How to Know God’s Plan for Your Life (Part 1)

Through many years of counseling the struggling Christian the same question surfaces repetitiously: how can I find God’s purpose for my life?  Many people have fallen prey to the world’s idea of success and prosperity only to find it empty and unfulfilling. They turn to anything to help them find their true calling in life or the real purpose that God intends for them.  As a person gets older the dream seems to become more elusive and the person more discouraged. However, God can place you on the road He has for you at any time—it’s simply a matter of surrender.

So, what’s the answer?  How does a person discover God’s true intent for their life?  How does the young person find it or the older person who seems to have lost his way?  The answer is simple but many times we tend to fight simple.  What you are asking is God to show you the unknown—the future.  How does God reveal His perfect will and plan to you that leads to a fulfilling and rewarding life?  Here’s how:

DO WHAT YOU KNOW TO DO. If God is going to show you the unknown, you must first do the known.  Proverbs 3:1-6 provides a great road map of the things you must do that will reveal God’s perfect plan for your life.First, obey God and the result is a longer and healthier life (you will need a healthy life to serve God fully).Second, practice mercy and truth which produces favor, good understanding or a sound reputation with others (you will need others to succeed).Third, trust in God with your whole heart and don’t trust your own understanding (emotional or selfish decisions won’t last). Complete trust in God allows Him to direct your path (your future).  Psalm 37:4 states, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  As you obey God He gives you the desires or passions or your heart. Why?  Because now He is in control as you read His Word and God transforms your mind.  As God’s will becomes the complete desire of your heart then whatsoever you ask He will do.  Jesus states in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”  If you want God to show you His perfect plan for your life—obey Him fully and completely!PLAN WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. Psalm 37:23-24 says, The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Proverbs 16:9 states, “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” A person who is doing what he knows to do (sincerely obeying God with all his heart) will soon hear the calling of God on his life and can then plan what it is they want to do.  I’ll never forget when God laid the calling on my heart for a men’s recovery home.  I thought, wow!  That’s exactly what I want to do! I began to plan and stepped out on faith by doing what I knew I could do (pray, seek counsel, stay in God’s Word, fill out the State and IRS paperwork, establish bank accounts, raise money, etc.) and God ordered every step and overcame every obstacle (and there were many and still are many). When you’re on the road God designed for you then God moves the mountains! I’ll never forget when God turned a two year IRS wait into a 2-month wait.  He moved the mountain! Or the time we raised money to pay all the legal fees yet we were significantly short, but within one week a generous donor gave us the exact amount we needed! God moved the mountain!  I could go on and on.  Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” What an incredible thought!  God already ordained the works that you should do for Him.  He has a road already paved for you to walk on where He will supernaturally develop and prepare you for great and mighty works.  How do you get on that road?  Do what you know to do—complete obedience to His Word (which does include some hard waiting).NEVER STOP TRUSTING GOD: Follow God’s plan and He will give you the desires of your heart.  But once you are there, don’t rest!  Never stop pushing to the next level.  God’s work never quits. You must continue the same process over and over each day.  Your daily walk must consist of “DO WHAT YOU KNOW TO DO” and PLAN WHAT YOU WANT TO DO,” and trust God to guide you to the next best decision (which sometimes if not most times means waiting).  If you start to operate in your strength, then you will burn out.  As our men’s residential home grows I faced some tough decisions in order to avoid “burn out” and to ensure that God remained in charge.  If I did not change some things, then I knew I would not last in a very demanding ministry and I also knew that was not God’s desire.  This led me to significant reductions in our weekly non-residential recovery meetings that occurred on Friday nights.  Friday night meetings meant I had very little time off (in fact almost no time off) and I was becoming very ineffective.  I decided with God’s direction to make some major changes.  I feared the changes because I believed many of my leaders and counselors would object, but I made the decision and walked forward with it.  No one objected!  In fact, all agreed this change needed to occur—they were just waiting for me to make a decision!

Don’t delay any longer and don’t allow wasted years to hold you back from finding out God’s perfect plan for your life.  It’s glorious and it’s never too late.  God can restore the years that the locusts ate. Don’t let your past failures stop you from finding the greatest adventure of your life—God’s plan!  Don’t miss it!