“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13, NLT)

Recently, a friend left for a country where she feels God has called her to work. She was excited, joyful, eager to reach her new home. I was happy to see her dream, her God-given calling, happening. Yet my secret thought was I’d never want to live there! Does that mean she is a wonderful person and I am horrible? Or she is very spiritual and I am not? No. It means my calling, the purpose God designed for my life, is simply different than hers.

Several years ago, I taught a class of young teens. During one lesson we discussed discovering God’s will for our lives. One girl, very sincere yet obviously fearful, asked, “But what if God asks me to do something I don’t want to do?” I could just see her picturing God sternly pointing a finger and demanding, “Go to a remote village in Africa and live there without any modern conveniences for the rest of your life.” That is not how God works. According to Philippians 2:13, He gives us both the desire and the ability to fulfill His will. It’s not forced labor.

You may ask: Does God really have a special purpose, a masterplan, for my life? I feel so ordinary. The short answer is yes. I honestly believe no one is born without a God-given purpose for their life. If He takes the time to create us in His image, He will also take the time to give purpose to our existence. Second Timothy 1:9 says it this way:

“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” (NKJV). 

Go back and slowly read that verse again, phrase by phrase. We have a holy calling but not because of anything we have done. It is because of God’s own purpose and grace. He designed this plan for us before time even began. We must never feel ordinary again, especially with the Creator of the universe giving us this holy calling and purpose. That knowledge excites me. If that’s not exciting enough, read Psalm 139:13-14.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (NKJV).

We were shaped by God. He knows our every detail—our interests, abilities, passions, hopes, and dreams. He has made us each a part of His story on earth, a special place for each of us to fill.

So, how do we find our place in God’s story? It has been said that God works at the intersection of our gifts and our passions. When we discover what those are and where they converge in our life, we are well on our way to discovering God’s holy purpose. One may teach while another is gifted artistically. Someone else may be an organizer, a gardener, a computer whiz, a musician, or a devoted mom. No two people will be just alike, but each will have a special “designed-just-for-her” God-given purpose.

Don’t be afraid to step into your calling. God designed it just for you. He placed you in His story.

Thank You, Lord, for helping me to recognize and use the abilities You placed into my life. Give me the courage to step outside my comfort zone to fill the place You designed just for me. It is a holy calling, and I desire to do my best to fulfill it.

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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