Gaining a Clear Purpose in Life

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"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," Ephesians 3:20

Terry never anticipated that his boss, who was also his close friend, would lay him off after twenty-two years with the company. As vice president of one of America's largest truck-rental companies, Terry had just returned from an out-of-state training conference when he was told the shocking news.

"Why, God, did you let this happen?" Terry asked. His friends encouraged him to treasure-hunt, but the only benefit terry could find was that he had a lot more time for his family. In a month another national truck-rental firm hired him, only to release him six weeks later.

Most of us can related to Terry's disappointment. We too wonder about God's plan and direction and how we can know if we are really in the center of His will.

God's Word addresses these questions directly. In fact, Scripture specifically states God's will for each of us. The power of this truth motivates and energizes us and adds creativity and excitement to any endeavor. It can pull us out of bed in the morning with renewed enthusiasm. It tells us when we're in the center of God's will, gives us a sense of purpose, and adds to our self-worth. It can even help us find.(?)WHAT? Or live successfully with, our mate.

What is God's will? A lawyer once asked Jesus that same question. Jesus told him that God's highest will, the greatest commandment, was to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38) Then he added the second greatest commandment: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." That pretty well covers it all; everything else required by God flows from these two commandments.

People frequently ask me how to find God's specific will about such things as who they should marry, what vocation they should pursue, whether or not they should change jobs or careers. For years I had similar questions. Since 1978, however, I've known God's will for me and have eagerly watched it materialize.

I believe God has something for each of us to accomplish. I've simplified the process of understanding and practicing God's will with a system I call the FIVE M's. If you or someone you know wants to "nail down" God's will, this simply five-point plan might help. Picture a circle with the word Master in the center. The words Mission, Method, Maintenance, and Mate surround it like four points on a compass.

The five M's illustrate both elements of God's will-loving God and loving others-by asking five questions. Master asks, "Who am I going to live for?" (CHRIST) Mission asks, "What does God want me to do?" (LOVE OTHERS) Method asks, "How will I fulfill my mission?" (HOW CAN I SPECIFICALLY LOVE OTHERS) Maintenance asks, "How will I evaluate and adjust my methods?" (KEEP DOING WHAT WORKS) And Mate asks, "Do we agree about our mission?" (AM I AT ONE WITH MY MATE)

"Lord, it seems as though when I need you the most I look toward you less. Help me call out to You in times of confusion, shame, doubt, or pain.

For only You can bring my life back to order!"

2003 Smally Online. Used by permission.