God is on mission: He created all things to glorify himself (Rom. 11:36). By glorifying the Triune God through our lives, we partner with God in His mission while being filled with indescribable joy (1 Pet. 1:8).
It is the goodness of God that the intersection of God's mission and our lives leads to the fullness of joy.
But not only does God have a mission, and not only does His Church have a mission, but as members of his Church, each of us also has a unique, personal mission to be lived out in community with others.
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
God saves us that we would uniquely bear His image (Gen. 1:27) by walking in the good works that He prepared in advance for us to do. What is our personal mission? Walking in step with the leadership of the Holy Spirit, doing the things that God prepared in advance for us to do. But, the leadership of the Holy Spirit and our ability to understand in any given set of circumstances what we are to do is difficult. It requires discernment. It requires intentional time and prayer and thinking about how God has wired us, positioned us and experienced us.
We do not just wake up one day and find out how we are wired.
This takes lots of reflection over the years. It takes opportunities to see how our desires attach or don't attach to certain activities. It may take understanding our personalities through the lens of testing such as Meyers-Briggs (16personalities.com), StrengthsFinder 2.0 (HERE), StandOut (HERE), or the Enneagram (HERE). It takes an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses (Like THIS book can help with). It make take interviewing the people you know best about how they experience your good, bad and neutral tendencies. Whatever it takes, it's worth the effort.
Understanding our unique mission also takes a view of our current position.
What is our relational network? What is our vocation? What are our finances? What city do we live in? What church community are we called to love and serve? No one has a unique mission without a specific context to live out that mission. If you are called to live out a mission, it is going to be in a specific time and place with specific people whom you already know. Why? Because just like God's mission, our mission is for the sake of God, others and creation.
One more thing to understand about discerning our specific mission is that it takes a sobering look at your past and how that connects with your present and possible future (Two great resources are HERE and HERE.). God has sovereignly ordained our parents, siblings, towns and cities we grew up in, our education, our opportunities, our joys and wounds, and everything else about us to work out in conformity with the purpose of His will (Eph. 1:11). ALL things work out in our lives for our good and His glory. This doesn't mean Satan doesn't hate us or hurt us; it means that God is greater than Satan and can redeem the work of evil for greater good (Rom. 8:28).
So, God has a mission and you have a unique role to play in it. Do you know what that is? If not, begin today doing the hard work of discerning God's role for you to play.
Pray about it. Purchase some of the resources given in this blog. Talk with your pastor.
Talk with me about how Michael Swindell Coaching can partner with you to help you clarify your unique identity and confidently live your unique life mission.
Whatever you do, don't ignore it. Don't assume understanding will strike like lightening. Invest in a process of discovering who you are and what you are called to do.