As the clock tick away, he watched the movie he played on Netflix with all his attention at the beautifully carved wooden door, waiting for the new doorbell he purchased four days back to ring. He wondered why “King’s Delivery” is 1 hour late and counting. “This is unlike Kings Delivery.” He muttered with a scrunched face. The courier company has the best delivery services in the country and that wasn’t his first time of having them deliver a parcel to him. “clink… clink… clink… ” With stride of a cheetah, he paced to the door. It was the courier. “Thank goodness!” He said with a sigh of relief. “I am sorry we couldn’t make the delivery on time becau…” “Oh! no worries.” He interrupted the courier’s speech as he made hasty pace to his living room to open the shimmering box. He wondered what Dr. Temi wrapped in it. His uncle had told him he had a special gift for him but wouldn’t tell him what it was. Ripping the box off the shimmering wrap, a note in A3 size paper, written in upper case braced his sight. “READ THE USER’S MANUAL TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE EFFECTIVE USE OF IT AS WELL AS WHERE AND WHEN TO USE IT FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS.” He wondered why Dr. Temi would put so much effort in scripting such instruction. “This must be a very unique gift.” He thought, nodding his head in affirmation. Opening the carton housing this thought provokinging gift, he saw something that made his imagination borrow details from his past knowledge. Still at that, he couldn’t figure out what this item was. Though it looked very much like something he once came across, but obviously different, he knew. The name wasn’t helping him recollect effectively. Dissapointed by his past knowledge, he decided to take a sit and pick the manual to reach the item’s manufacturer.
Every human on the surface of the earth is nothing less precious, but more valuable than the parcel sent to the young man in the above story. Any product ever manufactured holds a great significance because it has a unique function to fulfill no matter how negligible it is, in the life of it consumers. This is synonymous to human, because we are all on earth because a purpose necessitated it.
I won’t discuss more on the definition of purpose because I explicitly discussed it in this blog post; Purpose and Destiny. I will discuss more on the topic; discovering your true purpose. But it’s profiting to also know our individual purpose is a subset of God’s entire purpose for man; “For man to bring the extension of God’s kingom to earth.”
Everyone on the surface of the earth is more like the parcel sent to the young man; ignorant of the solution the world needs from you at birth. Myles Munroe, one of the greatest man that ever talked on purpose, said; “No one came to earth empty. Everybody came with a contribution to their generation.” This points out that no matter the circumstances surrounding a person’s birth, he is not an accident or experiment. Rather, a masterpiece on assignment.
Paul writing to the Ephesians, commented; “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared (purposed/predestined) in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) This further tells us that we are not just a mass of proteins but purpose, as well. Hence, understanding and accepting this truth is an effort to discover the “good works” we were prepared for. This also tells us that whatever contribution we were created to bring to the world, we were already given the potentials to carry it out effectively.
The topic must have got you thinking “there is a false purpose if what will be discussed on this article is, discovering “true” purpose.” It’s necessary to know there is false/pseudo purpose, which we will discuss as we talk about the steps to discovering ones true purpose.
Steps To Discovering Purpose
Reaching The Author Of Purpose.
In the story above, Dr. Temi had instruction scripted in upper case on an A3 paper sealed to the carton containing his nephew’s gift, which read; “READ THE USER’S MANUAL TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE EFFECTIVE USE OF IT AS WELL AS WHERE AND WHEN TO USE IT FOR MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS.” This enunciate that no one knows a product so well like the manufacturer. And to use it to it maximum effectiveness, you will need to reach the manufacturer to know the ” why, how, where and when” of the product. This is same, as the human race. To know why God chose to create you, how to discover and fulfill what he created you for, to know where and when you’ve been predestined to fulfill his purpose for you, you will need to reach him on a personal note.
Solomon, in his wisdom said, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (proverbs 20:5) Paraphrasing this words, “The purposes of God’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. This means that to know your purpose in the heart of the author of purpose, you will need to be wise enough to seek him so as to come to the knowledge of your true essence in life. The truth is, leaving God out of the picture of finding essence in life, is the beginning of your journey to discover a false purpose.
The young man was instructed to use the user’s manual not because he can’t find a way of using the product without knowing what the manufacturer has to say about it. He was instructed to read because not only to know the “why” but to also know the when, how and where. Even after discovering the solution you were created to be, you will always need the presence of your author to guide you so you can effectively fulfill your purpose. Hence, reaching the author of purpose is not a per time thing. It stretches throughout the lifespan of your purpose.
