Living out the plans that God has in your life is no easy task. We are often left wondering “What is it exactly that God put me on this earth to do? What am I here for? What is my purpose?”
We ask for clarity. We wait. And we wait. And wait.
We get impatient. We take things into our own hands; imagining and dreaming up our own plans of what we want our lives to look like. All while we hope that we’re in alignment with His ultimate plan.
But what if His plans for us makes us a little uncomfortable? What if He wants us to rely on Him more, and on ourselves less? What if the plans He has in store for us are totally opposite of what we pictured our life to be?
We won’t know, unless we ask.
At church this past Sunday, one of our pastors stirred up something inside of me. He recommended this simple prayer every day: God, be yourself in my life today.
So what does that mean? Let’s first take a glimpse into what God’s character is like.
God is sovereign.
“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
He knows what is good for us. He knows His plans for our lives. We don’t have to have it all figured out right now. We need to move forward with blind faith that He has our backs. That He has a plan. And it is good. That He will lead us where we need to go.
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:28 The Message (MSG)
Knowing that God has us in His hands, that He is working for our good, is such great news. Trust that you are where you need to be. Open yourself to the possibilities and step out in faith, knowing God will be faithful in His promises.
God provides peace.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Not knowing our future can most definitely bring up anxiety, stress, and fear. Especially for those of us who like a little (a lot) of control in our lives. But God wants us to rest in Him and trust He has everything already taken care of.
When our lives are full of stress, we are blinded by the opportunities that are set in front of us. We stay stuck and don’t grow in our faith. We feel like we have to figure it all out by ourselves. But what God wants, is for us to rely on prayer, and for us to understand His character, because He has us in the palm of His hands. And we can rest easy, and allow His peace to permeate through our lives.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 The Message (MSG)
Pray boldly. Even if you don’t know what to say, God knows our struggles and pain.
God is powerful.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV
To know that we have God’s power on our side, working for us, is something to be so joyous about. With God, we can move mountains. We can live out an extraordinary life. We can have a life full of passion, purpose and meaningful experiences.
But we have to understand that we can’t do it on our own. We need to put our faith in God that He can and will make it happen in our lives. If we align our goals with His vision for us, nothing is impossible. God is powerful.
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 NIV
With God, all things are possible. There are so many more verses that show this promise. But my absolute favorite verse that highlights this promise, is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
Let me emphasize this; ALL THINGS.
Not some things. All. He has the power to change your life. He has the power to line up the stars for you. We just need to ask Him first.
When I wanted something so badly as a kid, but I knew my mom would most likely say no, I prefaced the conversation with this, “Before I ask you something, can you promise you’ll say yes?” And I continued on to my question, but in the end, still not getting the desired response from my mom.
Even though I knew what I wanted was probably out of the picture, I still wanted her to say yes.
Do you remember doing this as a child? We wanted something so badly and sometimes we were blinded by the aching desire that we didn’t see the full picture of what it would mean if we actually got our way.
Even though some of the things we ask for from God, are not necessarily bad, they still might not be in His plan for our lives. God’s plan and purpose for our lives, are so thoughtfully and beautifully written. He has plans already in place. He knows what we need. He knows what is best for us.
So while we’re navigating through life, seeking to follow His plan, asking things from God, just understand that He doesn’t want to say no.
Just like our parents, while we were growing up. They didn’t like saying no. Although more times than not, saying no was necessary for our well being. The same rings true for God.
We need to understand and ask for the things God wants to say yes to.
And in order to allow Him to say yes, we need to first ask him to show up, as himself. Knowing his characteristics will help us understand His plans and His desires for our life. We need to ask for things that line up with His character.
So when you wake up tomorrow morning, and each morning after… repeat this little prayer: God, show up in my life today, and be your true self. I want to know you, God. I want to make your plans my plans. Help lead me where you want me to go. Amen.
Seek to know God. Yearn to understand His characteristics. Trust His plans are always better than our own.
Love and seeking His plan,