Friday, March 11, 2011

God's Plan For Your Life

Over the past years of my life I have often prayed a prayer similar to the following.

Lord, show me your will for my life. Each day may I have a peace about what you would have me do, and may I do it without hesitation, in obedience to you. Sometimes, Lord, life seems so confusing, so I pray that you would reveal to me exactly what you want for me.

We are only human, we tell ourselves. We cannot know God's plan for us amidst the confusion of life unless he reveals it to us. Often, though, it seems to us that the Lord hides his will from us. How many times have you lain awake at night wondering if the decision you just made, or were about to make, was the will of God? Countless times I have questioned my actions, my future, simply wanting to ensure that I am still living within God's will.

It is a healthy exercise to periodically examine our lives in order to verify that they are in line with God's will. What is wrong is when we assume, as I so often have, that the will of God for our lives has not been revealed to us. The Lord does not delight in confusing us, in hiding his will from us. His Word itself says that he is the God of all peace. In Jeremiah 29:11 he says, "For I know the plans I have for you... plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (ESV).

So many times I turned to this verse for consolation that the Lord knew his plan for me, even if he hadn't shared that plan with me yet. I even had this verse framed in my bedroom for several years. In the past several weeks I have just begun to realize that the Lord's plan for my life, and for all of our lives, has not been hidden, but has been clearly revealed to us through his Word. Two New Testament verses form the basis of the Lord's plan for each of our lives.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all nations (all people groups) and then the end will come. -Matthew 24:14

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. -Matthew 28:18-20

We have been given a task to complete, and until it has been accomplished we will continue to live on this earth. The Lord has a plan for our lives as believers, and that plan is to proclaim his glory among the nations so that a member from every tribe and tongue will be present in heaven to worship the Lamb. For so long I searched for my purpose in life, asking the Lord to reveal his will for me. I never realized it was staring me in the face through the Great Commission.

This is the will of God for each of His children. This is the hope and the future that he has for every one of us. It is up to us to accept and obey this glorious plan for our lives and to live in the peace of following him alone. Or we can decide to search out our own way apart from his overarching purpose and continue to live in the confusion of the world. Our full potential cannot be recognized apart from Christ, and our full potential as Sons and Daughters of the King cannot be recognized apart from this, his sovereign will for each of our lives.

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