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There’s a lot of talk on the idea of purpose. There are those who claim they can help you find it, those who are seeking it, those who claim it is elusive, and those who really just don’t care.

To put it bluntly, I think most are wrong.

I have had my fair share of the quick on-line tests to see what I “was made for.” I’ve read the books and done the diagramming and the journaling and the seeking.

I have spent ten years in college looking for it.

But that is where the problem lies, really. We are all so busy looking outside for our purpose, for something that we can do to fulfill our life’s calling. We couldn’t be more wrong if we tried.

Whether or not I am a writer or counselor or mother or student or wife or all those things, that is not my purpose. Whether or not I am called or gifted to put words on pages or preach or be a doctor or artist, that is still not my purpose.

To really find our purpose, to know why we are on this Earth and what we are made for, we have to stop looking out and start looking in.

Really, really, far in. Past the personas and the facades, past all the walls we have built and the way we want others to see us, past the lies and sins and secrets we carry. Past our own motives and desires and what we think we are and should be. We have to turn inward to the quiet corner of our hearts and souls to hear the answer.

I Am.

When God identified Himself to Moses, it was not about who Moses was or would be or what his life calling was all about. It was about Who God is. In the moment that defined Moses’ life and what it stood for, it was not about him at all. It was the acknowledgement of God.

Our purpose is found in Him. Christ set us free and gave us eternal life and told us to go and tell others the good news. He didn’t say tell them what you have done, where you are going, or what you think you are good at doing. He told us to tell others about Him.

Our purpose lies in Him.

When I get a quiet moment to search the depths of my own heart for the One enthroned there and everywhere, nothing makes things more clear than when I hear those words: I Am. He cannot be moved. He cannot be shaken. He cannot be told there was anything before Him that leaves Him unaware or anything that will surprise Him. He purposed us to serve and love Him. He created us, and the glory of it all is because He wanted us.

We were created with the purpose to live and love like Him and to love and worship Him.

But our society has so confused us by creating the idea of purpose as synonymous to gifting or talent or passion. It has whispered lies that we can prove our stature if we just find what we are made for. Blinders that lead us to mirrors where we only look at and to ourselves. No wonder we are empty inside. No wonder the ache never goes away and we doubt and convince ourselves we have not really found our purpose because we have not yet “made it.”

And all the while Jesus beats steady in our hearts, I Am. I Am. I Am. Our center found in the center of our beings, pulsing truth through our veins but our heads keep telling us we have to prove. We must be driven or we have lost our purpose.

It’s a cheap gimmick that is costing us everything. It takes the focus off of Christ and back onto ourselves and the weak flesh overcomes the soul and we are vacant, hollow. We compare and contrast, trying to justify if our lives are successful and meaningful or if we need to push a little more. The epidemic spreads and we all think our gifts are our purpose, never realizing that we are instead serving our gifts instead of using them. They are using us.

Gifts are not meant to become chains. Callings are not substitutes for purpose. These things make life well and good and meaningful, but it does not, or should not, change our course. We can serve God and love Him and others through these things, but not because of these things. If all my words failed me, if my hands could no longer hold a pen or my mouth form the sounds, my purpose would remain unchanged. I would find another way. Nor am I limited to these acts as there is always a way to show the love of God. His Word even tells us the rocks will cry out if necessary.

In Him “we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 18:28). Our purpose is defined here in these words. We were created by Him, for Him. The real purpose we all have, that we all should be seeking? Is to know Christ, to serve Him and love Him, and by doing so love others.

Everything else is just a gift. So with open hands and grateful hearts we accept those things which we enjoy, knowing it is there for us to do just that: simply enjoy. But it is not what defines us or what we are made for.

Because we were purposed for I Am.