I am challenging men and women from all walks of life to take an intentional journey of purpose. In order to find your purpose though, one of the first things you must determine is to whom you will go for the source of your identity. Who will you allow to bestow your identity upon you? I believe that only God, your Creator, can tell you who you really are. In fact, I believe you will never fulfill your true destiny and live out your ultimate purpose unless you believe you are who God says you are.
Discovering your true identity makes it much easier to find and fulfill your destiny. If you don't know who you are, you won't believe you can accomplish your purpose, so you will never try. Your God-given purpose is so much bigger than you. In fact, it is utterly impossible for you to fathom what God has in mind for you, and it is not something you can do alone. If God revealed your purpose to you right now, you simply wouldn't believe it. You may be too shocked and shy away from it. He designed it that way. He intended that you would have to consult Him, your Creator, for the answers. You must come to a point in your life where you choose to believe that He specifically created your unique identity so that you could succeed in fulfilling your destiny.
How do we figure out who we were created to be? There are clues inside of us, but we must also look outside ourselves. Most of us would have a very difficult time finding our identity within ourselves, because our identities are bestowed upon us. We innately look to someone else to tell us who we are.
Doesn't that seem just a little unfair-to be dependent upon someone else to tell us who we are? If God created this whole process, does He really want us to spend our entire lives running around asking everyone we meet, "Who am I?" No. That is exhausting and what I did for most of my life. For years I felt fragmented trying to keep up with all the identities others had bestowed upon me-both good and bad. The best place to start is with the source of creation-God himself.
I was called hyper, loud, talkative, bossy, and a know-it-all. I agreed to these identifiers because of the number of times I was told to be quiet, sit still, or let someone else go first. I also received the identity of "good girl" and "big sister." I embraced those titles too and tried very hard to be good and take care of others; I ended up being a people-pleaser. I could go on and on with my own examples, but know this. God never intended us to go to other people for our identities. Instead, He inspired a whole book describing who we are and what we are to be doing with great love and passion He knows our potential for greatness and sets about putting us in circumstances and situations to draw us up to that place. He believes in us much more than we believe in ourselves.
This quote describes what I'm talking about beautifully:
"Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is.
Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
That is what God does. He sees our potential, because He created our potential, and He believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Take a look at these verses about what God says about you, who you really are. These words were written for you, so make them personal. Choose to believe they are for you. Read them out loud with your name written in the blanks.
"I know the plans I have for you, _______________ says the LORD...plans to give you, a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
"Before I shaped you in the womb ______________, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you." Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)
"For you, ________________ are God's workmanship [work of art] created in Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you, to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Let your Creator convince you of your value and grand purpose. Choose to let this be your truth. Don't worry if you don't feel any different; that is normal. When these words become the truth you choose to believe, your feelings will catch up eventually, and you will begin your journey of purpose on the right path.
Thank you for reading and participating with me on this journey of purpose. I'd love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me your own stories about discovering your purpose.
A message from Jenny Williamson
Jenny is currently taking requests from churches in the Sacramento area to serve as a host church for this 10-week study with LIVE teaching from Jenny, either Fall or Spring 2017-18. Also, if you are interested in starting a journey of purpose for a small group you would like to host, contact Jenny directly at email@example.com.