I grew up hearing this phrase all the time, that “God has a plan for my life.” And that phrase made me so hopeful as a young child, but the older I got, the scarier this phrase was to me. God has a plan for my life? What if I miss it? What if I mess it up? That is a lot of pressure both on me and God. And it seems so limiting…
So that got me thinking, what is God’s plan for us? When I look at scripture, I find a couple of ideas that I believe are a bit more fitting for what God’s plan for us is. We like to quote Jeremiah 29:11 in churches, yet we leave out the fact that it is a promise to those coming out of bondage. But what about the New Testament? What does it say about God’s plan for our lives?
In the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30), or minas in Luke, Jesus gives us a pretty good description of what it is God is looking for in our lives. In the parable, Jesus tells of a master who left “talents” to his slaves. One got 5 talents, another got 2, and another received 1. The master leaves and the slaves are to care for these talents. Two of them use these talents and doubles them, while the third one buries the talent in the ground so he doesn’t lose it. The master comes back and rewards those who used the talents they were given and the one who his the talent is rebuked.
What then does this say for us? Well we are told later in scripture that “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Pet 4:10 NRSV). God has given us talents, abilities, and passions in our lives. We are to use those to serve others as good stewards of what God has given us.
I have been in Palestine a little over a year now and I love it. I have even used the term a couple of times that “this is where God called us.” As much as I love my ministry here and I truly believe that I am doing kingdom work here in Palestine at Court Drive, I acknowledge that someone else could as well. And I also acknowledge that I could faithfully minister for Christ as a youth pastor here at Court Drive, as a mechanic at a garage, or as a custodian at a middle school.
God is not limiting our calling to one specific thing. Or at least I hope not. God is way bigger than that. He looks at the big picture things and has given us free will to help him in the smaller things, though he does not need our help. Stop living under the pressure of what God’s exact calling is on your life, and start living in the freedom that he has called you to serve him through your passions and abilities. It is far more exciting a pleasant than living under the scare of what happens if you miss that calling God gives you.
Sometimes he may give you nudges or a desire to go somewhere else. He might do that, but I also believe that God is much happier with you faithfully ministering somewhere than doing it begrudgingly somewhere else. Then again, I have been wrong before, but I truly believe this is the heart of the God we serve.
I love you guys, and so does Jesus. I hope you continue to long for this water, and continue to drink from it as well. Until next time, blessings to you and your family,