By Ndukwu Chibundom Kaosisochukwu - June 20, 2022

One of the first Christian books that I finished by the time that I decided to become intentional with my relationship with The Lord was ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren, which, I have to admit, took me over forty days to read even though the advice of the author was that each of the 40 chapters were to be read one a day for forty days. The book opened my eyes to a question that I had never even thought of asking myself before, and that was the question of what my purpose was in this life.

Of course, throughout my life, I had thought a lot about what I wanted to be in life, and I had moved from wanting to be a medical doctor to a professor, and then somehow wound up studying law. A lot of what I wanted to be was hinged on the fact that I wanted to make a lot of money, and be, as I am sure every child has dreamt of being at least once or twice in his or her life, the richest person in the world.

In fact, when I was in secondary school, in one of my first journals, I wrote that as an adult; I was going to make 75 billion dollars, which of course, at the time, there had been no billionaires that had risen to that point. And with that amount of money, I was sure that I was going to be boosted to becoming the richest person in the world.

Never did I, during those years, think of what my purpose was based on what the Lord wanted me to do. 

That has changed, of course, and that happened, to a large extent, by the time that I was done reading the book. But it was not the only thing that made me go back to thinking about what my purpose was.

A few months ago, in a conversation that I had with a Christian family that I was a member of, a question was brought forth, and that was what we all wanted to be in our lives. Each of the people that I sat with was given the opportunity to talk about what we wanted to be and I got to sit and hear those that wanted to practice different areas of law, those that wanted to open studios, become businessmen, and kingdom wealth builders, those that wanted to open fast-food joints, those that wanted to study to the peak of education, those that wanted to become philanthropists.

During my turn, I have to admit that I felt a bit at loss for words. For one, I did not have as much as those that I had listened to had. As I listened to them, only one thing came to my mind.

But first, I set things out clearly. I did not know whether I was going to be practising the law that I was studying; I did not know whether I was going to further my education. In the next ten years, I said, I was not even sure that I had marriage and children in view. 

There were only two things that I had in mind. One was that I wanted to live the monastic lifestyle, spending months in solitude, away from the cares of the world, with a safe space to think, and I wanted to write, write words that would glorify the name of the Lord, books that would inspire change and a transformation in the lives of others, books like those of the renowned preachers and self-growth coaches, both fiction and non-fiction alike.

Also, I had it in mind, even though I was not sure of it at that moment, that somewhere in the near future, I wanted to be the one person who would bring about a mental illness awareness in Nigeria through my writings, as I realised that Nigerians seemed to heavily neglect that aspect of health more than others.

I felt as though what I had said was insufficient, given that it was not as fully fleshed out as some others were. And that felt wrong for me, given the fact that I do very much like to think of myself as very driven and ambitious but the key thing I had to note was that, not only were the things that I said the first things that assuredly came to my mind the first time that I heard the question of what I wanted to do with my life, but I also had the time, although it was limited, to think up more things to add to the list of things that I had in mind.

After the discussion, which later spanned to a teaching on how what the Lord may have planned for us might not be what we have planned for ourselves, we began to sing a song and a prayer over and over again, which went like this:

“Thy will be done.”

The song had only this as the chorus, with us inserting things to go with the song like:

“Even when I am weary, thy will be done

Even when it is not my plan, thy will be done

Even if it is difficult, thy will be done.”

I have a prayer book, and shortly after that, I wrote two things down in that prayer book.

They were

“Father please, I want to be ever focused, ever pushing on to achieve the purpose that you have set out for me. Father, please give me the grace to conquer and overcome every distraction that seeks to make this not to become a reality for me.”


“Father, I do not know where you are leading me, what direction you wish for my life to take. But Lord, please open my eyes so that I may tow in that direction.”

After saying those prayers, there was no instant revelation that came to me as to what I was supposed to do. But that was not surprising. After all, I knew people that I considered greater leaders than I am in the faith that admitted that they were not sure of what it was that they were going to do. And besides, I was aware that sometimes, the Lord does not show you the end of the road. He just directs your steps. But when you reach there, you will know that you have arrived at the promised land.

But then again, there are people who are aware of their purpose, know clearly what path they are to chart in their lives, even those that may know there is a chance that the Lord will not come in and pop some surprise for them in their lives. But for a lot of us, I believe that we still have to keep treading on the paths that the Lord has set out for us, mostly unaware of where he is going to lead us to, unaware of where the final destination is going to be in. Sometimes, we may not even be aware of the fact that the Lord is charting a way for us in the first place.

I have found that for a lot of biblical leaders, that is usually the path that the Lord prefers. When the Lord told Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute, in Hosea 1:2, He told him what it was to represent, but not what the end goal of it all was.

When Joseph began to have his dreams and visions, which eventually led him to be hated by his brothers and be carried out to Egypt, he just followed the way that his circumstances forced him to, ensuring that he did not deviate from the ways of the Lord, without knowing that he was towing the way that the Lord had set out for him.

The Lord kept Abraham largely in the dark, even though he was knowledgeable about the fact that he was to be a father of many nations, of whether it was going to be possible given that his wife was barren. It took till Abraham was seventy-five before he even received a message that seemed to indicate that the Lord had plans to give him any children at all. 

Moses was largely in the dark until his eighties as to what he was saved for. He knew that he was a child that was saved by the Lord from death, but the Lord did not tell him what purpose he was exempted for until much later in his life.

