And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” Colossians 4:17
When I was younger, I imagined that one day I would understand my life purpose and that I would instinctively live out that purpose. My dad was a pastor, and my mom was a teacher, both pursuing what seemed to me to be noble callings. I believed God had some plan for me and I just thought that one day, when I grew up, that I’d automatically follow that plan. I didn’t just automatically get there though. Rather, I followed me, which led most obviously to my addiction and subsequent disaster.
Even in my addiction, I still looked forward to a time when I thought I’d arrive, doing what God put me on this Earth to do. I couldn’t see that, at that time, my life purpose was simply to stop using drugs, get sober, and find recovery. I understood God’s plan as something far-off and grandiose. In reality, God’s plan for me at that time was just to stop being so selfish and to learn to do what was right, even in the mundane, daily choices.
In today’s passage, Paul wrote to a specific individual named Archippus, telling him to complete the ministry that he’d been given. This is a command that could be given to all of us. If we follow Christ, we all have some divine purpose for being here. Often, we either dread that God’s plan may be something terribly difficult (like moving to some far-off country) or we suppose that it’s something grand (like curing cancer). Usually though, God’s plan for us is far more immediate than that.
God may indeed have some great future plans for us, but right now, today, he asks that we abandon our path to follow his. Often, this simply means that we stop doing wrong and start doing right. If we’re struggling with drugs, pornography, lust, greed, pride, resentments, anger, or selfishness, we must daily do whatever it takes to separate ourselves from those things. Then, we must pursue our relationship with God, loving and obeying him. We’re to share the love he’s shown us with all of those he’s put in our lives. That is our purpose today.
As we pursue our daily purpose, God may reveal some grander vocational calling. We’ll never see it though if we’re not fulfilling his day-to-day plan for us. First, we must live out God’s will in our daily lives. That is our reason for being, and it isn’t mysterious. It’s just the way we must live if we want to experience the life, joy, and peace of becoming who we’re made to be.