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 (NIV)
How many times have you been told that God has a plan for you? That He made you special? That He made you to do great things for His Kingdom?
And how many times have you looked at your life and wondered whether you're missing it?
Jesus said "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark16:15 KJV).
And here you are, sitting in the exact same house you've been in for the past 20 years, seeing the same people day after day, most of whom are related to you.
Where is the great revelation? Where is the voice from Heaven? Where is the instruction book?
Now I know that all of you wonderful Christian people will quickly inform me that He HAS left an instruction book, and if I would only read His Word, I would find all of these answers.
Well, I have read it, and it seems rather general to me. All except that one time when I was a kid and decided it would be more fun to read my Bible than clean my room, and my eyes fell on Proverbs 18:9 - "He who is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys" (RSV). You never saw a kid clean her room so fast!
But What If...we have this purpose thing all wrong? What if the Bible is not written for you to know YOUR purpose, but to know God's? What if (gasp!) it is all about HIM?
One of our dogmas about purpose is that God has created a special mate for each of us. A soulmate, if you please. If you can only find this person who you are perfectly matched to, you will be eternally happy.
What if I told you this is not in the Bible?
What if I told you this is a Greek myth, perpetuated by Plato?
I have found nothing in the Bible that says God will pick a spouse for you. There are some guidelines as to what kind of person to look for, but nothing saying that God has "created someone specially for you."
Do you know that God is about fulfilling HIS purpose, not YOURS?
Do you know that if you choose not to do God's will, He will find someone else who will?
In Isaiah chapter 6, we find Isaiah in the temple. He is having a vision of God. Verse 8 states: "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"" This seems to be a situation of God looking for someone who was willing. Do you suppose that if Isaiah had pretended not to hear, God would have said "Oh, well. I guess no one is going." I don't think so. I think he would have found someone else. His purpose would have been fulfilled. Isaiah would have lost his blessing, perhaps, but it would not have stopped God from getting his message out.
John states in his gospel why he wrote it. And it was not intended as an instruction book, but as a proof of who Jesus is. John 20:31 says: "but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. Paul writes to Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Our instructions may not be specific. We may never hear the voice of God. We may never be given a "calling." God's purpose for us is to believe in Jesus so that we may have life, and to be equipped for every good work.
So we don't need to wait around for God to direct us. If we have read His word, we will know who He is. We will know His purpose. We will be able to act in His will. We will be able to deal with the ups and downs that this world throws at us. Not because we know our purpose, but because we know God's.
I'll leave you with one of my all-time favorite verses. (Not the one about cleaning my room). It is Micah 6:8 -
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
So today, be blessed, and be a blessing.