Having a Vision Greater than Personal Purpose (Part I)


The norm in the American Christian culture is the desire to seek God’s purpose for our lives and to accomplish all that the Lord has planned for us to do on this earth. To a degree, that is a noble desire, but if we make it the focus of our walk with the Lord, it can derail us from the Lord’s greater purpose.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 

According to the above passage, we are the Lord’s design created by Him and for Him. He is the one who not only has created us, but He has also prepared the “good works” that we get to walk in. Good works could be a collection of small and big things that the Lord is going to ask us to do. They may take different shapes and forms, but they may not be perceived as purpose by us. We may even see them as nebulous and insignificant because in the eyes of the world success is about having a big purpose.

What if the Lord asked us to help a neighbor with their shopping or reach out to someone who looks lonely and invite them to dinner!? We may not necessarily see that as our purpose, but it may very well be some of the good works that the Lord has prepared in advance for us to do.

In my early twenties, when I was very lonely, an older couple took notice of me at church and had seen me at a local restaurant where I ate. So they had their daughters befriend me and invite me for lunch to their house. That was a very kind and thoughtful gesture, and after all these years I still have not forgotten about it. That was good works unto the Lord, even though, they may have forgotten about it.

The Lord’s view is broad, and it is about His Kingdom coming  and His will being done on the earth as it is in heaven. So even though his good works may not seem important to the world, if He considers them significant, then they should be significant to us and celebrate the fact that the Lord wants to use us that way.

One of the dangers of focusing on God’s purpose for us is that we become self-absorbed. Focusing on our purpose can derail us from all the good works that God has assigned to us. We may dismiss them by assuming that they are not important. Seeking our purpose can also make us carnal and competitive. When we don’t get our way, we can get angry, divisive, and resentful. People begin to feel unwanted and rejected because they focus only on their purpose.

The other problem with seeking God’s purpose is that our view of God’s work is only about here and now. If we make God’s plan all about our purpose, it creates a limited perspective. When we read the Bible, we find that many times God works generationally. He starts His good work in one generation, but He uses the subsequent generations to continue with the unfolding of His plans.

For example, God gave Abraham a promise that His descendants would multiply the stars in the sky. By the time, Abraham’s great-grandchildren were born (Jacob’s children), he had less than 100 family members, and that is including the wives, the children, and the grandchildren.

After Jacob’s family moved to Egypt that Abraham’s descendants began to increase over time. It took a few centuries in Egyptian captivity until an estimated one million Hebrews (see Exodus 12:37) left Egypt as the people of Israel. If Abraham had just focused on his own life and what he could see in his lifetime, He could have lost the vision and wondered about God’s promises. Ultimately, God’s promise to Abraham wasn’t even about Abraham, but it was about God fulfilling His word and for the Messiah coming from Abraham’s lineage.

What is your view of God’s purpose? Are you able to appreciate the good works He asks you to do whether small or large!? Do you see your purpose greater than here and now!? Are you able to envision the Lord fulfilling his promises through those you have influenced or the subsequent generations coming behind you!?

I will continue with this subject in the next devotional.

Image by Public Co from Pixabay


2 thoughts on “Having a Vision Greater than Personal Purpose (Part I)”

  1. Smith Larry D

    This is very good! When I’ve focused on purpose it became all about me! But when I focused on doing whatever work He set before me, it became all about Him! And that brought me great satisfaction and peace!
    Thanks Karline!

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