‘Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.’ Proverbs 16:3 NIV
‘‘Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.’ Proverbs 29:18 NASB
‘And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.’ Habbakuk 2:2 ESV
Many of us have great ideas and plans for how things should go, how our life could get better or how someone else should use their resources to do something significant. But most of the time we don’t take the steps necessary to give our ideas a fighting chance. Part of that is because we dont have a clear vision for our lives.
To create a clear vision for our lives we have to first understand our individual purpose. I’ve heard it said that, our individual purpose is where our passions and an earthly need meet. Pastor Bill Hybels calls it ‘Holy Discontentment.’
One way to understand your individual purpose is to ask yourself ‘what passions do I want to mark the remainder of my life?’
There are many things that each one of us likes to do and many things we are passionate about, but if it doesn’t meet a need or can’t be apart of the remainder of your life, it won’t fulfill our individual purpose. That doesn’t mean that we can’t use those other passions and skills to help us accomplish our main passions at certain times, it just means that our short term skills and passions are not going to fulfill our life purpose.
For example, an earthly need that I am passionate about is being there for youth during the traumatic developmental stages of their lives. I’m also passionate about sports, fitness, leadership and most importantly, Jesus. These passions gave birth to my personal Vision Statement:
For me that statement summarizes my passions and skills, it also gives me a lense I can look through to examine my life trajectory according to my individual purpose.
If everything I do, every job I take, every decision I make doesn’t flow through my life vision then something needs to change.
When I was irresponsible with my passions, I felt like I was going through life aimlessly looking for the best paying career job. I took random jobs that didn’t reflect my passions, and made choices that had no future value. Consequently I wasn’t able to work to fulfill my individual purpose.
I wasn’t committing myself to the Lord, so my main passions and giftings went unnoticed (see Proverbs 16:3).
I didn’t have the ability to make good plans because I didn’t have any idea why God made me.
The key to a successful life before God is to find out how your skills and passions can be used to meet someone’s need. Just as Romans 12 says,
‘For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.’ (Romans 12:4-8)
What part of the body are you? We’re not all called to be missionaries or pastors, but were all called to be members of each other and to use our gifts and passions to be functional members of the body of Christ.
What causes are you passionate about? How can you use your gifts to impact others?
Find a couple of people to work together with, who can point out ways that God has gifted you with a skill, passion or a ‘holy discontent’ that He has purposed you to use for His glory.