Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age.
– Matthew 28: 19-20 (NKJV)
The term purpose is generally defined as intention or a reason for being. Your reason for being. God created all of us, including His Son Jesus, to glorify Him. Jesus acknowledges this when He prays: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (John 17:1, NKJV). Therefore, our purpose as God’s sons and daughters is to glorify Him so that His “name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16, NKJV).
On the contrary, the term mission is typically defined as an important assignment, vocation, divine calling or personal ministry. Your divine assignment. Your personal calling. Jesus is a perfect example of an individual who stayed focused on God’s mission for His life. Jesus followed God and the Holy Spirit as He pursued His ministry. Just as God anointed Jesus to do His work, He will also anoint you to do yours in the marketplace.
Your purpose precedes your mission. One way to frame this connection is to remember:
• Your purpose tells you why you were created (i.e., to glorify God).
• Your mission tells you how you will glorify Him (e.g., through your commercial initiatives).
Our Collective Mission
Jesus tells us that just as God sent Him into the world to spread the gospel, He (Jesus) sends us into the world to spread the gospel. He declares we are to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, NKJV). This is our ultimate collective mission as believers. For us as Christian business leaders, this means that we are sent to spread the gospel of Christ in the business world.
Identifying Your Personal Mission
In my book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life, I share a step-by-step process for how to identify your individual mission and connect it with the mission of your business. And, the first step is to begin from within. If you have questions regarding exactly what your calling is as an individual, then the answers are easily accessible. The answers lie within you.
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God actually anoints you with the same Holy Spirit with which He anointed Jesus. “This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NLT). This is reinforced by Jesus as He declares: For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21, NKJV).
The Bible reinforces the fact that God’s Spirit lives within us in many passages including the following:
• “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17, NKJV).
• “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living with you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11, AMP).
• “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:14, NKJV).
Ponder the following questions:
• “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16, NKJV).
• “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).
• “Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?” 2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV).
Because God’s Holy Spirit resides within each one of us, you only need to look inside yourself to God, Who resides within each of us, to discover your divine mission. Pray for His revelation, direction, wisdom, and power to discern the mission that He has ordained for you.
Dr. K. Shelette Stewart oversees global corporate partnerships for Harvard Business School. She is an international speaker, consultant, and author of the award-winning book, Revelations in Business: Connecting Your Business Plan with God’s Purpose and Plan for Your Life. For more insights and information, please visit: www.shelettestewart.com and www.revelationsinbusiness.com.