How To Find Your Specific Purpose in Life

You’ve probably heard someone say that God created you for a purpose— but how do you find that purpose?  How can you know what you are supposed to do?

Needs Motivation vs. Purpose Motivation

It begins by understanding the difference between NEEDS MOTIVATION and PURPOSE MOTIVATION.

These two concepts represent two different ways of looking at the world and our situation in it.  

Needs Motivation is all about man chasing after his needs.  His physical needs such as food and clothing.  His emotional needs such as family relationships and career development.  With Needs Motivation, man has to make it happen.

With Purpose Motivation, God makes our needs happen.  All you have to do is focus on the purpose He has given you to do. God handles the details of meeting your needs.  

This process of Purpose Motivation is advanced by Jesus in the gospels.  Consider the following scripture:

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

Through this scripture we see that our needs will be met when we focus on purpose.

What is that purpose?  To advance the Kingdom of God.

But how is the Kingdom of God advanced?  And how do we find our specific purpose in it?

You have to understand that before God can really show you your specific purpose in life you have to be totally committed to Him.

The truth is that every man, woman and child was placed on earth to advance God’s purpose and each person was endowed with a natural gift in doing so.

It’s man’s rebellion that throws life into confusion.

For example, what would you think of a LION that rebelled against it’s nature.  Could it ever be satisfied living like a mouse?

The same is true for you.  If you live against your nature, will you ever be satisfied?

The following are 10 steps you can take to advance God’s Kingdom and find your specific purpose in life.

1.  Die to self.  Advance God’s purpose rather than your own.

Here’s what the Bible has to say about that.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Matthew 16:24-25

2.  Decide you are going to TRUST God to meet the needs of your life.

Making this decision is the tipping point to finding your specific purpose in life.  God can begin to show you what you were designed for.

Trust can be tricky though.  That’s because we’ve been conditioned for so long to think that we have to meet our own needs.

Even the Christian church gets confused today and tries to secure it’s needs through “faith”.  God, I believe you for healing.  God, I believe you for miracles.  God, I believe you for money.

When our “faith” is simply predicated to the level of our need, then we have missed the point of Purpose Motivation.  “Faith” simply becomes a religious metaphor for what everyone else in the world is doing— Needs Motivation.

This is what Needs Motivation looks like:

This is what Purpose Motivation looks like:

True faith trusts God.  It doesn’t worry about it’s needs.  It focuses on Kingdom purpose.

When your heart has reached this level of understanding and preparedness, you are ready to discover your specific purpose.

Look no further than the desires of your heart.  

3.  Look inside yourself and ask, “What are my deepest desires and most persistent thoughts?”

These thoughts don’t just come to you by happenstance.  God has placed them in you from the beginning of time.  The reason they excite you and give you passion is because they are the seeds of works God prepared in ADVANCE for you to do.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in ADVANCE for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Some people are afraid to follow their dreams for fear that they are doing something wrong or selfishly sinning.  As long as it isn’t overt sin such as lying or stealing, DO IT.  Let God get the glory through it.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

4.  Align your desires with your natural gift.

God has given seven natural gifts to man.  They are:

Preaching, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8).

Preaching is declaring the truth.  Serving is practicing the truth.  Teaching is explaining the truth.  Encouraging is applying the truth.  Giving is supporting the truth.  Leading is organizing the truth.  Mercy is ministering the truth.

But which gift is yours?

5.  Determine your gift by understanding the EFFECT it has in someone’s life.

Different gifts cause different “effects” in people.  By identifying which “effect” brings you the most joy, you can understand your gift.


Are you a big picture guy?  Do you like getting people EXCITED about a cause?  Can you speak well?  Are you comfortable in front of a crowd and enjoy the spotlight?  Then your gift is Preaching!  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to rally people to a common cause.


Are you more comfortable “doing” the truth than you are “expressing” the truth?  Do you want your actions to speak louder than your words?  Do you like to help people?  Then your gift is Serving.  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make someone’s life easier by what you do for them.


