God’s Plan and Your Plan
Hey all! I hope you are having a great week, and that this post finds you thirsting for time with the Lord and spiritual growth. My prayer is if this is a tough season of life for you, that you would still find joy and contentment in Christ. I just wanted to share this post to offer encouragement and helpful guidance. I don’t know about you guys, but I often wrestle with wanting to know God’s exact plan for my life and whether my choices align with what he has planned. Sometimes I let myself get so concerned about knowing God’s exact plan for my life that I feel anxious and overwhelmed trying to figure everything out. I want to share a couple things I have learned about this from the Timothy Keller sermon I linked at the bottom:
- I am not all knowing. However, God is all knowing, and he knows the future of my life and of your life. If we let this worry of needing to know everything to make a right choice cause us great amounts of stress and anxiety, are we really TRUSTING in the Lord as we are called to do as Christians? I know the answer for me is no in these situations.
- There is guidance.There is guidance God does: Every decision is from the Lord, all things (even the small details) are fixed by God’s plan, however, you have choice and free will. This is the way God designed it and this concept is hard for human minds to grasp because it is so complex. Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Timothy Keller explains that your decisions are yours to make (they are held accountable by God), yet the outcomes (words and/or deeds) of these decisions are completely according to God’s plan. Decisions are 100% free will and 100% set in God’s plan. Our poor decisions have consequences, but God also works all decisions for his plan and for an ultimate good in the end.
- Example: The story of Joseph and his jealous brothers (Genesis 37-49). Many bad things come to Jacob: he is sold into slavery by his brothers, innocently thrown in jail, faced with famine, and yet God works all of the poor decisions that lead to these many hardships for ultimate good – Joseph becomes a high power in Egypt, saves Egypt from famine, and most importantly many grew in knowing the Lord and the nation was fruitful and multiplied!
- There is guidance God gives: Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” This is saying unconditionally trust God or commit your deeds (your life) first to the Lord and he will direct and establish your plans. We should come to God for God’s plans for our lives, not for direction in our own plans. Ask God for what He wills (plans), when He wills (plans), and how He wills (plans). By filling yourself with God’s word and committing your life to Him, you will become a more wise person.
- Commit yourself to God, then be bold and diligent in your decisions!
An Example by Timothy Keller: A 4 year old child asks his father if he can go outside and play, and the father says sure but be back by dinner time. Fast forward to college and the son calls up his dad and says hey dad some guys are playing ball in the quad, can I go out and play? The father would think the son is crazy for calling and asking him, he would likely tell the son that this is his decision and that the son should know his work load and determine whether he can or cannot go out to play ball with the other guys. This is how God is with us. He wants us to make decisions, as He would make them, but on our own because we are able to make wise decisions when we know God and know what He calls us to as Christians.