What Clues is Jesus Leaving for you to Discover your Purpose
How to Find Purpose and Meaning in your Life-Follow the Clues Jesus is Leaving for You
Have you ever failed at something and thought that you missed the opportunity of a lifetime? Like you had your one shot at success, you failed, and there's nothing more you can do about it?
I used to think that way until I began studying God's Word. In the Bible, there is story after story of people being afraid, of people making mistakes, and of people doubting they were capable of doing something bigger than themselves.
But do you want to know the one common thread that runs through all of those stories? It's God. It's His wisdom, His strength, and His love for you and me.
Jesus is With You Always-Guiding your Steps
I think that God is far too generous and loving to only ever give us one chance at success.
I believe there are many paths to get to your purpose and whichever one you choose to go down, Jesus is there by your side.
But when you head off in the wrong direction, He gently and lovingly puts you back on course. And when you seek Him in all things, he will even straighten your path!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Previous Steps to Discover More Meaning and Purpose in your Life
This is the fourth part of a five-part series on how to find purpose and meaning in your life. In case you didn't read the previous three weeks, below is a quick summary and links to them.
- Build a friendship with Jesus. The more you seek Him and invite Him into your day, the more you'll know Him and be able to recognize when He is shining a light on the path He has planned for you. You can learn practical ways to build a friendship with Jesus here.
- Pay attention to your WOW (Witness of Wonder) moments. These are times in your life that something is so clearly happening from God. It's like He is saying, Hey, I'm here. I hear you. But don't just search for these moments; write them down, so you'll never forget how God is there for you. You can learn more about WOW moments here.
- Scripture plays an important role in finding more meaning and purpose in your life. How do you figure out what God has planned for you? First, get to know who He is. When you are in His word, reading and meditating on Scripture, you begin to understand who Him and the type of life He wants for you. You can find helpful tips on learning from Scripture here.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS 5 PART SERIES- FINDING PURPOSE AND MEANING IN YOUR LIFE.
I have some practical suggestions for how to go about finding your purpose, but first, I want you to know what two things you can expect each day of this series.
- At the end of each day, there will be journal prompts to discover how the topic relates to your life.
- This week is about discovering the clues Jesus is leaving for you.
- There will also be a suggested activity related to the topic of the day. I love how James encourages us to be a doer of the word.
James 1:22 - but be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourself.
- This week's activity will help you seek and recognize the direction Jesus is leading you.
What's Holding You Back from Discovering God's Plan for You
Have you ever wondered if seemingly random moments in your life were a sign from Jesus inviting you to do something? Maybe you weren't certain it came from him, so you did nothing. Or, maybe you thought Jesus was calling you to do something, but you were scared and felt unqualified, so you did nothing.
I've been there, the fear, the doubt, the second-guessing, but I've learned some important lessons along the way:
- When in doubt, pray for God to open your eyes to the opportunities He is placing before you.
- Stay in Scripture, and you will learn about all the impossible things ordinary people did with nothing more than their faith in God.
- Foster a real friendship with Jesus, so you can seek His counsel in every area of your life.
God's Plan For You
If you wonder what God has planned for you, I think you will find this fourth piece of the puzzle an important next step.
Themes-what they are, how to spot them, and how they'll help guide you on the path to your purpose.
Seek Themes throughout your Day so You can Discover where Jesus is Leading You
Have you ever had a time in your life where the same type of thing kept happening?
Or have you ever had a certain Scripture keep coming up in your week?
Perhaps different people keep commenting on a particular skill or quality you have.
I think all these similar occurrences are there for a reason. I think they are there to lead you to your purpose.
Uncover Themes and Patterns in Your Day to See Where Jesus is Leading You
I think the best way to understand how these repetitive patterns are found in your day is to give you an example.
How Recognizing a Pattern in my Week Led to an Answer to my Prayer
A few years ago, I started a side business doing something that I loved and felt God was encouraging me to do. At the same time, I worked my full-time job and have a family that I enjoy being with. So I was trying to do all the things and consequently felt like I was doing none of the things right.
I started out strong and determined, but after a year, I hadn't found success with the side business, and I began to feel discouraged.
When I was working on my business, I felt like I was missing out on time with family and friends. And when I was with family and friends, I felt like I needed to be working on my business.
Searching for Help from God
I found myself in need of help but not knowing what to even pray for.
Was I asking permission to stop with the business that I thought God was encouraging me to do?
Was I looking for His hand at making the business a success, so it didn't feel like my efforts were futile?
I was tired, and at a loss, so I prayed to Him about my struggles and left it at that.
How Patterns Led me to the Answer I Had Been Looking for
As the days went by, I kept coming across the same couple of scriptures in all these different places. The scriptures were about God creating the earth and how He rested on the seventh day. You probably see where this is headed, but at the time, I didn't. The other Scripture I kept seeing was about following His commandments.Where I found God's Word in my Day
I would be reading a book for Bible study, and there that Scripture would be. I would hear those Scriptures mentioned by someone on the radio. Those same Scriptures kept coming up again and again.
I wish I could tell you that it only took a couple of times to see them show up in my day before the lightbulb went off in my head. But it was more like dozens of times they came up before everything clicked for me.
What Jesus Patiently and Loving Wanted Me to Know
One of the passages that kept coming up was:
Isaiah 58:13-14 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord...
Suddenly, everything shifted, and I saw that commandment for what it is- a gift of rest for us to delight in. Sundays are meant to take a break and let go of all the worldly tasks we think we need to do.
Finally, I realized what Jesus was trying to tell me!
