How can you know God's plan for your life? I realize He may not fully reveal every step of His plan for you, but by earnestly seeking Him you can gain wisdom you wouldn't have had.
"'For I know the plans I have for you, ' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
He has shown me how to stop wondering and get about the business of doing. The clues I use to figure out His will for me are as follows:
1. Consult His Word first
2. Take action!
3. Do you have His peace?
4. Seek confirmation from wise people
I feel so strongly about the promise He gave us in Jeremiah 29:11 that I have hidden the verse in this design and included it in the products BELOW so you can bless that special person in your life who needs to lean on this promise.
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalm 119:105 NIV
God has given us His wisdom in the Bible. Do you have an idea of what you want to do, but not sure if it's His will? Seek Him out in the Bible first. What is the Biblical version of what you want to do now?
Do you want to start blogging? Seek out verses on teaching
Do you want to get married? Seek out verses on having a Godly marriage
Do you want to start a ministry to help girls in the sex trade? Read Matthew 18:6 or read about Mary Magdalene
Are you waiting for a billboard from heaven to show you what to do? The next step is for you...
Explore, research, pray, but take action! Move toward a goal and pray along the way. He will give you clarity as you move. He may miraculously open doors or close them, but trust Him to show up. He may have been waiting for you to move off the couch and take a step in faith. We often wait because we fear the unknown and fear making mistakes.
I understand so well how paralyzing fear can be. I have let fear strangle my purpose of helping single moms flourish in difficult circumstances. My business was formed for that purpose, but I always waited for God to show me what to do and to provide the money; years of opportunities and countless souls have been underserved because of my paralysis. Now I refuse to be shackled by fear and I am moving forward with my ministry and trusting God to direct my path. More to come!
How will you know you took the right action?
Please do not confuse God's peace with comfort, though He can provide comfort. Taking action can be quite uncomfortable, involving long hours and exhausting work. God's peace is deeper than the exhaustion. Do you know in your heart that you are serving His people, and you can do so in a way that aligns with His Word?
Has He given you any Holy Spirit nudging that you are too close to the edge of His will? Stretching truth, even a little, or stretching legal lines leave no room for doubt, no matter how innocent it seems. I follow this motto, "If there's any doubt, there is no doubt." Even a small twinge of doubt whether this lines up with God's Word means I don't cross that line. The Holy Spirit graciously shows us how our thoughts or actions line up with His good, pleasing and perfect will. Listen closely for His voice.
If you know that you have His peace because it aligns with His Word, find confirmation and advice from wise people.
God gave us the body of Christ as a sounding board for decisions we make, and He often speaks through other believers to give us our answer. Finding validation for your decision, however, can be a challenge.
Many friends and family are never short on opinions so it's crucial you seek wise counsel. Friends and family who are truly seeking the Lord can be great resources for wisdom. Also set up a meeting with some elders in your church or your pastor. Ministry leaders can provide a great perspective since they rely on hearing God's voice on a daily basis. For my business I have also consulted Christian books on how to run a business God's way, and some Christian and secular books on how to set up systems, how to bring a product to market, etc.
Seeking multiple opinions is wise, but can be maddening unless you bring the Holy Spirit along. I have struggled knowing which opinions to keep and which to discard. You have permission to decide which you feel are right for your decision as long as you are in prayer and seeking His face!
Finally, remember to find wise people who are not afraid to ruffle your feathers. My very wise friend called me out on my lack of action with my ministry by saying, "God's work will be done, even if you don't do it. Don't let someone else take your place in the work He has called you to do." That struck me to the core and I know it was God speaking through her to get my mission off the ground. You don't need a YES-person. You need a voice of reason who loves you enough to tell you what you need but may not want to hear.
Trust Him that His plan for your life is good. Though you may never have 100% clarity on every step He wants you to take, He has given you enough wisdom in His Word and in His body, the church, to decide how you want to serve Him in whatever you do. Trust that He has your best interest and your best future in His hands. He might just be waiting for you to trust Him and take action!
Much love to you,
P.S. As promised, below are the products I have chosen for those who need to be reminded that God has a plan for their life! Do you see the verse hidden in the design? These are great for birthday or Christmas gifts, or just to show you care and feel the struggle they are going through. Blessings!