Is it important to you that people understand WHY they believe what they believe?  Are you interested in the mechanics of why something is true?  Can you explain it to people?  Then your gift is Teaching.  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to help people UNDERSTAND why something is true.


Do you have discernment?  Do you have the ability to say the right thing at the right time?  Do you like to encourage people when they are down?  Then your gift is Encouragement.  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to give people HOPE.


Do you have a knack for making money?  Does everything you touch turn to gold?  Do you have a desire to see worthwhile efforts get off the ground?  Then your gift is Giving.  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to bring someone’s vision to life though your financial support. 


Are you organized?  Are you detail oriented?  Are you able to understand the process of making something work?  Are you able to inspire others to follow your lead?  Then your gift is Leading.  The “effect” that brings you joy is in your ability to make things run smoothly through your organizing skills.


Are you sensitive to the hurts of others?  Do you see the value in people no matter what they have done?  Then your gift is Mercy.  The “effect” that brings you joy is your ability to validate people.

Once you find your gift or gifts (people often have more than one gift), determine what vehicle you will use to express your gift.

6.  Determine what VEHICLE you will use to express your gift?

By vehicle I mean your STYLE.  What is your style?  Perhaps God has given you a creative way to express your gift.  That is your style.

For example:  You have a DESIRE to help children.  You have the GIFT of mercy.  Your STYLE is a magician.

You go to hospitals and make kids laugh by doing magic tricks that highlight the Gospel of Peace.  In this way you validate kids that would otherwise feel totally inadequate.


Insight into which gift best fits you provides a foundation from which to build your life.  It is the beginning of VISION.  Vision is actually self discovery.  True vision always looks inward before it looks outward.

Self discovery is “fanning into flame” the gift that is already in you.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.

2 Timothy 1:6

7.  Get moving on your dreams.  These dreams are your purpose.

God wants you to get moving on your dreams.  He wants you to take a step of faith so He can fulfill His purpose in you.  It’s the rolling stone that gathers no moss.  The Bible puts it this way:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

8.  Follow a logical path in fulfilling your dreams.

Getting where you want to go is like climbing a ladder.  Take it one rung at a time.  Ask yourself, ”What do I need to do to make my dreams happen today?” or “What’s keeping me from advancing my dreams today?”.  When you can answer these questions, you’ll have the next step to fulfilling your dreams.

9.  Overcome obstacles that keep you from moving forward.

Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a class, getting an education.  Sometimes we get in our own way, we don’t listen to God.  Remember this is His master design.  He already has a script for you.  Back off and wait for Him.  Give God time to perform His work.  Spend time meditating and going through the internal/external process discussed in Truth Based Thinking.

I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14

10.  As confidence grows, opportunity finds you.

People are drawn to confidence.  The confidence that God brings isn’t conceited.  After all this isn’t about you.  God put it in you, God gets the glory.

What happens is that people begin to recognize the gift that God has placed in you.  Remember your gift has been foreseen since the beginning of time.  God prepared you for it.  The whole earth has been waiting for you to appear.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Romans 8:19

The authority you weld in your given gift is God’s authority.  You become the tip of the spear in advancing His truth into your world because you are doing what He designed you to do.

People will want to know the reason for your success.  Be prepared to give an answer.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

1 Peter 3:15


When you find God’s purpose for your life it will feel natural.  When you discover who you were designed to be and live in it, you feel free.  When this happens the money you need to live finds you.

God made us to be gatherers, not laborers.  The labor God placed on man in the garden of Eden was a curse (Genesis 3:17-19), but Christ lifted the curse and returned us to God’s original intent (Galatians 3:13).

Notice that God gave Adam a garden to tend.  God created the garden, God watered it.  God made it grow.  Adam simply gathered it’s fruit.

The same is true for you.  God gave you a garden in the form of the gift He placed in you.  You don’t labor to make it grow.  You don’t create it.  You discover it.  You cultivate it.  As you operate in your gift, God brings opportunity and you simply gather the fruit or the resources you need to live.

This is the abundant life and how finding purpose works.  It’s being you and giving yourself to others.  It’s living the way God designed you to be.  

I have come that they may have life, and have it in full.

John 10:10