Many of us go to school for what we are passionate about, hoping to land the job of our dreams. Once we achieve our dream job, some of us are satisfied and will retire doing what we love to do from the day we start to the day we stop working.
For others, we realize we lose that passion we once had, making us feel like we are living Groundhog Day over and over. We wake up and clock in each day at our jobs to repeat and do the same thing the next day. We go to our job daily, but we seem to have no purpose or passion behind it.
While your job can certainly feel like your God-given purpose, they can differ significantly. To determine if your job is living within your purpose, let’s define the two.
A Job Versus a Purpose
A job is that place you go to from 8-5 pm, perhaps longer, that you go to for that paycheck. You go to provide for your family and to pay your expenses. According to the dictionary, it is defined as a paid position of regular employment. Maybe you do not hate it, but you certainly do not love it. You do it because it is what you’ve always done. It’s secure and stable, pays the bills, and doesn’t know any different.
On the other hand, a purpose is widely defined as a person’s sense of determination. This is the heart behind what you do, the motivation. This is that nudge inside of you that you have had on you since you were young. Or perhaps it is a new nudge telling you to pursue this new passion in your heart. This is what you may call a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Often, these nudges can feel crazy and seem too crazy to pursue.
But remember who we serve; we serve a God capable of what others may deem as ideas as He wants to use us to invest in His divine purpose. Jeremiah 37:27 God says, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind, is anything too hard for me?” And the answer is no, for “nothing is impossible for God” (Matthew 19:26).
If you are in a job where you feel you are serving no purpose, you should pray for God’s direction and leadership, asking Him to impress on your heart your goal. Ask Him to show you His purpose for this season in your current job for you or to lead you to something greater.
Is it possible that you are exactly where you are supposed to be for this season in your job? What if God’s ultimate purpose is still being done even if you feel you are serving no real purpose but instead just going to a job every day? Whatever job or place you are in in your life now, God is working out His purpose in you throughout this very season.
Trust God’s Purpose in This Season, and Do Not Rush the Next
Maybe you know God has called you to your purpose, but perhaps you cannot pursue that purpose right now outside your current job. It might not make sense financially, or the doors have not opened yet. Do not force your purpose to come about. You shouldn’t refuse to pursue what God has called you to do. Rather wait on His direction and timing, His perfect timing.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that there is an appointed time for everything, saying, “to everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” The problem is most of us want to step into our purpose immediately, but we must allow God to guide us in His timing.
A great example of God’s purpose being performed in every season is the life of King David in the Bible. He was told that he would be King, and that was God’s purpose for Him. However, he did not become King until almost two decades later. (2 Samuel 2:1-6) Why? Because God had to prepare Him to step into that role.
Before He became King, he killed a giant named Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Before he killed the giant, he killed a bear and a lion. (1 Samuel 17:34-36) Before he killed a bear or a lion, he was just a shepherd boy who tended sheep and was overlooked by his own family as anyone significant (1 Samuel 16:1-31).
Before his purpose of becoming King, David had many other purposes before that moment of stepping into his place on the throne. His purpose looked differently, but purpose showed up in all the times he was faithful and obedient in each thing God had called him to do next.
His purpose served far more than being the hero and King we know about his story today. He did not try to rush into the next season or network his way into the Kingdom to take over the throne before it was time. Instead, he served his purpose in his everyday life through His obedience, trusting God in the current season.
Your Purpose is About Your Obedience
God loves us so much and has an ultimate purpose to use us if we are willing that He often asks us to do things out of obedience that usually do not make any sense. King David could have easily questioned why he was not in the castle as King and why he tended sheep if he had such a significant purpose ahead of Him. But he never doubted. He just did what the Lord asked Him to do and did the next step of obedience.
Perhaps, you are stuck in your job and know it is not the purpose God has for you, or maybe you feel like it is not serving a purpose. God’s purpose is so much more than this, right? For He promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 that “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give your hope and a future.”
Maybe your current job does not feel purposeful, but it is. David did not feel like he was doing anything out in the field tending to sheep that served a purpose. But that season served him in his next season. He needed the tools and preparation to become King starting from his job as a shepherd boy.
King David’s purpose did not start the moment he became King. It started the day he was born. And every single season, He was obedient. It served a purpose. We often correlate the word ‘purpose’ to something big, like performing on stage, becoming a missionary or significant influencer and author, or becoming King. The job you have may not feel it operates within your purpose, but it could be exactly where God wants you for this season.
The best thing you can do is pray about where God wants you now and be obedient to where He currently has you, just as King David was obedient long before becoming King.