Chasing Purpose or Personal Plans?
God has been dealing with me lately about self-imposed disappointment and depression based on the vision we create for ourselves. I recently made a video on this topic, and God has been continuously revealing this issue deeper and deeper, so I wanted to share with the Team.
We grow up in a society that teaches us to think about what we want to be when we grow up; make your 3, 5, and 10-year goals and execute your plan to achieve them. All of that is fine, but the problem is – when we create our own life plan apart from the will of God, we set ourselves up for disappointment.
Most of us have good days and bad days. Sometimes, you wake up and you feel great, you’re energized, you just feel generally pleasant. Then, there are times when you’re frustrated and easily agitated by everything and nothing seems to be going right for you.
I started thinking about all of this after I prayed, “Lord, please help me to be consistently joyful and peaceful with everything as it is right now. With the job I have now, with my singleness, with my modest apartment – just as it is.” I would wonder why there were some days those things weren’t an issue and I felt content, and other days I would feel anxious for growth and change. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said that the days I feel anxious and frustrated with life are the days when I compare my reality to the life plan and ideas I created in my own mind.
Does Your Plan Resemble God’s Plan?
When you planned out your life to include different things you don’t currently have, e.g. a spouse, the “single season” can feel like a drag. If you always saw yourself as a doctor, but you’re struggling through nursing school, depression from discontentment can creep in.
I want to be clear, Team. There is nothing wrong with setting goals for yourself. In all things, we need God to help us with the balance to avoid both extremes. The fact is that God says in His Word that He knew us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew our end before our beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Our life mission should be to find His will and purpose so that we can be fulfilled.
If God planned all of our lives, and all things work together for our good, then I must be right where I need to be in order to become what He created me to be.
With this, use discernment because I am not condoning any form of abuse or sin you may be dealing with in your life. I will say, however, that God will take all of your experiences and use them to bless someone through your testimony.
So, it boils down to faith and works. Let me say it this way. If I desire to get a specific job or home, but I don’t for some reason, in the natural I may become upset or frustrated. But, what I should do is thank God for His will and timing – knowing that all things are working together for my good (Romans 8:28).
Guide Us, Heavenly Father
Your heart’s posture should always be open toward God, always listening for His instruction. There are some of us who are ignoring all the signs that we’re on the wrong path. There is a lie that many of us have bought into that says we ought to have or be this or that by a certain time, etc. That pressure we put on ourselves to manifest our vision can cause us to settle and jump into things that weren’t supposed to be.
I believe fear is a big part of this – the fear of not being in control. The fear of the unknown. We are so nosey, Teammates! We want to know it while we supposedly walk by faith and let God order every step. The Bible says we should not say things like, “I will go to such and such town spend a year there, buy and sell make a profit. Whereas you don’t know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:13). That seems far-fetched in today’s society, but I believe God wants to lead us in everything. How amazing might our lives be if we allowed Him to direct our path (Proverbs 3:6)?
So, then I asked the Lord, “How do we resist the urge to map out our entire lives without your leading?” We have to work and earn a living, but how do we go about setting goals without allowing ourselves to get too attached to our own visions?
God gave me a simple answer, “Be present“. That’s the answer, Team! Stay in the moment and be present. If you can manage this, you’ll be able to clearly hear the Holy Spirit. We have to accept the fact that things can change in an instant, without warning. Knowing this, it’s easier to be mindful, and not to mention, more relaxed. Typically, our feelings of anxiety and pressure stem from all the planning of things we have to do. Learning to yield to the Holy Spirit is a blessing in that you give yourself permission to truly rest – not in your might and power, but in power that belongs to God (Zechariah 4:6).
So, What’s The Play Call?
- Remember Romans 8:28: “All things work together for the good…” You are right where you need to be to get to your expected end.
- Jeremiah 1:5 lets us know that God has a plan for us – make it your business to get in tune with Him.
- Be PRESENT! Over-thinking and over-planning can clog your spiritual ears. Stay in the Spirit to hear from God.