God releases purpose in a man as He molds the man. The work is primarily God’s, but man has a part to play in partnership. The process is incredibly unique to each person, so most approaches to help another person discover his or her design and purpose in life often (“Discover who you are in three minutes!” “Here’s the key that worked for me!” etc.) lead to inaccurate and deceptive results. God’s intended outcome for each person is so beautiful, hidden, and consequential, that all approaches to discovering it outside a vibrant relationship with Him are limiting and blinding. Believing in a limited view of one’s design and purpose often causes people to not seek all the opportunities God has prepared, and even when God presents them clearly, causes people to deny them, thinking, “That’s not for me.”

A full apprehension of one’s purpose is an accelerant to fruitfulness. It seemingly gives a person superpowers to regularly accomplish the impossible, and others are in awe that such a person can exist. Indeed, it is impossible to do these works that Jesus did and more without the supernatural power of God at work. People can see God for the first time through one’s life in the present time, just as people could know the Father because they knew Jesus. God is free to reveal a part of His character and majesty through an individual, and together with such mature individuals loving one another in spiritual and practical unity, God makes His whole self known to the whole world.

Reaching a mature understanding of one’s purpose, let alone having the character to wield it, requires time and intense respect, honor, and listening to others, especially God Himself. It’s utterly impossible to predict the least inkling of the works God has prepared in advance for you to do until you apprehend Him and learn His ways. Yes, you can know those works after you’ve done them as you follow Jesus, and many people can look back at the end of their lives (or in long seasons) and see what God was doing all along, for the very first time. But if you want to understand your actual design, and what your heavenly calling is for this time you’re on earth (as Paul did), you must know God and His purpose and design.