But when he who had set me apart (purpose) before I was born, and who called me (purpose) by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him (purpose) among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone. (Galatians 1:15-16, ESV, parenthesis added)

God has a divine purpose for every believer.

What is your life’s purpose? What talents or gifts do you have? What’s the one thing that captures your imagination and attention? What captivates your interest as a life pursuit? If money wasn’t an obstacle to restrict your dreams, what would you do with your life? If failure wasn’t possible, what would you do?

Prior to his conversion, Paul was a highly educated and respected man (Acts 22:3). He was well positioned in his community. He held one of the highest-ranking jobs – and he performed it with great zeal (Galatians 1:14). From all earthly standards, Paul was a success.

However, God planned a different purpose for Paul – a divine calling designed specifically for him since before his birth. Paul acknowledges this when he says God “set me apart before I was born” and “called me by His grace.” While Paul was pursuing his education, career, and interests, God was molding and positioning him for His specific purpose and mission.

Identifying Individual Purpose

How did Paul eventually figure out his divine purpose? After blinding him and knocking him to the ground, God finally got his attention. From this humbling experience, Paul learned to listen to God’s instruction and to view life from God’s perspective. His life took on a new meaning and purpose. He chose a much different path after his encounter with Christ.

What will it take for God to get our attention? How will He direct each of us toward His divine purpose for our lives? Hopefully, we won’t require such drastic measures as Paul did. By quieting ourselves (Psalm 46:10), listening to God’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), and willingly submitting to His plan, we can fulfill the blessed destiny God designed for us.

God gave each person their spiritual gifts, personality, talents, skills, and heart’s desire for a specific reason. As a member of the body of Christ, we each have a unique role to play. We must acknowledge this and then ask God to reveal it to us. Finding this purpose and relying on God to accomplish it in a manner that is pleasing and acceptable to Him (Romans 12:1-2) is true success.

Discussion Questions
  1. What spiritual gifts, talents, skills, or heart’s desire has God given you?
  2. How can you use them to serve and glorify God?
  3. When will you offer them to God and follow the divine purpose He has for your life?
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