I love planning ahead. I feel responsible when I plan ahead, and I’m able to rest my mind a lot easier when I do so. I have often found my mind wandering far into the future, trying to figure out how I’m going to accomplish certain things…while ignoring the fact that God may just be up to something different than what I can see with my own two eyes. We don’t need to strive.
When my son was 16 months old, I had a job working as a crisis intervention worker (something I had done before I had children), and I worked a casual position on the weekends when my husband was home. I found myself staying there longer than I should have, because I was too busy “securing” my future. I started thinking about how that particular job would be flexible enough for me to continue to stay home with our kids when they were not yet in school (and during the summer months when they were older). I stayed in this job longer than I should have, because I wanted to keep my foot in the door for the future. I was planning out something that God didn’t even want for me in the first place.
So, yes, I have been known to strategically guess where God is going to place me in the future, and try my best to work backwards from there. That’s responsible planning, right?
No, not really! That’s called planning my own future and trying to secure something that God may not even want for me. What a mess it would be to plan my way in a certain direction for years, just to find out later that God did not intend for me to end up there in the first place. I have to continually watch myself in this area, because I am naturally a planner, and I enjoy knowing that things are “settled”. God, obviously does not always work this way!
Sometimes all God wants us to do is trust Him and be STILL.
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
There’s obviously nothing wrong with planning ahead with the steps that God has given us to take. We don’t need to strive to find the place God has for us in the future. Often, striving just takes us off the path He has for us in the first place! When we focus on Him, and take each small step as He presents them to us, we will arrive where He wants us at just the right time. God is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. If we really trust Him, we won’t be trying to carve out our own path to where we “think” God wants us to be. We will be still and trust that He will show us where to go next.
“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” (Prov. 3:5-6).
What do we do with the dreams in our heart in the meantime?
What if God has placed a dream in your heart, and right now you don’t see how that could ever come to pass? I understand, because I’m there right now, myself. God knows the dreams that you have in your heart. He also knows how and when you’re going to get there. The wonderful thing about God, is that we just need to focus our attention on Him, and He will bring these dreams He placed in our hearts to pass.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Maybe you have drifted away from God, and you feel like it’s too late for you. If you are reading this today, and this applies to you, it is most definitely not too late for you! If you turn back to God, He will welcome you back with open arms today. Take some time to quiet your heart and start talking to God. Make the decision to turn back to Him (remember, He’s waiting for you with open arms!), ask Him to forgive you for all of the ways that you have sinned against Him. He still has a plan and a future for you. Walk close to Him every day, and He will begin to unravel that plan for you.
It doesn’t matter if you gave your heart to Jesus when you were 5 or 85, Jesus has a great future for you! He has plans for you that are better than anything you could ever imagine. Keep trusting Him, and do whatever He has placed in front of you. Don’t worry about all of the rest! In the mean time, enjoy where you are today and know that all the dreams He planted in your heart will come to pass. Just follow each step He gives you, and you will get there right on time!