One of the greatest issues people wrestle with is this: What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here? What's the plan? Without knowing that, life can be very disorienting. Imagine if you took a tribesman from the remote Amazon and placed him in the middle of Times Square in New York City, without any explanation. He wouldn't know how he fits in!
It's like that to live in God's universe without understanding His plan and purpose. Henry David Thoreau once said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Do you know why? They don't know what their purpose is. In Christ, we have purpose. In Christ, we understand that God is working out His plan in this world, and we're a part of it.
Jesus told His disciples, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father" (John 14:12). When Jesus speaks of doing works, the Greek word is "ergon," from which we get the word energy. It means "activity" or "energy expended." In other words, there is some divine activity that God wants you and me to spend our energy on, some purpose.
Paul wrote, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10, NIV). That's what Jesus is telling the disciples. "There are works that I want you to do. I prepared you to do them, and I prepared them for you. Roll up your sleeves, boys. You have the privilege of knowing the purpose for your existence."
This is how it works: The first stage of your Christianity is salvation. You get saved, and you start growing; you come to church, and you get fed. And after a while, that's not enough. You come to a point where you don't want to just keep receiving; you want to start giving. You want to start engaging in the plan God has for you.
So you enter into phase two, from salvation to service. In this phase, you're interested in your purpose, the plan of your life. What are my spiritual gifts? What is my calling from God? How can I be equipped to be a part of the global plan of God? Like James said, "Be doers of the word, not just hearers only" (James 1:22).
Jesus was growing His disciples up, maturing them by showing them the privilege they had of working for God, of knowing the purpose for their lives. We too should all be engaged in the works God has planned for us.
When you are working for God, when you're part of His plan, you have the privilege of purpose. By prayer and study of the Word, seek to find God's plan for you personally. There is no higher purpose than that!