Transforming Your Mindset
One of the reasons most people don’t discover their true essence is because of their mindset. Rico Love said; “It takes a different mindset to be successful in anything; that’s why there’s not a lot of super duper successful people, because it’s guys I know who may be ten times more talented than me, but they don’t work as hard.” this emphasizes the relevance of a transformed mind to success and life in general.
Paul speaking to the Romans perfectly captured the concept of mindset transformation when he said, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will(purpose) is–his good, pleasing and perfect will(purpose). (see Romans 12:2)
An average person in the world thinks purpose is just an abstract concept for an ordinary man. He believes that only those in the limelight are achieving it. Hence, he just live everyday awaiting for the day his soul kiss the earth goodbye. The above comment by Apostle Paul shows us how limited a person can be in finding his true purpose when his mind is not transformed; an untransformed mind is an obstacle to discovering one’s true purpose. A lot of people settle for a “good or pleasing cause, which they feel might be their true purpose because they are limited by their mind to know the perfect purpose they’ve been called to fulfill. It’s more like, having the ability to sing effectively and teach music effectively but you limit yourself to singing because you believe teaching music (which might be your perfect purpose) will have you off the limelight. A blog post will be published to discuss this topic explicitly.
If you desire to discover your true purpose, then transforming your mind from the world’s concept of purpose is a necessity. Let’s briefly look at ways to transform your mind;
1. Studying The Manual of Your Being.
The Bible is the manual to which you can read how you can transform your mind to effectively fulfill your purpose on earth. I love Myles Munroe opinion of what the bible is. He said, “The bible is really not a religious book but a devine manual written by the manufacturer of humanity by which the product; man, is supposed to live.” The bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit transforms your mind by helping you see the reality of your true essence and how to effectively fulfill and be established in it.
2. Study The Right Books.
One of the tools that has helped transform my mind is the books I read, especially by authors like Myles Munroe, Kenneth E. Hagin, Watchman New, Brian Tracy, Gary Chapman, Vincent Norman Pearl, Debi Pearl, Eric and Leslie Ludy, Precilar Shirer and a host of other authors. The beautiful truth about reading is, it transforms our minds to what we were meant to be.
3. Connect With The Right People.
The people we hang around with the most, have great impact on our mindset. When you consistently connect with people of wise counsel, your mindset will definitely be transformed. No wonder Paul wrote to the Corinthians letting them know the dangers of connecting with the wrong people; “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” (1Cor. 15:33)
The above three are some of the ways an individual can transform his mind. There are other ways, as well.
You can’t discover your true essence when you don’t acquire knowledge that will help you discover it, as well as effectively fulfill it and be established in it. The place of knowledge in the pursuit of purpose can’t be over emphasized, as it brings a person to the consciousness of what true purpose is, and how to to effectively fulfil it. This knowledge can be gotten from having well deserving mentors and personal research on purpose. Knowledge has a great role to play in the place of transforming one’s mindset because your mind is shaped into the calories of knowledge you feed on. Knowledge helps you know what makes a purpose true or false, how to discover one’s true purpose, what is the author of purpose’ opinion about your your essence and what are his principles on that, what makes purpose necessary, the relationship between purpose, talent and profession and lots of other necessary knowledge one needs, to fulfill and be established in his purpose.
Knowledge is indeed paramount. That’s why Hosea speaking to the Israelites, made a comment about knowledge when he said, “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. ‘Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.'” (Hosea 4:6) This clearly show us that without the right knowledge on purpose, we are limited from reaching the peak of our potentials, in fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.
Note Your Potentials and Passions.
One of the key ways to discover ones purpose is by knowing one’s abilities, especially the inherent ones. God has taken out time to give every man potentials to help him fulfill his perfect purpose on earth. Hence, this potentials and passions are key, to finding one’s essence. David speaking to his son, Solomon brought the reality of how potentials can help us discover and fulfill purpose. Having had a vision to build a temple for God, which he was instructed to leave it construction to his son, he said to Solomon; “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workmen: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as men skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron-craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the LORD be with you.” (1 Chronicles 22:4-16) David’s words are much synonymous to What God wants us to know about fulfilling our purpose on earth; all we need to finding and fulfilling our purpose on earth, he has already taken out him time to instill it in us (potentials/talents/gifts/attitudes) and we can add to it (skills/profession, etc). Hence, our abilities are indeed pointers to our purpose.
