God’s Will, Our Purpose
By Dr. Sanejo Leonard
Responding to God’s call is not always easy, and there is never a “right” time to do so. Most good decisions requiring action and movement can be a struggle to finally settle, and one of the struggles we have is when to take action. Planning and preparation are always important. As the saying goes, “measure twice, saw once,” so decisions should be carefully evaluated and weighed out. However, our human nature and the second law of thermodynamics tend to work against us in the area of change, shifting direction, and forward movement.
Additionally, there are some decisions that don’t require much thought: show love, kindness, and care to others; love God and pursue spiritual growth; lastly, respond to God’s purpose and intention for your life. The last one becomes harder as it can be difficult to know what God’s purpose is for your life. The essence is that God’s will and calling for your life is to grow into Christ’s likeness so that you can become, through His careful sculpting and transformation of your character, the best version of you that He created you to be. God’s will for your life does not have to be mysterious and something you wait for years to understand. Simply and purposefully grow towards God and develop the personality, gifts, and talents He has given you.
For some, God has called you to start businesses, create safe and healthy places for people to work and be productive in society. For others, God has called you to be creative and write, design, draw, and share musical and artistic beauty. To some, God has called you to vocational ministry and has equipped you to do so.
I finally embraced my call to ministry after several years of trying to understand how God had uniquely gifted and prepared me for vocational ministry. The calling grew stronger and stronger in my heart and mind in my junior year in college, and after several confirmations by professors who saw in me what I couldn’t as yet see in myself. There were gifts and talents God had given me that I couldn’t manufacture, and I knew at several points along the way that I was in the right place when I ministered to others and I felt a sacred sense of God’s presence that also resonated with the other person; when I preached and felt an unmistakable anointing coming over that I could not create on my own; when I taught my first college course at a Bible college on the importance of theology and Bible study and people were touched connected with the ideas on a deep and profound ways. These gifts came from inside, from the years of preparation as a young person through memorizing scripture and being engaged in my church and youth group, through the talents and personality God created me to have, and the years of education and ministerial training I received.
Fulfilling our purpose requires preparation, education, training, and embracing the calling God has given to us. Being willing to embrace life’s challenges as part of our preparation, all of the education we have received or need to receive, and understanding our personality, our gifts, and the talents with which God has entrusted us—all are needed to help us step into our calling and purpose.
Our purpose in life is to respond to God’s specific and individual call for each of us, and then to embrace His collective will for all of us to grow into transformational Christlikeness.
I pray that each of you would lean into God’s purpose for your life, your calling, and His will for you.