Have you ever heard someone confidently say God has a plan for me? While some can confidently say that many are letting wondering what God’s plan for their life is. I mean, how do you know God’s plan for your life? Is it a specific plan or just a general plan?
What I mean is did God create each of us with a specific job to do, tasks to accomplish, a place to live, spouse to marry, etc… Does God have our lives all mapped out? And are we missing out if we don’t find that specific calling that we have?
As a pastor one of the most common questions I get is what’s God’s plan for me? The assumption behind that question is often that God has a specific path for each of us. But does He really?
So, let’s jump in and see what the Bible teaches us about God’s plan and what that plan looks like for each of us.
Let’s start with the go to verse that most people turn to when searching for God’s plan for their life.
God’s Plan For Me… Jeremiah 29:11
Many will point to Jeremiah 29:11 as the answer to this question… For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
The problem is this verse isn’t written to us; the promise isn’t for us. It’s written to a group of people (the Nation of Israel) thousands of years ago. Before we can apply this verse to our lives we need to understand the context in which it was written.
Jeremiah was a Prophet, essentially God’s spokesman, who was given a message to communicate to the Nation of Israel. During this time the Israelites were living in captivity in Babylon. In other words they were slaves, and they weren’t too happy about it.
They were looking for answers and searching for hope. During this time there were false prophets going around teaching that God was going to free them soon. If you read the surrounding verses you will see God denounce these false teachings and give them some pretty tough news. They aren’t going to be freed, not for another 70 years. To make matters worse, while they are there God tells them to wait in peace.
This verse is a promise that even though things seem bad, like really bad, God will work things out for good. We should take note that most of the people hearing this message would die in captivity. How is this good? Because it calls our attention to the bigger picture. This isn’t a promise of individual short-term prosperity. It’s a promise that at the end of the day God’s people will prosper.
Still today this is a relevant passage for us. But we should be aware of the surrounding context. This is not a verse to quote about God having a specific life plan for us. Rather it’s about God promising that at the end of the day (maybe not this life), he will do what is best for His people.
This verse isn’t about God having a specific plan for each of His people. It’s more of a general promise that God is still in control even when it doesn’t seem like it.
Based on this verse we can confidently say God has a plan for me. But we still don’t know exactly what that plan is. Or if it’s specific.
Read more about this passage here: What Jeremiah 29:11 Really Means
God Has A Plan For Me… But Is It Specific?
Does God have our lives mapped out? Is God’s plan for us specific? Maybe, but probably not.
If you were to glance through the Bible some people seem to have a specific plan and others don’t. Take David for example. He seems to have a specific calling on his life to carry out a specific purpose. Look at the disciples, (except Peter, but even his really isn’t that specific) they have a calling on their life, but not near as specific. Then there are other characters that don’t really seem to have a specific plan they are called to.
God seems to make it very clear to those he has a specific purpose. They aren’t searching or waiting for it; rather God interrupts their lives and reveals to them their purpose. Many of the people I know that believe God has a specific plan are sitting around waiting for God to reveal his plan for us. But what if there isn’t one? What if we are waiting for something that will never happen?
A specific calling is an exception, not the rule.
Do some people have a specific calling? Yeah, sure seems like it. But unless a donkey has talked to you, you were a virgin and got pregnant (good luck getting anyone to believe you), or God specifically talked to you, God probably doesn’t have a specific plan for you.
Hear me on this. God has a plan for you. But it’s more of a general plan rather than a specific one.
Discerning God’s Plan For Me
Does God Have a General Desire for Your Life? Absolutely.
God has given each person a unique set of skills and passions. It’s up to each of us to figure out what they are and use them, not for our benefit but for the benefit of those around us. While we might not have a specific plan, God does have a general plan for all of us.
That should be freeing for many of you. And exciting! At least it is for me.I’m free to live my life as I feel best honors God. I get to use the skills and passions he’s given me to the benefit of those around me. God has a plan for me, but I’m not waiting for a calling. Rather I’m identifying my passions and putting them to use.
God’s plan for your life is that you would use your gifts, passions, and skills to show His love to those around you. You have freedom in this plan, God’s given you the guidelines and you are free to do anything within those boundaries.
God’s Plan For Me In A Nutshell
We know God’s plan for us is more general than specific. But we do still know about His plan from the Bible. Here’s 3 specific things you can know about God’s plan for me.
God’s Plan Is To Reunited With His People
This is God’s primary objective in his plan, to bring those far from Him back to Him. Jesus spoke about this so many times, about reuniting the lost. And that is why Jesus went to the cross. God’s desire for you, and everyone, is to be reunited again. That’s the central message of the Bible. God’s plan centers around the lost being found.
God’s Plan Is For Us To Be Fed, Clothed, And Have A Shelter (basic needs)
God wouldn’t be a good God if He didn’t want you to have what you need. Not what you want, but what you need. The Bible describes God as a good, good father (I couldn’t help myself). And every good father wants his children to have what they need. But this is where it also gets tricky. Because He’s left part of this plan up to his people. Which leads us to the last part of God’s plan.
God’s Plan Is For Us To Show His Love To Those Around Us
God’s plan for all who follow Him is to take His love to those around us. That means with our words, but also our actions. This is our purpose to show love, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to provide for those in need. God didn’t give us specifics on what that looks like for each of us. But you have a skill, a gift, a passion, that you can use to show love to someone somewhere. It’s God’s desire for us to use those things to show his love to those around us.
I know God has a plan for me and for you. But it’s probably not specific. Instead, God has given us a blank canvas and each a unique set of brushes and paints. So paint, don’t wait, paint. Use your skills, find your passions, and bring glory to God and love others.
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