Know God, Not the Plan

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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

When working in ministry you are asked questions sometimes that are rather difficult to answer. Over the last several years I’ve asked many of these questions, “How long will you remain in ministry?” What if God had something else for you?” and “What is God’s plan for your future?” Answers to these questions aren’t always easy for several reasons. First, because ministry never ends, yes we may stay in certain areas of ministry for a season but as a Christian wherever you are and whatever you do, the need and importance of ministry is still there. The second reason these questions are difficult for me to answer is that I don’t know God’s plan. God has led me to have a passion and love for the incarcerated and I chose to follow His leading so that I may glorify Him through disciping men and equipping them to make disciples among the incarcerated. I can plan and map out the way in front of me if I want but it still only remains my plan. I can speculate changes in my future but it still only remains my speculations. There is one thing I don’t have and that God’s master plan.

Throughout my past I have heard numerous sermons about finding the grand and glorious plan that God has already mapped out for you.  If only we can figure out God’s plan, then we’ll be set.  But I have not found that to be true in my life. In fact out of curiosity I Googled “God’s plan” one night and had hundreds of results that came up, all about focusing, finding, and following God’s plan for you. I have come to this conclusion at this point in my life that God isn’t going to tell me His plan.  God’s plan is on a need-to-know basis, and apparently, He thinks I don’t need to know.

So does following God cause uncertainty at times in our lives? Yes and No! Yes it may cause uncertainty at times but it should never cause us to distrust God. The problem for many of us adults is that we don’t really trust God.  If Jesus himself drove up to our house and said, “Get in,” we’d have some questions we would want answered. “Where are we going?” “How long is this going to take?” “What do I need?” We would waste a bunch of time trying to figure out what Jesus had planned before we would agree to go along.  And that is how most of us live our lives.  We are obsessed with finding things out, especially as they relate to us and our lives.  We want to know where we are headed, how we are getting there, how long it will take, and what will we need. And we won’t budge until we have all those questions answered.

The secret to finding out God’s plan for your life isn’t to keep asking God to tell you the plan. It’s to get in the car and go.  It doesn’t matter where God is taking you.  Just go. The reality is none of us know where God is taking us.  And our obsession with knowing the plan is just our obsession with control.  We want to know so we can feel more in control of our destinies. God has never promised to tell us the plan for our lives.  He has only promised that if we want to, we can know Him. The reason most of us are obsessed with knowing God’s plan is because we don’t really know Him.  Faith is not knowing the plan.  It’s going even if you don’t know the plan.  And faith comes from knowing God.  God hasn’t promised a plan.  He’s promised Himself.

So my reply to the questions that have been asked of me is this. I am God’s creation and when he formed and created me, He put inside of me a passion and love for the incarcerated. God has opened doors and led me to serve Him through prison ministry and I am willing to stay where I am at and be faithful in service to Him or go and serve Him elsewhere if He leads me. Ministry will not have an ending date in my life as long as I live because as a Christian it is what I’ve been commissioned to do. I don’t know God’s master plan and rather than me trying to determine and know His plan I am choosing to pursue and know the God that is leading me.

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