Right now, we have more opportunity to reach our intellectual potential than any prior generation. We are surrounded with technology, we are globally connected, and materially wealthier. Many of us worry about how to please God, while also trying to meet the secular demands of school, work and life.
As believers, we are continuously told to trust in God’s good plan for us (Jer 29:11-13). If we are unsure of His plan for our life, we are told to wait patiently… Yet life drives on demanding more and more from us. The frenzied pace makes it easy to confuse God’s plan with the world’s definition of prosperity. This can leave us feeling discouraged and even hopeless when life becomes difficult.
When confusion is prevailing, it can help to consider what God has revealed in his word. “For I know the plans I have for you,” He declares, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus told us more than anything to put God’s work first, to do what he wants and everything else will be added. Putting God first should be our highest priority and our first step. Without order there is chaos. When we put God first, we put an end to chaos.
Putting God First
Surrender To God
Do you ever wonder what it means to surrender to God? You might think that it means giving up who you are… to become like Him. While it may be true that we need to die to our old nature; this really means dying to sin. Before being saved we were ‘dead in sin’ and now that we are saved, we are ‘dead to sin.’ This does not mean that we cease being ourselves. On the contrary, our unique personality, gifts and talents are now going to be used to the glory of the One who saved us.
It can still be tempting when seeking God’s will to say, “Here’s what I want. Now please make it happen.” With the help of the Holy Spirit we can learn discernment; this helps us to be patient and to trust God (Phil 1:9-10). When we can hear the Holy Spirit, surrender becomes easier. Among believers, it is not uncommon to hear stories about how God blesses in unexpected ways; and many times, the answer far exceeds the expectation. We also learn, that God’s ways are not our ways (Is 55:8-10). It can be discouraging when God seems silent. We are encouraged to wait upon the Lord during these difficult seasons, when answers are not coming quickly. He promises that ‘he will renew our strength if we put our faith in him’ (Is 40:31).
Walk With God
God ways are often a mystery to us. He doesn’t scream out answers loudly: He draws us unto himself by his Spirit (John 6:44). He tells us to cleanse our hands and purify your hearts; and to not be double-minded. By meditating on God’s Word, we learn that he is much more concerned about our conduct than our vocation. He says we will be known by our love, one for one another; not by our work, position or status.
If you want to live out God’s plan for your life, you will need to learn to live in the Spirit and to walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25). Cultivating a practice of praying and reading The Word is a good place to start. This is how you will find the presence of God. When you are in the presence of God, then you can seek his will.
Christianity is more than just religion; it is a relationship with God himself. Once you begin to prioritize all of the decisions in your life through your faith towards him, he will uphold his promise to reveal his plans to you. He assures us saying, “I reveal myself to those who love and obey me.” John 14:23-24 If we turn towards God, he will turn towards us… if we humble ourselves in prayer (2 Chron 7:14). This is the process of sanctification, where we put on Christ so that we can live in harmony with the Holy Spirit.