Is there such a thing as a Divine destiny?
Is it possible that God has preplanned my existence?
Has my personal journey been uniquely designed for a reason?
Is it possible to find meaning to my life?
Is there a reason that these things have happened to me?
Can my purpose still be fulfilled even though I’ve made some bad choices?
I’ve been reading Viktor Frankl’s best selling book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” again this week. He was the Jewish psychiatrist who spent six long years in German concentration camps during the Holocaust. He wrote, “Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life.”
Frankl may have fallen short in his understanding of God’s Kingdom purposes, but through his unfathomable suffering he did get the truth that understanding and finding meaning in our personal purpose will help us thrive, even through the worst of opposition.
Having read his diary and his profound observations, I am even more pleased with the printing last week of my latest book, “Seven Colors”. I think that the thesis, which is subtitled, “Seven considerations that point to our life purpose”, will help us find the meaning and fulfillment we are each looking for.
I’ll attempt in this short article to overview this layman’s study on discovering our personal purpose. Beginning with the title, “Seven Colors”, let’s go back to the Bible story of Jacob’s tailoring a multicolored coat for his favorite son, Joseph.
It’s hard for us to even imagine how seriously a handmade coat could have upset the family equilibrium. Old Jacob invited his eleventh son into his and Rachel’s tent and presented him with the prophetic gift. We can think of it as a “Coat of Destiny”, because it signified that Joseph would be uniquely blessed by God with purpose, power and prosperity. His brothers were furiously jealous, and almost immediately began to plot how they would get rid of him.
After thirteen challenging years of testing and training, when he was thirty years of age, all of Jacob’s prophecies were fulfilled. Joseph became Prime Minister of the most powerful nation in the world at that time. It was years later that all of those difficult circumstances, in addition to God’s sovereign will and Joseph’s personal choices prompted Joseph to say to his older brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Or as the Apostle Paul penned years later, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
From that omniscient perspective, our Father God, as the Divine Coat Maker, takes all the colored threads of our lives, both the good and the bad, and weaves them together to design a Coat of Destiny for each of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I like the number seven because it speaks of God’s perfect and complete plans. There are seven notes that make up every musical composition, seven days in every week and seven colors in the rainbow of promise, so I use seven as the number of colors in our personal Coat of Destiny.
The seven colors represent seven aspects of your life, that when woven together, will help you discover your personal purpose. Think of penciling a dot-to-dot puzzle with seven numbers. When you join the seven dots, you can see a picture emerge. That’s how you can use these seven considerations — when you’ve taken some time to think each of them through, you’ll begin to see a picture of God’s pre-planned purpose for your life.
Red is the color of God’s sovereign foundations; your sex, when and where you were born, your family and DNA. These are things that God chose for you over which you had no say.
Orange is the color of your personal choices; to become a Christian, to marry and have children, what schooling and career choice you make; both good and bad decisions you make every day.
Yellow is the color of other people’s choices; things good or bad your parents chose for you, politicians, your boss, even the guy who drives his car behind you.
Green is the color of your educational choices, your learned skills and passions. All that you have learned, through failure or success, intentionally or not, are woven into your coat.
Blue is the color of your motivational gift. God sovereignly has woven into our DNA at conception one of seven gifts. Discovering that gift will give you a vital clue to understanding who you’ve been created to be and what God’s intended purpose is for you.
Indigo is the color of your God given talent(s). The talents you have (sports, art, business, music, etc) are entrusted to you for your master’s use.
Violet is the color of the Word of God. God guides us in the right path both through his written Word and His spoken words to us every day. We have a speaking God who promises to guide us down the right path that He has personally prepared for each of us.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
(Psalm 139:15-16 ESV)
My firm belief is that we can know our life purpose. We can find meaning to our lives that will not only help us endure the most difficult of days, but also ensure that we find fulfillment and joy in every season of life. To help you in the thinking process, I’ve added some questions to consider at the end of each chapter, and a couple of tests in the appendices to help you determine your temperament and motivational gift. I think you’ll enjoy it. To get a copy of “Seven Colors” at a special $10 price, email me at barry@northsidechurch and I’ll mail you one right away.