Do you know your purpose in life? A lot of young adults don’t. Take a few seconds and answer this: What’s your reason for existing?
How did you land at your answer? And are you sure it’s the right one? Better check with God.
Lots of things fight for the chance to define your purpose. Your job will tell you that your purpose is to make money and enjoy success. The American Dream will tell you that it’s to reach a comfortable status quo. Your apathy will tell you it’s to just take it easy and let life come to you. Your relationship (or the absence of one) will tell you it’s to have someone who makes you happy. Your depression will tell you that you have no purpose. The weekend will tell you that it’s to do whatever feels good. But what really is your purpose? And how will you know when you’ve found it? Like I said…better check with God, who gives everything its purpose. As we talked about Tuesday at the Porch, 1 Peter has a lot to say about what your purpose is.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation… (1 Peter 2:2)
“Grow up!” You may be used to hearing that as an insult, but not in this case. It’s what God wants for you! Part of your purpose as a Christian (literally, a “little Christ”) is to become more like Jesus. And that happens as you grow in your faith. It’s a process that God started when He saved you, and He will ultimately see it through to completion. But you do have a part to play in your growth.
We all start as spiritual babies, no matter whether you trusted Christ at 5 years old or 35. And like a baby needs nutrition to grow, your soul needs spiritual nutrition to grow in Christ. But as a young adult, no one’s going to force you to eat – you have to feed yourself!
To grow spiritually, you need to consume the things that will make your faith grow. Fill your mind with God’s Word. Focus your mind on things with eternal significance. Apply your heart to learn from godly instruction. As your faith grows, use it to serve others, not be served. A baby is needy, but a healthy young adult shouldn’t be. Don’t just grow in knowledge, but also in obedience and in action. You might not be able to tell right away that you’re growing, but it will happen as you discipline yourself to be more godly.
As you feed your soul the good stuff, you also need to starve it of the things that hurt it. Porn. Pride. Anxiety. Codependency. Materialism. Premarital sex. These and other poisonous sins will stunt your growth! Do whatever it takes to strip them from your life. If you’d like some help with that, check out re:Generation Recovery, a discipleship program that helps people overcome hurts, habits, and hang-ups by following Jesus.
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood… (1 Peter 2:5a)
Being connected with other Christians is at the core of Christianity. To use Peter’s words, you’re a “living stone”, meant to be connected with other “living stones”, resting on the foundation of the Cornerstone, which is Jesus.
What does that actually mean? Be a part of a local church. Be under godly leadership. Be deeply connected with other Christians who are following Jesus as their only foundation. Enjoy fellowship and accountability. You’re missing out on your purpose if you’re not a part of a local gathering of believers (a church) who are committed to supporting one another and helping each other live out their purpose.
To do that, it might mean that you need to change your playground and your playmates, removing unhealthy influences from your life and focusing on joining a healthy community. The other stones in your spiritual house need to build you up, not drag you down.
Christianity is a team sport. You can’t play it without teammates! Live out your purpose by going all in with other Christians. It doesn’t mean you have to completely shut non-Christian people out of your life! It means that you need to build your life around other followers of Jesus.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
This might be the clearest point that Peter makes in these verses: your purpose is to tell others about Jesus! You’ve been chosen by God to talk about how He brought you from darkness into light, from death to life. You were made to share the gospel! You’re God’s ambassador to the world, telling other people how wonderful it is to follow Him.
But if you were made for it, why does it feel so hard sometimes? It might feel awkward to start a spiritual conversation. You might not know how. You might feel like a hypocrite for sharing about a perfect Savior when your life isn’t so perfect.
The good news is, you don’t need to be perfect! You just need to be able to share the story of what God has done in your life and tell others about the way they can experience the same thing. Start here: “Do you have a faith?” Ask them about theirs, and tell them about yours.
If you’d like to get better at this, come join us for an Unashamed weekend sometime! We’ll train you in how to share the gospel in a way that’s not awkward, hard, or hypocritical. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to share the gospel with people you meet, while hanging out with a group of other young adults who are committed to doing the same thing. It’s one of the best things we get to do.
It would be tragic if you spent your young adult years missing out on your purpose. God’s told you what it is – will you live it out?