On-Line Work Styles Assessment

Another On-Line Work Styles Assessment

Identify My God Given Desires

Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I think I have delighted myself in the LORD pretty well for the last 3 decades. I believe many of my desires have been put in my heart by Him. Especially, when they align with what God has told me to be true in the Bible.

So I listed the things that God has laid on my heart over the past several months, or sometimes longer ago.

Write A Mission Statement

I collected all the pieces together. I set them before God and prayed, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I have some ideas about what He wants from me. Some of them are kind of fuzzy. But I am headed in the right direction. God will make it clear to me as I move forward. My sub-conscious processes these ideas continually.

The next step of the process is to write it down. One suggested method is to write a mission statement for my life.

So I did.

“To spend as much time alone with God as possible each day while helping as many people as possible develop their own personal relationships with God.”

Another suggestion was to write the epitath I wanted on my tombstone.

So I did.

“He loved God with all his heart, all his soul, and all his mind and encouraged others to do the same.”

And to these ends, I have directed my efforts on this web site.

And of course, to support this life mission, I need to continue working my full-time job, just like you!

For You

If you want to examine your own life more deeply, here are some suggested resources.

Books With Assessment Exercises and Processes

Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren

Great Niche Hunt

Work With Passion: How to Do What You Love For A Living

God's Will Bible study book

Spiritual Gifts Assessments

An On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Another On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Yet Another On-Line Spiritual Gifts Assessment

Personality Tests

On-Line Personality Test

Another On-Line Personality Test

Yet Another On-Line Personality Test

Work Styles Assessment

An On-Line Work Styles Assessment

Another On-Line Work Styles Assessment

Values Links

A List of Over 250 Values

Another List of Values to Chose From

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