But then, some people knew or rather had an inkling of an idea of what they were to be carved out to achieve from the Lord right at the beginning before they were to perform their tasks. Over the years, there have been people that have received the call, to be pastors, missionary workers, to preach the word of the Lord through their medical practice, law practice, etc. But I would like to believe that even in the midst of their knowledge, there still has to be a sense of uncertainty, they still have to contact the Lord daily to know if they are or are not going in the right direction.


So more recently, I have had the vague sense of knowledge of the fact that whatever the Lord has called me out to be, there has to be an element of my writing talents that will be used for it. The Lord was the one who gave me the gift. What other reason would he have given it to me for?

There is this school of thought that believes that whatever our purposes are, it has to stem from what we like to do, what we are naturally good at, and what our talents are. If you know how to sing, then that must mean that the Lord has called you to be a singer. If you are an intellectual, then it must mean that the Lord has called you to be an academic.

And I believe that there has to be an element of truth in that. Most of the time, we do not know what we will end up doing, but most can hinge on the assurance that one way or the other, the talents that the Lord has given to us, the things that we are naturally inclined to do, will be what will determine what God has created us to do.

But is that exhaustive? Gideon was a coward, and yet the Lord called him to be a great war leader. Moses was a stutterer and yet the Lord called him to lead a nation. Most of the apostles were bereft of the education that would make one capable of being able to preach to a crowd of people, but they were called to do that. I know pastors, evangelists, and bishops, that have said that in all their life, there was no way that they would have envisioned that this was the path that the Lord had set out for themselves, that there was nothing that gave it away that they would have any talents or gifts that would lead them to be able to do the things that they were called to be. Many have testified to the fact that they cried and fasted even, when they received a clear sign of what the Lord wanted them to do, unable to understand why they had been chosen.

But in the end, they showed, despite the assumed lack of talents, that they had what it took to do what they were assigned to do. After all, whomever the Lord anoints, he equips.

So maybe it is not a question of personal talents or what we love doing but what the Lord has equipped us to do. Sometimes, it may align with what we think are our talents and what we enjoy doing. Sometimes, we might not have been able to figure out that we were equipped for the purpose until after it has been revealed to us.

I was listening to an audiotape by a preacher once when I got something that I knew had to be reassurance from the Lord as to what direction my purpose was to take me. The preacher had mentioned something about the fact that the entertainment that we have in the world has been polluted by the devil and that he uses it to trap the souls of men. And that was when I heard a still small voice inside of me tell me I was to make an impact for the Lord in the entertainment sector. I do not know exactly what I will do, but I know that by this, my purpose is to cause a turnaround in the entertainment sector of the world through my writing. 

I do not have a clear map as to where I would have to go, but that is of no concern to me. For I am assured of the fact that wherever the Lord tells me to go, I have prayed and asked for the grace to be able to go. But I do know that I will make use of my God-given talent for writing.


When we were having that meeting, a woman that decided to join us in the retreat camp that we went to stopped us in the middle of the discussion. And then she proceeded to mention something that I believe is worthy of note.

Her message was simple and clear. She made it known to us that stating plans for our future and dreams the way that we stated them were things that were meant for the secular world. As for us, we should never fix our minds rigidly on whatever plans it may be that we may have made for ourselves.

Therefore, there is a chance that every vision and dream that you have been working towards by God could be upended by the Lord because it may not be what the Lord has set out for us.

After all, our purpose supersedes our ambitions, the plans that we have made for ourselves, and where we see ourselves in the nearby future. Our purpose is not meant to come from within, but from whatever that the Lord has set out for us. After all, He alone knows why he created us. He alone knows the good plans that he has made for us according to Jeremiah 1: 5.

So, does that mean that we are not meant to have plans, dreams, goals, or visions for our future? Does that mean that we are not allowed to plan our lives, and make career choices because the Lord may have other plans for us?

I do not think so. But there is a bit of condition precedent to making any plans for our lives as Christians, a condition precedent to having dreams and goals for our lives.

According to James 4: 13-15

13. Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 

14. How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog- it is here a little while, then it’s gone.

15. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

That is the condition precedent. We are allowed to make plans by the Lord, we are allowed to have dreams and set out goals for ourselves. In fact, to be successful in life, we have to do these things, otherwise we will roam about listlessly, not knowing what we are doing with our lives. 

But whatever plan that we are making, whatever dreams that we have, we should have in mind that the ultimate plan is to achieve the purpose that the Lord has created us to do and we should always seek the help of the Holy Spirit to ensure that we are working according to the plans that God has set out for our lives.


According to the book by Rick Warren, there are five purposes that we should always have in mind as we set out on our day-to-day activities. These are the core reasons that we have been created on this earth and we should never ignore any of them.

  1. The centre of our lives - Worship

  2. The community of our lives - Fellowship

  3. The character of our lives - Discipleship

  4. The contribution of our lives – Ministry or Service

  5. The communication of our lives – Mission or Witnessing 

All in all, to discover our purpose, we should always seek the face of the Lord through prayers, the study of the word, meditation, and retreats. And if we have been working according to the footsteps of the Lord, we should be assured that even if we do not have a clear picture of where the Lord is leading us, we are heading in the right direction, in the direction of our purpose.

What views do you have on the topic of purpose? Have you discovered what purpose the Lord has for your life? Please share in the comments.

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