What is Your Purpose?

know your purpose
We all need a sense of purpose, but sometimes life seems adrift. There is hope. God's word is pretty clear about our purpose and it's simpler than we might imagine.

Have you questioned your purpose? I have.

Before raising kids, I lived with a keen sense of purpose as I traveled the world helping the gospel reach the unreached.

June 25, 2009 hiking in Asia after an evangelism missions trip

Then, my firstborn arrived with a life-threatening medical condition—and I found myself wailing on the floor of the Ronald McDonald house in Los Angeles, begging God to save the son of his handmaid (Palm 116:16).

April 2, 2010 The first time I saw my son for 10 seconds before they transported him to another hospital.

A month after my son’s birth, the nurse prepared us to take our baby home. She trained my husband and me in infant CPR and then encouraged us with something like, “You can do this, but be careful to watch him because he might stop breathing.”

Might stop breathing?!

I succumbed to the reality that I needed to quit my job.

Was my purpose now just scrubbing cheese off dinner plates and taking a walk around the block in-between newborn feedings?

In one day my position, financial provision, and sense of greater purpose—dissipated.

At some point, I think we all want to know we are living for more than the daily grind—whether our work is paid or unpaid. And for the Christian—there is very good news.

What Does the Bible Say About Our Purpose?

The Bible gives us clear hope about why we are created and offers us a purposeful vision for our lives (no matter our location or vocation).

I suggest there are 5 main purpose-statements based on scripture that make up our “Spiritual Purpose DNA.”

1. We are made in the image of God, to glorify God.

From the beginning of the creation of humanity, we see a special purpose for humanity. God spoke all other living creatures into existence by the power of his words, but he crafted humanity with his hands and his breath (see Genesis 1–2).

Then, he brought together male and female, both called “Adam”, magnifying their unity and oneness (Genesis 5:2). He blessed this perfect partnership (man and woman, different, yet united).

And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27–28, ESV

In the beginning, man and woman were to demonstrate their being made in God’s image, God’s likeness—by ruling as God’s “vice-regents” on the earth.

In other words, being made in the image of God is (in part) that we rule (care for, cultivate, create) the earth.

This is a huge purpose!

In addition to being made in God’s image, we are made to glorify God, to bring him praise and honor in how we live as his image bearers.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

How are you caring for God’s world including your home, workplace, neighborhood?

2. Our Purpose Includes Loving God.

A religious lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, trying to trap him (the Jewish Law was of the most importance). Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37–38, ESV)

But what does “love” mean?

I think one way it may be summed up is in another statement Jesus made, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, ESV)

We love God when we lay down our life; when we surrender living for ourselves and instead we live for him.

Is there anything you are resisting to lay down in order to fully follow Jesus?

3. Our Purpose Includes Loving Others.

In the same passage from above, Jesus included the second greatest commandment. “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39-40)

We love others when we lay down our life (our preferences and comfort) to serve the needs of others.

What preferences or comfort do you need to lay down to love someone else well?

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

4. Our Purpose Includes Making Disciples.

Jesus rose from the dead and spent special time with his remaining eleven closest disciples (Judas, well, let’s just say—he was gone).

Jesus gave specific, purposeful instructions to the men he chose to carry on his work.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)

Through their ministry—these specific instructions are ours to carry out as well. We are to make disciples that make disciples.

How can you take the next step in making disciples that make disciples?

Need help? Discipleship.org is a great place to start.

5. Our Purpose Includes Doing the Work God Prepared in Advance for Us to Do.

Think back upon your life thus far. You’ve had unique experiences (good or bad). You’ve been gifted with abilities and opportunities that helped shape your skillset. All of these come together—right here, right now.

Everything in the past prepares us for the “right now.”

Then, we look at our current responsibilities and opportunities and we ask, “What might glorify God with my time and energy today? This week? This season of life?”

This is the work God has prepared in advance for us to do.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8–10, ESV)

What opportunity do you have in your life today that needs your skills and abilities? How can you honor God in this work?

Glorifying God in Whatever Work We Do

Before parenthood, I thought glorifying God meant “ministry” work: travel the world sharing the gospel, serve at church, box food for hungry children.

These are all great things, but doing the work God has given us to do—today—is ministry work. Let’s not miss our purpose by being distracted with Christian cultural ideals.

Our God-given Purpose DNA is to: glorify God as his image-bearers, love God and love others, make disciples, and do the work he prepared in advance for us to do.

In other words, our purpose is to follow Jesus. Period.

Purpose Looks Different in Various Seasons of Life

In my early years of parenting, following Jesus looked a lot like scrubbing cheese off dishes, sleepless nights holding a fussy infant, or mid-morning walks to just get out of the house.

These days, following Jesus looks like writing this post.

I might not be changing the world or leading whole tribes to Jesus, but I’m doing the work God prepared in advance for me to do.

Success in God’s eyes is not measured in paychecks, algorithms, or opinions. Success in God’s eyes is faithfulness in following Jesus. But I’m convinced: faithfulness often looks small. 

Seana Scott, Well Soul Life


  • Is there any area of your life that feels purposeless in this season?
  • How does today’s truth from scripture help you see your situation differently?


Pray about your reflections above or you can follow this prayer:

Father, Son, Holy Spirit—one and only true God, I worship you. I want to live a purposeful life. I want to live for you. Please help me see even the small details of my day as a way to honor and glorify you. And please help me to live out your purpose for your people in every area of my life. Amen.

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know your purpose

What is Your Purpose?

We all need a sense of purpose, but sometimes life seems adrift. There is hope. God’s word is pretty clear about our purpose and it’s simpler than we might imagine.

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