How to Discover God’s Plan for Your Life

Most people dream of making a difference in the world.  Many people pursue passions they have with such gusto that they leave family, friends and God in their dust.  Many are in the constant pursuit of finding ways to make their lives better.

God's plan

How have you been looking to find your place in this world?

The Bible tells us that God knew us before the foundation of the world.  Psalm 139 tells us how He knows our comings and goings, when we rise and when we sleep.  He even knows our thoughts.

The One who created us has a purpose and a plan for our lives.  He didn’t create us just to exist and then die.  He created us to bring Him glory!

As believers in Jesus, everything we do should be to bring God glory.  (1 Corinthians 10:31)  However, many of us struggle to know what exactly it is that we should do.

You may have heard (and memorized) Jeremiah 29:11,

“‘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.'”

This passage tells us that God has plans for our lives. But, how do you discover God’s plan for your life?

1.  First of all, you read further in Jeremiah 29…Have you read verses 12-13?  Here’s what they say,

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me,
and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me,
when you seek me with all your heart.”

So Jeremiah 29 says that you need to call upon God.  You need to pray.  You need to seek after Him with all your heart.  You can begin to know the plans God has for you when you are in a relationship with Him.  Not just one that is constantly asking Him to do things for you, but one where you are listening too.

2.  You need to spend time in His Word, the Bible.  You can’t know what God is saying to you unless you are spending time getting to know who He is and what He does.  You can learn about who He is and what He does by reading the Bible.  You can also learn more about what He desires from His people from reading and studying it.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “

“All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof,
for correction, and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

The plan God has for your life will never be in opposition to the truths He has given us in His word.  You can always know that what He says to do in your life will be in agreement with what He has said in His word.  He will not tell you to do something that goes against the Bible.

3.  You need to consider the unique ways God has created you.  There is no other person just like you.  What personality did He give you?  What passions and talents did He gift you?  God gave me a love for people, but I enjoy people most when I’m in one-on-one conversations with them.  I don’t like to be in big groups.  Yet, He has equipped me to teach Bible studies to groups of women.  Some of my passions and talents are gifts from the Holy Spirit, not just things He created to be part of me.  They are gifts from which I can only do them with the power of the Holy Spirit.

4.  You need to consider the experiences and beliefs you have.  The experiences you have had helped shape who you have become.  I was raised in a Christian home.  My husband was not.  I can speak to different audiences than my husband.  God will use the good and bad experiences of your life to prepare you for what He has for you in the future. Ephesians 2:10 says,

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them.”

Your beliefs will influence who you are today as well.  Your beliefs will become values when they have been tried, many times through adversity.  God will use the core values you possess to inspire you to follow His plan for your life.  I value doing things together with my family.  I thrive most when I am teaching God’s truths about marriage and family with my husband.

5.  You need to ask God and yourself this question:

“What legacy will I leave?”

When you are nearing the end of life, what do you want to be able to say about your life?  What do you want God to say about your life?  I hope to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  I want to be able to say that I did my best to live authentically a life of deep intimacy with God so that others see Jesus in me and want the same.  I know that I’m not there yet, but that is what I am working toward.

Once you are able to answer that question, you can take your answer and start back at step one.  Pray.  Ask God to show you what His plan is for your life.  Study the Scriptures.  Consider the things you are currently doing and ask yourself if those things fit the answer to your legacy question.  If they do, keep doing them.  If not, find a way to step away from those responsibilities so that you can discover the things God does want you to be doing for Him.  He will show you the way.  He will help you discover His plan for your life.

How have you discovered God’s plan for your life?

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photo: Willem Geertsma