Determine Your Purpose



“The purpose of life is to have a purposeful life.”

My friend Charlotte often says that quote. I love it because it’s a wonderful reminder of how simple life really is (even though it often feels complicated!). Lately, I have had this quote on my mind for a slightly different reason.

4word recently launched an online store that features wonderful products from companies like Akola Project, Nomi Network, and What’s In The Bible?. These products are listed in a special part of the store called Purchase with Purpose: Lifestyle Products That Give Back. When picking the companies to feature in this store, we at 4word knew from the beginning that we wanted to connect our customers with products and causes that would not only edify their lives, but also enrich the lives of people they may never meet.

Brittany Merrill Underwood 1Each company we’ve partnered with has a purpose for existing. For Akola Project, they endeavor to change the lives of women living in Uganda. For What’s In The Bible?, the goal of Jellyfish Labs is to make the Bible real for the entire family — children and parents. Nomi Network wants to keep young Cambodian and Indian women from becoming victims of the sex trafficking industry.

What connects all of these companies is the fact that their founders dedicated the time and effort to seek out what God’s purpose was for their time on Earth, and then acted on that purposeful plan with great fervor. As a result, God has recognized and blessed their incredible efforts and each of these companies continues to see growth in both awareness of their cause and breadth of impact.

And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

I’ve found that many often confuse “purposeful” with “important.” We should be viewing the idea of “living purposefully” as understanding and acknowledging God’s purpose for us. To overcomplicate the idea of living a purposeful life puts us in danger of never discovering that purpose.

So how can you determine your purpose?

Seek. Open your heart and mind to God and actively go to Him with the intention of discoveringreadbiblemedium His purpose for you. It might not happen immediately, it might not happen in the next year. God’s plan is not our own. Just continually seek His face and He will answer.

Listen. When God does reveal His purpose for your life, prepare yourself for whatever direction you are sent in. Your purpose could be becoming part of a middle school outreach. It could be connecting with, leading, or founding a 4word: Local Group in your city. It could be picking up your life and heading to a remote corner of the world to change the lives of those who desperately need an advocate. Whatever your purpose, allow God to lead you, which leads me to the third point.

Trust. Your purpose might be something local, either at your job, your church, or your children’s school. Or your purpose might be something more life-changing, like relocating to another country or leaving the well-paying job you have now to start a nonprofit from the ground up. In any of these scenarios, you must have complete and unrelenting faith in your Heavenly Father.

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

shutterstock_174375536Act. Once you have your purpose and know which direction you should be heading, GO. Make a plan and vow to stick with it. Implore your family and friends to either support you with prayers and encouragement or by physically joining you on your journey. Set realistic goals for yourself and take the time to celebrate and praise God for every milestone you reach, no matter how trivial it may seem. As long as you are moving forward and you know that what you are accomplishing coincides with God’s purpose for you, never lose hope.

As I said earlier, we partnered with companies like Akola Project, Nomi Network, and What’s In The Bible? because we believe in the purposes God has ordained for them and we want to help spread the reach of their impact. I have encouraged everyone I know to make the 4word Store a stop on their Christmas shopping plan this year. Support these causes while giving your loved ones truly unique gifts that they will cherish.

Whether you are searching for your life’s purpose, you’ve just begun your purposeful journey, or you have been following God’s plan for your life for years, always remember to continually follow after God and listen to His calling. Allow Him to guide you, and your life will be one of gratifying and eternal impact to those around you.