“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” 2Tim 1:9
A wise man i respect very much asked, “What is that thing you will do for free? What is that particular thing that even if you make no money from it, you would still do? That is your career” but he did not stop there. He went on to ask, “What is that other thing that you would actually pay people to allow you do? That particular thing that you would give up your money, properties and even life to achieve? That is your purpose”. Do you see the difference? WE POSSESS OUR CAREERS BUT OUR PURPOSE POSSESSES US!
In some cases, your career and your purpose are one and the same. Like in the case of Bezalel in Ex 31:1-5. God had endowed him with crafting skills and talents to carve and mold all sorts of wood and metals and stones into exquisite carvings. Bezalel had with all certainty been using this talent as a career in Egypt. We are told he was a professional carver, which means he had been carving professionally for a long time. Carving was his career.
But what I want you to note here is that Carving remained just a career with Bezalel until God told him what he had those skills for. He never entered into his purpose till he was told by God what those skills were for – to build the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant! What does this tell us? Career is for you, Purpose is for God.
Your talent can bring you money and fame and success through your career, but until you step into using those talents for the God who gave them to you and start using them for the things He planned them to be used for, you never enter into purpose and consequently, you never have fulfillment.
That’s why we have men and women seemingly at the height of their careers, successful and powerful, simply enter their rooms one day and commit suicide. They never moved from career to purpose. They never found fulfillment.
Notice also that with Bezalel, it took God telling him for him to know what his purpose was and why he had those talents and skills. Purpose can only be discovered in God. This simply means that until you are in Christ, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of even discovering your purpose. In case you are not clear, let me repeat it in layman’s language – if you are not born again in Jesus Christ, you will never ever discover your purpose talk less of fulfilling it. You will live and die a wasted life. I say that without apology. No matter what you achieve career wise, it will never fulfill you because that career will never evolve to purpose without Christ.
In some cases, your career might seem to differ from your purpose as in the case of Paul in the bible. He was a lawyer before he became an apostle/evangelist, but it was the training he had as a lawyer that helped him most as an apostle. He could because of his legal training stand up to the so called teachers of the law and show them how the very law they were defending spoke of Christ; he could address men of learning and repute anywhere. No matter how wide the difference between your career and purpose might seem, it always, ALWAYS, has a role to play in your purpose.
Your career and purpose might be the same or your career might be the kind that evolves into your purpose or your career and purpose might run hand in hand together, but there are salient differences to note between the two –
* Career is limited. It can be affected by many factors, e.g., age, economic conditions, health etc but Purpose is ‘unlimitable’ (permit me to use this non-word). Nothing can affect or stunt your purpose except you. Things that can limit career only serve to propel you into another dimension in purpose.
* While careers can grow and wane at different times based on different conditions, Purpose just keeps getting bigger and better from season to season through all conditions. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more until the perfect day” Prov 4:18.
* Career is chosen; Purpose is discovered.
* Career is the road; Purpose is the destination
* Career is for you; Purpose is for God
* Career is your gift; Purpose is your calling
* Career is the means; Purpose is the end
* Career starts and ends with you; Purpose begins with God and is an indestructible legacy you leave behind for others to continue till it ends again in God. “I have planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase” 1 Cor 3:6
* You can achieve your career goals by yourself; You need the Holy Spirit to fulfill your purpose
* Career is you; Purpose is far bigger than you
* Career can be done alone by you; Purpose is team work and effort of the Chosen amongst the body of Christ
* Career gives you everything except fulfillment; Purpose gives you everything AND fulfillment
How can you know your career? Check out your array of natural gifts and talents and interests and effortlessly acquired skills. Those are the GPS navigators of your career path. That thing you refer to as a ‘hobby I’m just interested in’ can turn out to be your career.
How can you know your Purpose? Only one way – GOD! He alone knows why He made you and what He made you to do.