To truly understand the purpose of your life is one of the great blessings of being a follower of God.
I wonder how many people understand that blessing?
My sense is most people sort of wander through life aimlessly, lacking a true sense of direction, being led or misled by whatever crosses their path.
It seems there are really only two choices for the direction of our lives: we either live our lives in a very purposeful way, or we live our lives in a very circumstantial way.
Those living according to circumstance constantly ask themselves, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?”
This nagging uncertainty only leads to more uncertainty, more circumstantial direction, and more confusion about life and the purpose of life. God seems very distant to this individual, perhaps non-existent. This is a life of constant turmoil, with great cycles of fun, fear, escape, pain, struggle, worry, remorse, happiness, sadness, and mournfulness. It is a life lived by the emotion of the moment. While this life can be exhilarating from time to time – the over-riding sense is one of emptiness after all. Even in wealth there is a poverty of riches. Even despair.
By contrast we look at the life of a man such as John the Baptist. All of the emotions we described in the uncertain life are certainly present in John’s life – but those emotions are accompanied by a sense there is a purpose to them and for them. John lives with a certainty of purpose before God that removes him from the upheaval of not knowing if what he is doing and when he is doing is pleasing or displeasing to God.
Because John knows God, he knows quality of life. He knows the simple joy of God’s direction and purpose, even in the midst of despair. God is very present to John, and His purpose in John’s life is the reason for John’s existence.
Therefore, it comes very easily to John to say one of the greatest statements uttered by man found in God’s Word: (of Jesus,) “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is a man who is certain of the purpose for his life. He is not in competition with God.