Do you want to know God’s plan for you? Is it something you’ve been searching for but haven’t yet found the answer to? I’ve asked myself this question so many times until I finally found some answers.
Now I want to share them with you.
In this post, I want to give you the confidence to know that you’re walking forward in line with God’s plan for your life.
But before you read on, I’d recommend you read my companion post, ‘the best way to know God’s will for life’ if you haven’t done so. It clears up some common confusion about what God’s will is and how this is different to His plan.
It’s an exciting thought that God wants us to do good things with all the opportunities He gives us. This makes life an adventure with so much potential and fulfilment.
We also know that there are times of trial and even pain. Life really does have its peaks and valleys and everything in between.
But it’s all part of the plan.
Knowing how God’s plan works for you.
Now, here’s how God’s plan works, and this is the surprise.
We think of God’s plan as something to discover. That it’s a mystery hidden from us we have to find. But the truth is God’s plan for your life is not a guessing game.
You don’t need to try and figure it out.
After all, we don’t worship a God who hides! He has revealed Himself completely in the person of Jesus, His Word and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.
God can see your future, He knows your past and He desires to be in your present.
The problem is we can easily get frustrated that we can’t see our future. We want to know it, now! But that’s our issue, not God’s.
That may sound uncomfortable for some who expect guidance for their many decisions. (We will look at how God helps us in our decisions for another blog). But we can reassure ourselves that His plan will become clear in time. Sometimes even in hindsight.
The key to it all is to keep walking forward.
We call it faith.
The key to knowing God’s amazing plans for you.
It also helps to know that the key to God’s amazing plans for you, me and everybody are all part of His bigger plan of salvation for humanity.
You may well know this verse; “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11.
This verse is not so much about you or me, it was God speaking of redeeming His people (Israel) from the exile they were in.
It’s a small part of the big picture of what God will fulfil, through Israel, for the whole world.
But what this verse does promise us today is that even when we are in the midst of difficulty and hardship (our own exile) we can trust in Him with absolute confidence. Because there’s a reason for it, a plan much bigger than ourselves for the salvation and redemption of the whole world and creation for those who seek Him.
The reason is God’s salvation story, now through Christ. And we’re an important part in fulfilling that story.
That’s the master plan. What about our role in it?
The journey begins to live God’s plan.
From the outset, I want to reassure that from God’s point of view, there’s a lot of flexibility in living His plan for you. And even the possibility to make mistakes along the way.
Living out God’s plan is a bit like using a map (or if you prefer a satnav). It’s funny because when I’m driving I mostly use a satnav to get to where I want to. It’ll provide me with more than one option to get to my destination and sometimes I won’t use it at all.
The point is that my destination always remains the same, regardless of how I travel there or the obstacles I find along the way, (traffic jams usually).
As believers, we all have set our hearts toward a common destination. And that is to live and give everything we have for Christ and to see God’s Kingdom realised here on earth.
It’s our part in God’s master plan of salvation and the final goal to our life plan. And it’s our ultimate purpose.
We need to know that this will be different for each person because we all have a unique set of gifts, passions and talents He’s given to you.
Using them is the path to that goal.
This really helps us to know what we need to do each day to get there!
I want to look some more at just how God can guide us further along your life plan.
Here’s what I mean.
‘Providence’ in knowing God’s plan for you.
Providence. Now there’s a wonderful word we don’t hear often.
It means ‘the protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power’ and also ‘timely preparation for future eventualities’ (OED). You can see the common root of our word ‘provide’.
Providence is a big part of the day to day working out of God’s plan.
For us, God cares, prepares and provides. And it’s His providence that protects us and moves us forward in life and fulfilling His plan for you and His people as a body.
There are so many examples in scripture of the ‘timeliness’ of God and how he’s cared for individuals at crucial times in their life. Especially when facing an overwhelming challenge.
An example from the life of Daniel.
For me, among the most inspiring of these is Daniel. God had a plan for him that used his gifts as an administrator and an influencer in the court of king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was also faithful to God in doing His will every day and following God’s commands.
This, however, had consequences for Daniel’s life. Having opposed the worshipping of anyone or thing aside from God, Daniel was thrown into a Lion’s den to be executed. But, because of God’s providence and protection, the lions didn’t kill him. Daniel was protected and safe.
Overcoming fear and knowing God’s plan for you.
‘Fear not for I am with you.’ (Isaiah 41:10). We can put our trust in God. I doubt any of us will have to face real lions but at times we’ll have to confront fears that will feel like it!
God then, is with us on our side.
Which means that by living in His plan we have nothing to fear if we aren’t certain of the outcome. But instead, we grow in confidence and faith that He will take care of us.
In fact, there is always room for the occasional miracle or divine co-incidence along the way!
That is up to God how He leads, prompts, provides and even at times gives us clear nos as well. These are not orders by God but I like to call them nudges instead. They confirm at critical times our direction of travel.
Knowing God’s personal plan for you.
I mentioned how using your gifts and talents is a central part of living your life plan. Well, this gets close to my heart; to live out your life calling.
It’s clear from scripture that God gives us each unique gifts and talents. He really wants us to use them.
‘There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.’ 1 Corinthians 12:5-6.
And it doesn’t matter quite so much what we do, as long as we do it according to God’s will.
‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This will help to live out God’s plan for you because God will use you for who you are and the gifts He has given you. He has equipped us ‘for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up’ (Ephesians 4:12).
Living out God’s plan for your life.
We’ve looked at what God’s plan is for your life and how that is always lived according to His will and shaped by the gifts and passions He’s given us.
We just need to take the first steps! I’d recommend talking to someone you trust and knows you well to encourage you on the journey.
But here’s a final bit of advice for walking out God’s plan for you:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight’. Proverbs 3:5-6.
Praise God for the amazing plans He has for us all!
Jeremy – Not Only Sundays (About Us).
© Not Only Sundays, October 2018. Images CC0 Public Domain – sourced on pixabay.com under a creative commons licence CC.