The dilemma of whether a person has one purpose in life or many arises from observing people who do multiple jobs or have many titles. Some are coaches, authors, TV personalities and motivational speakers, all wrapped up in one. Such a person looks like they have many purposes. When people talk of one purpose, some think it is limiting and wonder why they should remain stuck with one.
Many life purpose experts and teachers claim that a person has many purposes, not just one. When many people don’t find their one purpose, they get frustrated and pursue their self-appointed purpose or do many jobs and claim to have many life purposes.
What is the truth?
The truth is in God’s word. What has God said about purpose?
Purpose revealed in one statement
God created you with a purpose and set you apart from birth to fulfill it. He makes it so simple that you won’t miss it when He reveals it to you.
The Apostle Paul recognized this when he said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” (Galatians 1:15).
Jeremiah the prophet let us in on how God announced his purpose, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
Samson’s mother got the revelation of her son’s purpose from an Angel of the Lord who said, “For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5).
When God revealed to His people their life’s purpose in the Bible, He did so in one statement. He captured the assignment in a simple statement so one would understand it and have no difficulty in fulfilling it. With time, He continued to unfold their purpose as they took action steps.
When God sent Jesus to earth, He gave Him one purpose, “to save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
(*Emphasis in the Scriptures is mine)
If the purpose for your life is one, why do people think they are many?
To answer this question, we must understand how our God-given purpose comes to life.
Purpose is intangible and becomes visible to the world through two things: your gifts and platforms.
- God has given you a gift to fulfill your purpose. Gifts come in two categories: natural gifts and spiritual gifts. Natural gifts are present in everyone at birth regardless of religious beliefs. Spiritual gifts manifest in a person after they are born again. They are gifts from the Holy Spirit as listed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. God created each one of us with gifts and talents to help us do the work He has called us to do.
- God has also given you a platform to execute your purpose work. A platform is a place, physical or virtual, where you can exercise your gift to bring your purpose to life. Examples include: blog, TV show, speaking platform, coaching business, shop, ministry, church, podcast, YouTube channel, and many others.
Paul was an apostle and teacher (2 Timothy 1:11). He preached Christ to the Gentiles in the synagogues, debated with them on spiritual matters and wrote letters to their churches. The synagogue was one platform he used.
Samson was a judge in Israel (Judges 16:31) who God gifted with physical strength because he was to deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. He tore a lion apart with his hands, and he killed one thousand men with a donkey’s jawbone in a single event (Judges 15:15). The judgment seat was one platform and the battlefield another. This is how he fulfilled his purpose.
We have a single purpose, are multi-gifted and have multiple platforms
God created us multi-gifted and gave us many platforms to fulfill the purpose He has given each one of us. This makes people believe one has many purposes. Your God-given purpose doesn’t change, it is the platforms that do. Platforms can change depending on the seasons of your life and the places God wants you to minister to others.
Jesus came to save His people from their sins and was a Rabbi (Teacher), prophet, apostle and preached the gospel to people in the synagogues and streets. His gifts and platforms were clear, yet His purpose was one.
God gives you one purpose that comes with many assignments that require different platforms. Having one purpose doesn’t limit you, it gives your work and life direction. It doesn’t limit where you can work and live.
When God reveals your purpose, He gives you information that helps you create a vision that you can work with for life. He gives you information on the platforms you will use, your audience, location, alliances, among others. As you take a step, the picture continues to unfold. It is a lifelong journey that you must take, with God leading the way.