Many people set goals of living a life with more purpose. But what does that look like? In this video, speaker and Bible teacher, Jada Edwards, talks about how to do the work to find your purpose and then live it out, expanding your influence.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
Purpose. It is the buzzword. Purpose-driven, purpose living, purpose, purpose, purpose, on purpose.
In church today, purpose is a huge thing. We want to find our purpose, live on purpose. But what does that really mean practically and what do we do with it once we get it?
Do the Work
I am very passionate about being purpose-driven. One of the practical ways I think that we can begin to discover that is do the work. It’s a phrase I use all the time. Do the work.
There are things God has intentionally allowed in your life and in your past, the painful stuff, the great things, the heroes, the people who’ve hurt you—all of those things mixed in with the ingredients of your temperament and your gifting and your experiences, even the experiences that didn’t make sense. The experience where you said, “Why do have this job?” “Why did I get this degree?” “Why did I move to this city?” All of these things to me make this beautiful mixture that God uses to craft our story. It’s not just my giftings because there’s a million people with similar gifts, but they’ve got different stories and they’ve got different personalities and so those gifts will show themselves in different ways.
I say, practically, if I want to find purpose, do the work. It is amazing and necessary to be entrenched in Scripture, to be prayerful, and ask God to show you who you are. But it’s important that we do the work.
I think that God, because He left us here after salvation, has something for us to do. Life is entirely too short and entirely too fleeting to live a mundane, mediocre, routine life with shallow goals like money and house and cars. Do the work.
Live it out
And once you do the work, don’t just know your purpose, but live out your purpose. I like to use the word “influence”. So that I’m not just knowing why I’m here, I know whose lives I’m supposed to impact. What am I supposed to do with this thing that God has shown me about myself?
Here’s the beautiful part about influence: it can be wherever you are. Don’t ever use the word “just”. I’m just a mom. I’m just a cook. I just serve food at a restaurant. That word is the killer of anything that is gonna be great that God wants to do with you. It doesn’t matter where you are, influence starts in your current sphere.
Take that intentionality, take that purpose and ask God, “Whose lives do I need to be impacting?” I challenge you, do the work to find why God has left you here and then be intentional about being an influencer wherever you are. God will use your story regardless of your past. You don’t have to whitewash it. You don’t have to make your testimony cool and pretty. Whatever it is, God can use it.
One of my greatest inspirations is the story of apostle Paul. When I look at the journey that he took and how God crafted him and called him, as he tells us in Galatians, set him apart from his mother’s womb, even when he was persecuting God and the church of God he was still called. He had to take the journey. He had to have an encounter with Jesus to discover that call and live out that gifting and be one of the most influential writers in the Bible.
So it doesn’t matter what your start is. If you’re not a church guy or a church girl, if you don’t have deep, rich, spiritual legacy, it doesn’t matter. Use what you know about God, do the work, and start to influence today. Life is too short.
And one day, we’re not gonna be in church. We’re gonna stand face-to-face with our Savior and He’s not gonna ask what your latest position title is. He’s not gonna ask for your zip code. He’s not gonna ask did your kids go to private or public school. He’s gonna say, “Did you do the thing I left you there to do?”