“FOR I KNOW THE PLANS THAT I HAVE FOR YOU” SAYS THE LORD; “PLANS TO PROSPER YOU, PLANS OF HOPE AND A FUTURE.”
– JEREMIAH 29:11
Most of us have heard and stood on Jeremiah 29:11 and if any of you are like me, you read that verse and say, “Okay, but what does that mean?”
When we think of our future it’s important to do three things:
Pray, Read the Word, & Yield to the Holy Spirit.
1. We need to be reading God’s Word daily. Does what I want for my future align with the Word? If not, it’s probably not God’s will for your life.
2. Do the decisions that I’m making align with the Holy Spirit? Do you have peace, or do you have that “blech” feeling in your spirit?
3. Have you prayed about it? Have you gotten an answer? Are you waiting on God or doing what you want when you want? Are you seeking God first or your own will first? (Matthew 6:33)
God orders our steps but doesn’t force His will on us. Each one of us has free will. We can make choices that align with God’s plan or not, but eventually God’s plan prevails (Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand). When we follow God’s path He protects us.
About three years ago, I applied to be a teacher through Teach for America. It’s a program that places teachers in high need areas that are in desperate need for quality teachers. When I learned about this program, I thought it was perfect. I would get the opportunity to teach inner city kids and move down south where I desperately wanted to be at the time.
I applied and felt that I was more than qualified and that I would be a shoo-in for a program like this, seeing as most applicants were either still in college or didn’t have a teaching certificate. I had a master’s degree and three certificates, so I was already ahead of the game.
When the decisions were handed out, I was devastated that I wasn’t chosen. I went through the whole, “Why me?” I cried a lot, I felt inadequate, and I felt like my future was slipping away. A couple of weeks later, a wise person asked me, “Did you really ask God if this was what He wanted for you?” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t. I hadn’t waited on God, I didn’t really have peace, and I just jumped head first into something that I felt was a really awesome opportunity. Sure, it was something that I desired, but I hadn’t really prayed about it, and I didn’t yield to the Holy Spirit, so my plans fell through. This made me realize that God’s Word always does God’s work. No matter what my plan was, God’s plan was always going to succeed. When we follow God’s plan, things work. When we don’t, things fall apart.
At one time or another, all of us will face times when our future is uncertain. In these times, prayer, reading the Word, and yielding to the Holy Spirit are crucial. Maybe you’re about to graduate from high school and you have no idea what you will do this coming fall. Or maybe you feel overwhelmed at the challenges that loom before you in life and school. But when we are particularly tempted about the future, it is important for us to meditate on these bedrock truths. We can know God is good and know His plans for us through the scriptures and prayer.
Confession for today: “God, I thank You that You know the plans You have for my future, plans to bless me and to prosper me, and to give me hope and a future. I thank You that You will work all things together for my good because You love me and I am called according to Your purposes. Father, Mark 10:27 says that with men it may be impossible, but with God all things are possible for my life.”
Love and nuggs,