I already found Jesus. Do I really need to find God's plan for my life too?
A few months after inviting Jesus into my heart at 29 years old, I found myself standing in the darkened sanctuary of a church for the first time. My fingers were dug into the chair in front of me as I watched hundreds of other believers lift their arms in worship. The group of musicians on stage sang songs I had never heard before. I was overwhelmed and there was no chance I would sing along, even though the words to those unknown songs were displayed on giant screens behind them.
Days prior to this moment, I was a born again believer who knew Jesus and was starting to learn God’s word. However, I was unsure about church, pastors and fellowship. Instead, I believed knowing Jesus and reading my Bible was all I needed to be a Christian.
I wasn’t overwhelmed by only the music, but by the idea that my life was changing in front of me as I was stepping out in faith to follow God’s teachings. If this sanctuary was a glimpse of what my life was about to become. I wasn’t sure I wanted it.
Thankfully, a few moments later when the pastor began to share his message (the first sermon I ever listened to) my life would take another drastic turn towards a future of life changes that would soon bring hope, joy and peace to my soul that I never knew was possible.
The pastor said, “If you’re a Christian, God has a vision for your life. If you don’t know what it is, you need to pray and ask God to reveal it to you.” My ears perked up. My heart leaped. “I hadn’t read this in my Bible yet,” I thought.
My whole life I thought the best person to make plans for my future was myself. I believed there was no one in the world who had my best interests in mind more than myself. However, as I continued to listen, I learned God did have a plan for my life. And since God loves me so much and knows how things will end before they begin, His plans can actually have my best interests in mind more than my own.
I thought back to all the choices I made in life that left me overweight, depressed and bankrupt. Every one of those results came from choices that I thought were the best for me and my future. I wanted to walk in the casinos. I wanted to eat more. I wanted to throw myself a pity party when things didn’t work out.
The moment I learned that God had designed me with gifts and talents to fulfill certain plans He had for me was the first time I remember feeling truly special (Ephesians 2:10). The creator of the universe had a plan for me? A depressed selfish overweight problem gambler? Jesus died for me in part so that I could have access to this plan? I was important enough to God that He designed a plan for me before I was even born? Yes, He did, and this news filled my heart with excitement.
At first, I had no idea what God’s plans for my life were, but I knew I wanted to find them. I knew instantly that I was leaving the life of “me and my Bible” to find the life of me and my role inside the body of Christ.
What followed was an intense search to dive deeper into my relationship with God as I searched to satisfy the hunger I had to find the plans He had for me. Eventually, God showed me I would start a ministry called Testimony House – which was a plan I would’ve never picked for myself. I thought He might call me to play music or to become a comedian. In those roles I thought, “God can use me to share the gospel after I find personal success.”
God’s plans for our lives are not to build personal empires but to build up the kingdom of Christ. Your plans are ultimately not about you (even though they do bring joy and hope to your life), they are about who you serve – which should be God and man. Some may say following God’s plan for your life sounds like slavery, however, the gifts and talents God gave us to fulfill these plans are designed to completely satisfy our lives. I would have never chosen to run a ministry myself, but I have found more joy, peace and hope in that life than I ever had living in the results of my own plans.
Also it’s worth noting, God doesn’t make us find or walk out His plans for our lives. Those plans require faith. Living by faith is a choice. Slaves don’t have choices. Hebrews 11 is filled with the stories of ordinary men and women of Christ who did extraordinary things with their lives because of faith. You might have faith enough to find Jesus as Lord, but finding God’s plans for your life require another level of faith. Faith to lay down your best interests to find God’s best interests.
People without Christ will never look at you the same when you begin chasing God’s plan for your life and you will need to find faith to chase them anyway. Christians will question your actions and your motives. Continuing to chase God’s plan after hearing those things will also require faith. Staying patient while waiting for the promises of God’s plan to be fulfilled in your life will require yet another level of faith.
Sadly, I have met many believers who haven’t reached these new levels of faith. Their lives are not extraordinary. They are just ordinary. God did not design you to be ordinary!
Maybe those not faithfully walking out God’s plans are unaware they even exist. After all, I was once like that. Hopefully, they find out the truth. Maybe they are scared to leave behind what is comfortable. Maybe they think God doesn’t think they are special. Maybe they just don’t know how to find it.
In any case, finding Jesus and making Him our Lord and Savior is the greatest thing any of us can ever do with our lives. However, there is more to our lives than receiving the gift of salvation. The greatest story your life can tell is the story of what you did after Christ showed up in your lives.
Do you think you are living the life God meant you to have? If not, I would like to show you how to find God’s plan for your life.
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Tomorrow, I will teach you how Paul prayed for Christians to find God’s plan for their lives.
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