Sunday, February 12, 2012


This post was written by Darin Duran.

Growing up, I often heard that God had a wonderful plan for my life.  Although, this idea spoke to the deep longing within me to live a life of significance, I walked away with a serious question, well, what is it? I didn’t want to miss it.

Unfortunately, as I entered college, the pressure mounted very quickly to choose a major and determine what I should do with my life. As I sought to discover God’s plan, I encountered several voices of competing counsel. This only served to muddy the waters regarding God’s plan for my life. 

The world tells us that we can be and do anything we set our minds to if we stay focused and work hard enough. Is this really true? Watch the weekly auditions of American Idol and you will quickly discover that more than desire and hard work are required to become a professional singer.

I’d even hear Christians support the above counsel with Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. This puts the full power of God behind our desires, right? Actually it doesn’t. It is true that Christ will strengthen us to accomplish what He has called us to do, but it doesn’t apply to decisions that are inconsistent with His will and the way He designed us. 

First, let’s look at the operative and dangerous word here, “our desires.” At the end of the day, it’s our passions and desires that most influence which path we choose. However, my experience has demonstrated that when we pursue our fleshly desires, which are influenced by lies, sin and wounding, we will at some point, find ourselves experiencing disappointment, disillusionment, burnout, and a deep lack of fulfillment.

It’s good to remember that God’s highest objective for our lives is that we become mature in Christ. This involves learning to recognize and choose God’s purified desires over our carnal ones. These sanctified desires God places in your heart will be consistent with your God-given design and purpose over the long term. So, how do we discover God’s wonderful plan?

Partnering with God in the transformation process and discovering His purpose for our lives involves disciplining ourselves to engage three very important activities: 

1.    Cultivating intimacy with Christ (Learning to discern the Shepherd’s voice),
3.    Commitment to obedience (Learning to faithfully respond to what He asks us to do).

As we daily seek God through time-tested spiritual disciplines, we must wrestle deeply with His counsel regarding His plan for our lives. Scripture declares that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). This verse speaks of purposeful intent, design and function. It also speaks of the collective and communal nature in which we discover who we are and how best to live out God’s plan for our lives in true biblical community. So before answering the question, what should I do with my life? We need to answer the questions, who did God design me to be in His body? and, how can I best steward my design? Acts 13:36 highlights this truth: For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep... (Acts 13:36). We must never lose sight of the fact that our God-given design is linked to God’s higher purposes. 

As you can see, discovering who we are and how best to invest who we are involves wrestling with two very important Biblical concepts, servanthood and stewardship. Christ is the perfect model of true servanthood. It was because of Christ’s obedience that we are made righteous. He learned obedience as He persevered through suffering. At times, we will be called to go through these developmental suffering seasons, so that we too may learn obedience. In the parable of the talents, Jesus expresses the need for us to think wisely about how be good stewards of the greatest treasure He has entrusted to us, our God-given design, which is HIS workmanship.

The admonition then from Galatians 6:4-5 in The Message is for us to make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. In the end, we can serve others best, when serving them from a clear and mature expression of our God-given design. Why? Because who were are and the assignment He has given to us is not about us, it’s about someone else. 

This is the overflow and outward nature of the gospel. The process of discovering God’s wonderful plan for your life occurs over time and requires intentional focus on your part. The Personal Contribution Assessment (PCA) workshop is one only piece of this Discipleship from the Inside Out concept.  It is designed to give you the insight and vocabulary necessary to bring a more informed understanding of who you are into the conversation with God and the body regarding His wonderful plan for your life. For more info on PCA visit this website.

What are your observations, comments, and questions about discovering and ministering out of your God given design?

No comments:

Post a Comment