I was absolutely certain that was the answer to my prayer for help. The prayer I didn't even know what I was asking for had been so graciously given to me. And not just once, but He repeatedly gave me that answer until I finally realized it was coming from Him.
Scripture is Living and Active
That Scripture was coming from Him, and it was intended for me. And not in the way that I read it in the Bible, and He was talking to people centuries ago. It was coming from Him in the present time. It came from Him to me personally. And that is such an amazing thing. It happened to me, and I'm certain it happens to you, too.
Jesus Doesn't Give up on You and the Purpose He Has for You.
I love all the times those two scriptures kept appearing in my day and week. It took repeatedly showing up in my day to understand its message was intended for me. But when it finally struck me, I was like, of course! I totally missed it, but instead of Him giving up on me, he tried a different way until I noticed.
I think if we could just take a step back and reflect on what's actually happening in our life, I think we would then see just how much Jesus is in our day-to-day life, guiding us where He lovingly wants us to go.
How Jesus Shows You the Plans, He Has for you
- Scripture is one of the ways to discover patterns in your life. It is a way for Jesus to show you something He wants you to know. It's why you can read the same exact Scripture today and take something from it that is completely different from what He shows you a few years from now.
- But Scripture isn't the only way that God guides us. I think he does it through other people in our life. Maybe your friend pointed out something you are good at, and you were quick to discount it as she was just nice. You likely don't give it another thought until someone else randomly compliments you on the same thing a day or two later.
- Perhaps the same problem keeps happening over and over again. Maybe you are working on a project, and roadblock after roadblock keeps you at a standstill. All those seemingly random things happening prevent you from making any progress. I don't think God does random things. I think he is very intentional with everything He does.
How do you slow down long enough to see where Jesus is leading you?
Practical way to Discover Where Jesus is Leading you
In order to recognize where there are themes and patterns happening in your life, it helps if:
- It's simple to start.
- It is something that doesn't take a lot of time to do.
- And you keep a written document of what happened, so you can see when patterns emerge.
How Journaling for Less than 3 Minutes a Day Will Help you Discover Where God is Leading you
Journaling is a very practical way to force yourself to slow down and reflect on your life. However, knowing this and finding the time to do it can seem at odds with one another.
Journaling Doesn't Have to Take a Lot of Time to Be Effective
- I actually think it's better to spend less than five minutes a day journaling. Because if it takes too much time, you likely won't keep doing it.
- By answering the same few questions each day, you'll begin to see patterns form.
- You'll also be rooted in seeking God in your day. Keeping God in the center of your life will lead to more peace, rest, and joy in your life.
Questions to Answer to Discover your Purpose
I created a place to record the answers to a few questions I answer each day. You can download the free PDF, or if you prefer, you can grab a blank notepad and record a one-sentence response to the following questions:
- Today I feel...
- I know I am Blessed Today Because...
- One Thing to do Today to get Closer to God...
- I wish I had time to do this Today...
- Then record any Scriptures, Themes, and/or People that Keep Coming up in your Day/Week.
21-Day Check-In with God to Help Discover Your Purpose
The downloadable PDF puts together all the puzzle pieces of this five-part series to discover your purpose. I like to do a 21 day look back because I think that is a good amount of time to review what's been happening and what you think Jesus is calling you to do.
Each day has a short activity to do. There are 21 quick and different suggested activities.
My hope for this series is that you start to connect the dots in your life, so you see where Jesus is leading you.
I think you start to uncover your purpose by:
- Forming a Friendship with Jesus
- Recording your WOW Moments from God. The times in your life that something so clearly happened because God was there for you.
- Reading Scripture, so you know who Jesus is and what He wants for you.
- Discovering patterns and themes in your Life
- And from acts of charity-this is the last piece of the puzzle to discover more meaning and purpose in your life.
Take Comfort and Find Joy in the Journey of Uncovering Your Purpose
Each piece of the puzzle guides you to where you were made to be. I think through prayer and journaling; you start to see your story unfold. And the beautiful woven thread throughout your life is Jesus, who is holding everything together.
If you take time each day to pause, pray, and reflect, I think you will see where Jesus is leading you. Take comfort in knowing He'll never leave your side, and He will never give up on you.
JOURNAL PROMPTS INSPIRED BY SCRIPTURE:
This week's journal prompts speak to finding rest in your life.
Matthew 11 28-30
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Imagine casting your worries onto Jesus and then journal about the following:
- How does the thought of casting your worries on Jesus leave you feeling?
- What does casting your worries on to Jesus look like in your
- Family Life
- Reflect and journal on what keeps you from casting your worry on Jesus.
- Journal about what freedom can come to your life from casting your burdens on Jesus.
INVITATION TO BE A DOER OF THE WORD
James 1:22, NIV: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
For this week's activity:
- Think about a challenge you are currently facing. Maybe it is;
- something to do with your family,
- a problem you have at work,
- a character trait that you would like to work on.
- Whatever your challenge is, write it down on a post-it or a piece of paper.
- Then leave what you wrote down somewhere that you will see it all week long.
- Place it in your car, so you see it when you go to work.
- Set it by your toothbrush, and you'll see it first thing in the morning.
- Put it on your refrigerator so you'll see it throughout your day.
- Next, say a prayer, asking God to open your eyes and your heart to find peace and direction in that challenge that you wrote on that paper.
- Whenever you come across that paper, say a quick prayer and ask him to open your eyes to ways He is helping you with it.
- You'll start seeing all the "random" ways He is working with you to work through your challenge. Make sure you write down what you notice.