Do you believe that God has a plan for you? Do you sometimes feel like you are missing out on bigger and better things?
We are told countless times as we are growing up that God has a unique plan for all of us. We have loved ones write Jeremiah 29:11 in our Christmas and graduation cards and are told “it must not have been part of the plan,” when something unexpected happens. But once we get into college we start to become frustrated with God’s “so-called plan.” Yes, God is sovereign and His plan should take precedence, but why does that have to result at my own expense?
Why does that mean I never get to date the boy I’ve had a crush on for months who is equally yoked, don’t do well on the quizzes I actually study for in school, and get cut from a group that is called to serve you? Why do those with the strongest faith get wrecked by debilitating cancer, why do children get raped by ISIS every day, and why are there those living in poverty in the streets of our own country? How can these bad things be part of God’s plan? I can’t at all pretend to have all the answers, but I also know that God has to answer to no one least of all little old me.
One verse that has constantly frustrated me over the years was,
“ Take delight in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
It frustrated me because I felt like I was constantly trying my best to please the Lord and be obedient to His plan. So why couldn’t He start to show me some of those desires? In my mind, I was the perfect Christian. I didn’t drink, went to youth group every week, and wore a purity ring to school every day. I mean if anyone deserved to have their desires it was me.
It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I finally realized something. That verse about God giving us our desires isn’t about our desires at all. It’s about His desires. God gives us everything yet all He asks is one simple thing. He wants our hearts. And not the tiny corner we try to give Him as we groggily whisper prayers to Him as we fall asleep. Not the tiny corner we give Him on Sunday mornings when we raise our hands exuberantly to the worship songs. Not the tiny corner we give Him as we quickly sneak a prayer in before our meal date in a crowded college cafeteria. All of it.
Because our lives aren’t about us at all. They’re all about Him. When we start walking intimately with the Father we realize that what He wants most of all is to give us the plans He has already made in advance for us. His desires that His hopes will become ours. I have been praying for a year or so now to let God’s desires become my own desires. I would rather live the life God wants me to live with Him than live half a life with my own plans. Every time I have not gotten something I wanted from God, He has given me something so much better in return or protected me from something that would’ve hurt me so much in the long run. Have you ever stopped to consider that God knows what we need before we even ask for it?
My friend shared a great song with me lately that I have actually attached called Clear the Stage. The song really gets to my point on this post. Sometimes we need to clear the stage of all the plans, dreams, and things we are clinging to over God to make room for His plans, dreams, and the things He wants to bless us with. Because when put our desires and plans over God’s, we miss huge opportunities to serve Him and bless other people. Maybe you’re thinking that you actually don’t have an idol problem. Well, these words from a song can help enlighten you.
“Anything I put before my God is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol. Anything that I give all my love to is an idol.”
Sound familiar at all? These words remind me that my struggle against idols is far from over, but I know that with God all things are possible.
So what do you say, are you ready to clear your stage or are you going to be content letting God’s opportunities pass you by