Uncovering Your Purpose: Moving in the Spirit

Filed under Uncovering Your Purpose on Sep 15 12 by

Uncovering Your Purpose

Ascertaining God’s will is a subject that seems to elicit a great variety of opinions among believers. Some people believe in taking leaps of faith, risking everything on the assumption that God will come through. Others claim that we can’t hear God’s voice at all, that reading the Bible and following what it says is holy living in its entirety.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2

I tend to view this passage as a formula for finding God’s will. In my mind, the formula looks like this:

Uncovering Your Purpose

The Sacrifice

It’s impossible to walk in God’s will if you haven’t offered up your entire life to him as a sacrifice. (If you aren’t familiar with Biblical lingo, this doesn’t mean a blood sacrifice—it simply means that you’ve surrendered your life and your actions to him). God desires to reveal himself and his plan to all of us, but he certainly cannot guide a person who is unwilling to do whatever he asks of them.

Surrender is one of the hardest parts of following God, especially when our minds become flooded with all of the things we wouldn’t want to do for him. For a while, I believed the lie that I couldn’t surrender because there are so many things I’m still afraid of doing; there are things that I wouldn’t be prepared to do if God asked them of me right now. This is where trust comes in. I can give God control because I trust that he will prepare me for what he wants me to do. I also trust him to bestow courage, boldness, and his love as I have need of it.

Do Not Conform to this World

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
The world does not think the way that God does. Our worldly thought patterns are a huge hindrance to the Spirit’s work. What do these thoughts look like? Often, our decisions are made based on the following factors:

  • What feels good right now?
  • What makes logical sense to me based on my perspective of the way things are?
  • What are my goals and ambitions for my life?
  • What am I happy and comfortable with?
  • What would make me look the best to others?

 
And sometimes, these thought patterns start off with phrases that limit what we believe God can do. “God wouldn’t provide for me in that situation.” “God couldn’t ask me to go to that place.”

“God can’t ______.” “God wouldn’t ______.” “God won’t ______.” Except for “fail”, “fall short”, “sin”, or “act against his nature”, who are we to determine the ways that God works? Our logic might seem logical to us, but the reality is that God can see factors that we can’t even fathom from our vantage point. Our decisions can’t even accommodate the full scope of what’s happening in the natural world, and we are mostly blind to what’s happening spiritually. When we begin to recognize this, God’s pattern of thought will begin to seem like the wisest choice.

Be Transformed

This transformation begins with the realization that God knows more than we do, but it isn’t a one-time deal. It is a constant process of renewal. Over and over again, we must make the decision to put aside our own logic and be transformed to think the way that God thinks. This renewal of the mind occurs when we read scripture, spend time in prayer, and allow the Holy Spirit to have access to our hearts.

When your mind is transformed, everything changes. You begin to see the world without the doubt-imposed limitations on what God can do and how he can move. Freedom comes when we recognize that our Father holds all the factors in his hands, owns all of the resources, and can move people and everything else in the world to the places he needs them. He can provide for us, and we can give more freely because we know that he will provide.

Testing His Will

When you begin to think the way that God does, you become able to test and approve his will. In my experience, I’ve come to see that there isn’t a concise way to explain God’s method of leading each individual. The best way to understand how to hear God is through personal experience and through hearing about the experiences of others.

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Lauren D'Alessandro
As the founder of The You Are Project’s print magazine and blog, Lauren is passionate about developing publications that inspire creativity and action. Lauren is the Editor-in-Chief of You Are REAL and the creator and manager of our website. Her dream is to continue using writing and publications as tools for communicating God’s love to the world. Keep up with her latest endeavors at laurendalessandro.com.