This question was asked of me recently, “If I plan my own future, isn’t that planning with my own will? If God is ordering my footsteps, shouldn’t I wait for HIM to tell me what to do?”
The beauty of such a question is the humble heart in which this question was asked. This person truly desires to walk in God’s will, yet sees a need to plan a future. When is the planning of God and when is it not?
I’ve decided to write about this particular issue because this isn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question. If this is taken out of context, then it is easily to become paralyzed and confused because the person in question may not be certain of God’s will for their life – so how can they plan?
First let me address God’s will for your life. Holy scripture outlines His will quite clearly. It is one for prosperity, health, abundance, peace, love and joy. If anything apposes these, then it is not of God. God is THE Creator. He does not destroy.
His plan for you is to be all that HE has created you to be. What is that you ask? It the package of everything that came with you on the day that you were born. All wrapped up in innocence, trust and pure joy and peace … just as you were before mankind got a hold of you with each person’s perceptions and opinions, beliefs and criticisms. Humans don’t see through God’s eyes naturally, we see through our own filters, which were created in a fallen world.
In order to know what God’s will is for our lives, we look at scripture such as this:
“Train a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it.” The key phrase is “should go” – the way that he should go for him – not your opinion of where he should go.
A child who is a warrior at heart, may not be a poet, and the poet most likely, is not a warrior. A poet born into a warrior family will most certainly be forced to become a warrior, but that is not the way HE should go. He is a poet. (see what I mean?)
Looking back at who you were when you were a child and as innocent and organically true to who you were when you were born, what can you remember about the ‘package’ that you came with? Were you gentle? Were you bold? Were you good at music? Did you love to dance? Were you super curious, asking questions about everything you saw? Did you have an eye for detail? All of these are clues as to what God’s will for your life was … is. It is not His will for anyone else but you!
- Born an artist, God’s will for my life is that art and creativity be a part of my life.
- Born with an insatiable curiosity, I seek answers to everything under the sun (that interest me)
- Born with a sense of humor, I laugh easy and see humor in all situations – even the darkest seasons.
- Born with a love for music, stories and people, I express myself as an adult by encouraging through the arts
- Born with … an overwhelming urge to encourage and seek answers and resources … THIS is the way I should go.
It’s the package I was born with – and to someone without God’s eternal view – it only looked like I was a goof off who like to draw cartoons. So I was urged to get “a real job” and to “go to college” and … well, you probably already know the drill.
What I’ve learned on my journey is that everything I’ve ever done – even the mistakes – are still used as material for God’s will in my life. But before God can order those footsteps, I have to 1. be walking and 2. be listening with a teachable heart.
I myself only have a small understanding of possibilities and opportunities available to me – that I can see. So I start walking through my life. First getting that job, then this job … then volunteering at this church, then that church. Eventually, I found myself in ministry and things started to resonate better with me. “THIS must be the will of God in my life! To serve in a church, and to be a pastor’s wife.”
But events unfolded that completely unraveled those plans. Church crisis, divorce, bankruptcy, family traumas and discovering my talents for online opportunities opened up new ways of perceiving God’s will for my life.
In those earlier days when there was no Internet, I would have never imagined that this would be a part of my journey. I only knew what I knew. The people around me … only knew what they knew. So I did the best that I knew how … walking out my life, listening, and growing in my walk with the Lord.
In that journey, I experienced and then witnessed a massive need for encouragement in the leaders of churches. The lives of those who serve others are filled with ups and downs – not just in their own families, but they are witness to those upheavals in the lives of all those that they serve. Being a part of so much takes a toll on people. Humor is needed. Stories are needed. Visual illustrations are needed … and they are needed from someone who has been there and done that – who gets it – and who has answers and resources they most likely are unaware of.
My steps are ordered of the Lord.
Even when we are not walking and not purposefully doing what we consider to be His will … His will is being done. We can receive His supply, or reject it. We can live in joy, or we can live in sorrow – that’s our choice. The key is in being teachable – not in whether or not you are walking.
The key is in being teachable – not in whether or not you are walking.