It’s worth noting that just because you have potentials to do some works, doesn’t mean they are the perfect media to fulfill your purpose through. Let me give a clear example: if you have the potentials to sing, teach, write, play the musical instruments, you are tremendously patient, you are very good at team work, it is very much possible that your perfect and true purpose might be to help people sing better by teaching the art of music. Though affecting people’s lives through singing and playing musical instruments are “good and pleasing,” (see Romans 12:2 for reference) but the perfect purpose you have been called to fulfill, is affecting lives through teaching the art of music, which brings more fulfilment to the author of purpose. This is synonymous to giving water to a person who is thirsty instead of giving him food. Though food is good and pleasing to his body, but water is perfect at that point in time. The story of the woman and her sister; Martha and Mary, who welcomed Jesus to their house, gives us more understanding of what it means to give our full attention to the good and pleasing works while unconsciously ignoring the perfect works we’ve been called to do.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
This boils down to consistently reaching the author of purpose, transforming your mind and gaining knowledge to come to acknowledge your true and perfect purpose.
Having discovered your true essence, what next? The answer is as obvious as black coloured stain on a white fabric; fulfilling. In other words, you begin the mission of fulfilling your mandate. To effectively fulfill one’s purpose, there are principles one needs to live by. Let’s look at David’s instruction to Solomon, so as to effectively fulfill the purpose of building a temple for God. “Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (1Chronicles 22:13) The words “decrees” and “laws” can be classed and called principles. According to Myles Munroe, “Principles are eternal laws established and inherent in creation that makes creation function effectively.” This means for a man to fulfill purpose effectively, he will need to keep the laws that governs “fulfilling purpose effectively.” David understood this principle that was why he encouraged his son by first telling him the benefits of following the principles.
The principles of fulfilling purpose can be gotten from the author of purpose, which he has made readily available to those who desire to know it. You will most definitely find these principles in the manual he has given to humanity; bible, in the words of men and women of insight and in nature and whatever he chooses to use to make known his principles to you.
Another thing to note about setting out to effectively fulfill purpose is still found in the words of David to his son, Solomon; “May the LORD give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.” (1Chronicles 22:12) David saw the need to pray for his son even before telling him the benefits of following the principles that will bring him success because he knows to keep these principles, he will need discretion and understanding. The word discretion also means; discipline and wisdom. Hence, to fulfill your essence effectively, you will need wisdom/descipline/descretion and understanding because at every point, you will need wisdom to make the right decisions; discipline to avoid distractions and drainers; and understanding to follow the principles set for you.
A third thing to note about setting out is, some people have abandoned their purpose because they failed to appreciate and patiently wait for “the process” of their becoming, mold them to effectively fulfill their essence. This makes obvious the fact that “patience in waiting” is a key factor to fulfilling purpose. Paul perfectly captured the process of fulfilling purpose excellently in his words to the Romans, “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30) This reveals to us the three key stages in fulfilling purpose:
Stage 1: Called.
To be called means “to be summoned in to existence or to be directed or ordered to do something.” In summary, it means “to work.” And the word “work,” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, means to “solve a problem” and also, “to make use of(to make exploit).” From these definitions, it’s positive to come to the conclusion that the fact that we’ve been called to existence(to be created and birth to earth), means we have purpose to fulfill on earth. Hence, we are on a journey to be justified because by virtue of being birth, we have a mandate to fulfill.
Stage 2: Justification.
“Justify” means “to qualify.” In the journey to effectively fulfill purpose, one will need to prove himself worthy to be justified. Let’s look at the story of the parable of talents;
Mathew 25: 14-29
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.
15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.
18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 ” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
From the story, we see a literal example of justification. The servants given 5 and 2 talents respectively were justified to be given more because they made effective use of it, while the servant given one talent wasn’t. We can point out that the two servants justified, kept to some principles that made them effectively maximize their talents, and actlhieve the purpose in the king’s heart which originally was unknown to the servants. From this, we can conclude that for the author of purpose to justify and approve you to bestow on you higher dimension of grace to effectively fulfill your purpose, you will have to prove yourself worthy by being faithful to the process(preparation) and making efforts to maximize the little you have; thus, following the principles he has established for you.
Stage 3: Glorified.
Glorified means “purpose effectively achieved/fulfilled.” Also, it means, “to honor or assign high status to someone.” We saw this in reality when the two servants were honored because they fulfilled the purpose in the heart of the king. When a person effectively fulfills his essence, he becomes much more valuable to his generation regardless of being famous or not. He also goes to the grave empty (void of his potentials) because he has contributed to his generation what he came to contribute. It’s indeed for this reason Paul wrote to Timothy saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2Timothy 4:7)
In summary, in discovering and fulfilling one’s true purpose, the place of working with the established principle by the author of purpose, can’t be overstated.