How to discover your God-given purpose

Get clarity and confidence for 2024

The start of a new year is often a time of transition. It offers a great opportunity to reflect on the past and make new commitments about what lies ahead.

The foundation for working out what is important for you in 2024 is to first get a clear understanding of your purpose. A sense of purpose can bring incredible clarity, help you get unstuck, and approach the year with confidence.

What is God’s purpose for your life?

There are plenty of ways you could answer that question. For some, it is to glorify God. For some, it is to share the good news of Jesus. For others, it is to seek justice and serve others.

I lead an organisation called Seed, which exists to help grow Christians who effectively engage the world around them and join in God’s work of renewal where they are planted.

At Seed, we believe the purpose of the Christian life has to do with two main things:

1. Becoming who God has made us to be;

2. Participating in God’s work of redemption and renewal.

Both of these things, if done faithfully, result in God being glorified.

In the book of Ephesians, the author spends the first three chapters giving us deep insight into God’s purposes for creation and for humans. We find a God deeply interested in all the things I’ve mentioned above: human salvation, how we hold ourselves in the world, our good works and our relationships. All this sits alongside a concern for all of creation to be reconciled and renewed through Jesus.

Then in Ephesians 4:1, the author writes, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (NIV). He then proceeds to explain what that kind of life looks like. It seems clear from Ephesians, and from a wider reading of the Bible, that God is interested in both who we are becoming and what we do.

I think we too often reduce the Christian story to something too small. We make it only about personal salvation, or right belief, or right behaviour. We fail to invite people to consider their part in God’s grand story of the renewal of all things.

Finding your purpose is not a process of self-determination. Rather, it is a process of aligning yourself and what you do in the world with God’s purposes.

How do I discover my God-given purpose?

Many people assume that purpose is about self-determination, and pursuits of purpose often seek to fit everything (including God) into a story we control. But, as Christians, we find our purpose by first examining the purpose for which we were created. God and God’s story are the central foundation for finding our purpose.

These two approaches are illustrated below.

Find your God-given purpose

Finding your purpose is not a process of self-determination. Rather, it is a process of aligning yourself and what you do in the world with God’s purposes.

That means:

  • Aligning the way we think and what we believe with what God says to be true of the world.
  • Aligning our desires and what we long for with what God desires for us.
  • Aligning our actions and the way we relate to others with God’s intention.
  • Aligning the things we make, and the change we seek to create in the world, with God’s foundational purposes.

At Seed we have developed a Purpose Storyboard Tool to help you reflect on the stories and experiences that God has used to shape you.

The Storyboard has six primary sections:

  • History: Who or what has God used to shape you?
  • Context: Place -where has God placed you now; and People – who are you serving now?
  • Gifting: What are you ‘naturally’ good at? How do you use those gifts?
  • Passion: What do you loving doing and who do you do this with?
  • Causes: What tensions do you feel? What problems do you want to solve?
  • Vision: God willing, what do you dream your life and impact might look like in the future? What do you long for?

Together, these elements provide a basis for discerning your own sense of God-given purpose.

As you start the new year, take some time to work through the Purpose Storyboard individually and reflect on how God has shaped you, as well as where God might be leading you. Once you’ve spent some time reflecting personally, grab a friend and share your story with them. Ask them to pay attention to what stands out as important to them.

You can access the Purpose Storyboard here.

Finish by reflecting together on which parts of your story might play a key role in shaping your decision about who you are becoming and what you are doing in 2024.

Here is a prayer you might like to pray:

“God, we desire to be people who are shaped by you and your story. Reveal more of yourself and your ways to us. We want to be people who step into the world each day with a humble confidence in Jesus, because we understand and have experienced the difference he makes in our own lives and in the world. Give us a clearer sense of what it means to faithfully follow you and embolden us to step out in faith as we follow you and your purposes. Amen.”

John Beckett is Founder and CEO of Seed. He is passionate about helping individuals and organisations to develop and articulate a clear sense of identity and purpose, and to find the places where their own stories fit with God’s story and God’s purposes. Find out more at