As a high school senior, I am attempting to figure out what my future consists of next. Should I do a gap year and travel? I have a love for other cultures, travel and want to go back to Africa. Should I apply to college? I have always been driven and love to learn. I always talked about being a lawyer ever since I was little. What colleges should I apply to? Christian or non-Christian? In-state or out-of-state? Far away from home or close-by? WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE?
In life, we often find ourselves at a crossroad. Maybe you’re like me, the high school senior attempting to figure out the next step. Or you’re a college graduate venturing into the “real” world, as adults like to say. Or perhaps you’re the retired adult trying to figure out what to do next. Or maybe you’re just a crossroad trying to find a new career, a hobby, etc.
Crossroads can be a pretty scary place to be. I have seen a lot of Christians stand at the crossroad saying “Well, I’m figuring out God’s plan for my life.” They say that as they sit and wait….and wait….and wait….and wait. I’ve watched them wait on God for Him to reveal his plan to them.
Which is great…….
but what if that isn’t the point?
Google “God’s plan for my life” and you’ll get hundreds of results from books and articles about how to find and focus on his plan for you. It’s a topic that seems to be preached about in churches and bible studies all over the world. We hear it all the time!
Maybe I’m crazy for saying this, but I don’t think God is always going to tell us His plan. I think that sometimes, God’s plan is on a need-to-know basis, and apparently, He thinks we don’t need to know.
Now let me get clarify something before I continue. I am NOT saying that God DOESN’T have a plan for us…God does have a plan for us.
It is seen in Jeremiah 29:11 “‘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.'” However, I don’t think we should focus so much time, energy and effort trying to figure out God’s plan for our lives. If we continue down this track, it typically leads to one of these two things
1. I GOT THIS
I was addicted to the George Lopez show for a period of my life. George, the main character of the show, had a tag line he always said. Whenever someone doubted him or wasn’t sure of his ideas, he would tell them, “I GOT THIS.” Sometimes, we mistake OUR plan for our lives with God’s plan for our lives. We have everything planned out, from the college degree we will get, to the type of home we will buy, the perfect man or women we want to marry, all the way down to the number of kids we will have. This is dangerous! It becomes self-centered and self-fulfilling. We take control of our life. We control where we are going and what we are doing and wanting, instead of putting our trust and faith in God. He ultimately knows what is best for us and what we REALLY need.
- I’M CHILLING
If the above description didn’t fit you like a glove, perhaps this will resonate with you. Sometimes we get stagnant as we wait for God’s plan. We get lazy. We just wait for God to tell us what to do, instead of being proactive. We become complacent, not doing anything and just leaving EVERYTHING up to God. Yes, God is very capable of doing everything, but work is required of you too. That coveted job position will not just fall into your lap, if you’re late for work, don’t do what you’re supposed to do, or don’t even apply for it. God needs you to do your part too.
Both of these are negative. We either become focused on controlling our lives or we become lazy and complacent. I know many that get anxious. I have cried out to God on multiple occasions, begging him “What do you want me to do? Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it!” Only to be answered with silence. If we don’t see an answer or hear one from God, it’s easy to feel forgotten or ignored by Him. But you are NOT! God hears every prayer and every cry.
So what’s the solution to all this? If we can’t know God’s will, what do we do?
Just GO! Move forward! The secret to finding out God’s plan for your life isn’t to keep asking God over and over, to tell you the plan. It honestly doesn’t matter where God is taking you. Just go! The reality is none of us know where God is taking us. He changes things up all the time. Yet, we shouldn’t fear. He knows our hearts better than we do.
I read somewhere the other day that “If you knew God’s plans for your life, you would abandon your own.”
So YES, God does have a plan for my life as well as yours. I just don’t think he always tells us. Why would we need faith and to trust in him, if we knew all the answers?
How would faith play a part if we knew what we are supposed to do at every crossroads? Our obsession for figuring out God’s plan for our life is really just our obsession with control. We want to know God’s plan with us because we want to be in control. This is an area I know well and I struggle with. I want to know the answers, so I can control my life. I want to know so I can feel in control of where I am going.
This is where faith comes in, which can only come from knowing God. Faith is not knowing the plan. Faith is trusting that God has you, right where he needs you. Exactly right where you are. Faith is moving forward, trusting him.
I remember something my mother told me in the midst of a particularly frustrating night. I was upset because I was tired of guessing what God wanted me to do. I was frustrate until she said, “Move forward. Apply to wherever you want to. DO SOMETHING. Then trust that God will direct your steps. He’ll move you and shift you to where He wants you.”
If our desires are aligned with God’s, then he will fulfill them.Psalm 37: 4 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” NIV
God hasn’t promised to reveal his complicated and beautiful plan four our lives. He’s promised Himself. He’s promised to give us the desires of our heart. The heart that he gave us.
Knowing the answer to everything is such a boring way to live. I want to live my life being surprised by God! In everything that I pursue and do, I want him to show up. Therefore, I need to learn to trust Him. Not hoping he will see me through it, but KNOWING he already has.
His way is better than anything I could have hoped or dreamed…or did myself.