What plans do you have for yourself? What do you want to do in university? What career do you want to get into? What do you see yourself doing in the next ten years?
Tragically, we are swept up in our self-righteousness — striving to take control of our lives. Have you stopped and asked yourself; is God’s plan for my life my plans?
Where are we walking in our life, and with whom are we walking? Are we insisting on taking the reins of our own lives? Don’t be too quick to deny this. Though we know in our heads that we must live a life dependent on God, trusting Him and following where He leads us, whether or not we really do this is another thing.
When we don’t get our way when our plans fail, when God leads us down a different path, how will we respond? If God wants to redirect your life, showing that He has something else planned for you, His will shall be done. So, are you going to move in grumbling and complaining at every turn? Or, will you willingly follow Him and joyfully give up your own plans, for God’s plan that He has for you?
First thing’s first. If there is to be a place for Christ in our lives and firstly in our hearts, there must be an overthrow of someone else.
In our hearts, there is one throne, with space for only one person. Now, the question is, in your heart, who is sitting on that throne?
If we sit stubbornly on our throne, we sit with our self-righteousness and pride. If Christ comes knocking at the door of our hearts, we may hear it but still foolishly insist on sitting at our own thrones.
If this is you, you must know. If you want to follow God’s plan, you must be overthrown in your own heart first and foremost. Otherwise, there will be no room for Christ to enter, and there is no space for the righteousness of Christ. If you keep insisting on sitting at your throne, Christ will never be able to be King in your life? Why? Because you have unjustly crowned yourself as King of your heart. We all must question ourselves. Who sits at the throne of our hearts?
As sinful men, we have built high walls of pride and righteousness for ourselves. If God is to be king in our lives, these walls must first be crumbled and demolished. Our foundations must be completely and totally destroyed if Christ is to be our cornerstone. Note Isaiah 28:16, “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation: the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.”.
What is a cornerstone? A cornerstone is a crucial stone laid first to ensure the stability of the building. All other stones in the building are based and guided by that first cornerstone. So, if Christ is to be our cornerstone, then all foundations and previous plans must be completely destroyed. Buildings cannot have multiple plans. There is only one plan from where it is built — only one foundation.
You might question, why should I live for someone else when the things of this world satisfy enough? Why can’t I rule my own life? Because God has told us this, that only He can fully satisfy us, that a life we lead is a life walking to the path of destruction. We cannot fill our hearts with games, study, our reputation, material possessions. It will not work, and by the year, we will only feel emptier, seeking more and more extreme things to fill ourselves. The most satisfying and fulfilling life is a life for God, walking with Him and obeying Him.
We cannot walk with God if we are insistent on walking ourselves. We might pray for it and say that we want to walk with God. We may even trick ourselves into thinking we want to walk with God, but we must check ourselves: do we genuinely yearn for this, or is it just empty words?
All glory in the past and hope in the future that we put in ourselves must be put aside. Exchanges must be made.
We know that true joy and a truly fulfilling life first starts from a true overthrow — a true surrender. We know it is the best for us, yet we insist on keeping our own plans. Proverbs 3:5-6 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” — reminds us not to trust on our own limited, feeble, understanding. Yet, we still do so. It is utterly foolish.
God wants us to surrender. Surrender our hearts, lives and plans to Him so that when He reveals a path He wants us to go down, we can be willing and ready to do so — that we go wherever He leads, whether or not it is what we want. We hold tight onto our desires, but to experience the joy in walking with God, we must first let go.
This isn’t something that comes naturally to our sinful nature, and even once we follow, we experience doubt. Due to our impeccably limited understanding, we can’t (and often don’t) understand everything that God chooses to do in our lives. God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” (Isaiah 55:8). So, we have a choice to make. Either we depend on our limited understanding, forcing our own plans. Or, we follow God, walk with Him and pray that our wants for our lives can be transformed and synced with what God wants for our lives.
Remember, what are we exchanging these things for? We exchange these things not worth keeping for God’s plan for us. God’s good plan will shape us and lead us to grow closer to Him. Only in obedience to Him will we be able to follow Him. God wants us to delight in Him, and in following Him, we will be given things far more valuable than anything our own plans could ever produce — things that are eternal, things that are good for the deepest parts of our souls. So why should we ever follow in grumbling, holding tight to rubbish?
So what NOW?
We can’t expect our whole life plan to be revealed to us in a few seconds. It’s not as simple as a ‘step by step’ plan on walking with God. Don’t forget that we walk in faith in a DAILY struggle.
So, how can we follow God’s plan for our future when we don’t even know what it is? We follow God at the moment. NOW. It’s not something far off, reserved for our later studies or jobs. It is daily obedience to God NOW. God has specifically put us in our lives. God has purposely put us in our families, the country we live in, the opportunities we receive. So, we first follow God’s plan at the moment from what He has given us, and He will lead us to our future.
Denying our own dreams isn’t a far off thing. It’s something we do every day, now. When we want to waste our time, then first think, what does God want us to do? How else could we use our time? Let us not be reluctant to follow God’s current calling for us. We see in Jonah’s story. He didn’t want to follow what God asked of Him, what He planned for Jonah. Jonah ran away, but in the end, God’s will was fulfilled. This applies to us. If God has a calling for us (whether that be something currently or something later on in life), in the end, His will shall be fulfilled.
To know what God wants, we must first know God and saturate our souls with His will. We need discernment which comes with spiritual maturity. We cannot expect to know what God wants us to do if we do not know Him and if we do not read His word. Our calling won’t be unveiled to us in a second. It’s not something we don’t know in one moment and know in the next. We need to walk with God daily and slowly. By having a true relationship with Him, we will know what He wants us to do with our lives.
In small situations, we must keep in step with the spirit, bearing fruits of the spirit while we are led by the spirit every day. Bear love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 3:22-23).
Keep in step, small steps, steps in the present. Bear our cross and deny the fleshly desires we have, that God may be the true King of our lives, that He may sit in the throne of our hearts, that He may truly be glorified and that His Kingdom comes, that His will be done in and through our lives.