The Search for Meaning: 5 Simple Steps Craig Kraft
/ Friday, January 17, 2020
5 Simple Steps to Search for God's Unique Purpose for your Life.
How do we invite or search for a unique and life-changing opportunity to serve God?
Most of us have wondered from time to time about the meaning of our lives. I have met with many people who are searching for purpose and meaning in their day-to-day life and activities. These questions seem to be even more pronounced as we are beginning a new year.
Here are my five suggestions for how to find true meaning for your life. As a Christian, I think it is important to start with God’s word, but some of these suggestions will also be based on my personal experience.
1. Get to know yourself, the way God knows you.
The Bible is full of passages explaining how much we are loved by God, valued by him, and created with a purpose. Knowing that God made me and loves me helps me to understand that I am who I am because of his design.
Finding my purpose in life is about discovering God’s purpose for me and learning how to live it out.
Here are some good passages to study: Rom. 8:28, Ps. 33:11, Jer. 29:11, Ps. 139:13-14. To dig deeper, study James, 1 Peter and 1 John.
2. Accept imperfection.
We may be “fearfully and wonderfully made” but we are not perfect.
We miss out on a lot of great opportunities in life if we are waiting to attain perfection before we try something new. At some point we must all take a leap of faith. Do you remember how Moses argued with God about leading the Israelites (Ex. 4:1,10,13)?
Finding meaning in life requires us to accept that we are not perfect, but God is able to use us in spite of our imperfections. (Ph. 3:12).
When we surrender to Him, He begins the work of making us perfect. I believe that every great success in my life began with an exercise in humility.
3. Understand our mandate.
Jesus gave his followers a mandate, to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:18-20).
It’s actually not that complicated.
In the same way Jesus introduced his disciples to God the Father, he invites us to introduce our friends to Him.
This mandate is lived out in many ways. The Bible identifies different gifts that are given to people and they show diversity. Jesus did not command every follower to become a preacher, evangelist or foreign missionary. He did tell all of us to love one another and to make disciples.
I believe that God gives each one of us unique gifts, talents, and interests so that we can engage with our world as productive participants.
We may pursue the things which give us joy while living out Christ’s mandate to love others and introduce our world to Jesus.
4. Establish healthy priorities.
Life is complicated and it throws many curveballs at us. Establishing and maintaining healthy priorities guides us in managing events and decisions we face in life.
My grandfather taught me some simple suggestions for setting priorities in life. It’s pretty simple, but ordering our priorities helps us consider the challenges and opportunities of life through a healthy set of lenses. Here’s his grid:
- Our relationship with God
- Our relationship with our spouse
- Our relationship with our family
- Our responsibilities at work
- Our pursuit of self
5. Take Risks.
I don’t advocate for living a careless life, but I suggest that many of us are missing out on great opportunities to serve God because of the risks involved.
The Bible echoes with the words, “fear not” and “don’t be afraid.” The apostle Paul writes, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tm. 1:7).
Finding meaning in my life has meant letting go of my fears.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism, and fear of disappointing others, are just a few of the fears that I deal with almost every day.
Living a life of purpose for God is about overcoming fear and being available to God. When I overcome my fears and make myself available to God, he meets me with affirmation, assurance and invitation to participate with him in reaching my friends with the Gospel.
Finding our Purpose in a Changing World
Our world is changing, and in many ways, it has already changed dramatically from what it was like even a decade ago.
Finding our purpose or meaning in our changing world need not be complicated.
Finding our purpose begins with knowing ourselves as the people who God designed us to be and accepting the opportunities that He gives us as we pursue our interests, use our talents, and live as Christ-following citizens, wherever our dreams, goals, and opportunities take us.
Part 2.0 - Multiple Confirmations
You can find Part 2.0 of The Search for Meaning here: "The Search for Meaning: Multiple Confirmations" which explores how should we pray when considering major life-changing opportunities.
When Craig Kraft was very young, he wanted to be a policeman or a cowboy. Later in life, he dreamed of being a professional fisherman or the manager of a remote wilderness lodge. Craig served as a pastor in BC and Alberta for 16 years before joining OC in the area of Church Health and Revitalization. Craig, and his wife Heather, served with OC for three years in southern Africa before he became the Executive Director of Outreach Canada in 2008. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods. He values that OC is a team of passionate people who work together toward the goal of discipling people into the kingdom of God and he loves the opportunities he has to work with so many different people across Canada & the world.