God Does Not Have a Plan for Your Life

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By Jennifer Johnson

“God’s plan for your life isn’t a map you see all at once, but a scroll unrolled a little at a time, requiring faith,” Rick Warren recently tweeted.

“God will accelerate his plan for your life as you put your trust in him. God is giving you victory sooner than you think,” says Joel Osteen.

Less prominent Christians champion the theology as well. In responding to a new believer’s question about his career, a contributor to Bible-Knowledge.com writes, “God will now be the one to fully guide you into whatever jobs he will want you to have. . . . The choice is no longer yours! In the meantime, God will make sure you have enough money and support coming in to keep you afloat until this next job comes through.”

It is comforting to believe God has mapped out our future. It is exciting to think he’s bringing me victory. And I would love for God to make sure I have enough money while I passively wait for it to happen.

But unlike pastors Warren and Osteen, Mr. Bible-Knowledge, and many Christians I know, I don’t believe God has created a plan for my life—or for yours.

 

Problems with “The Plan”

• We take verses out of context.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a cherished verse, frequently used for encouragement in graduation cards, post-breakup pep talks and, yes, job searches. (Well-meaning believers have recited it to me in all three contexts.) Along with The Bachelorette and people who refuse to vaccinate their children, its yanked-out-of-context use is one of the biggest pet peeves of my life.

Somehow we forget the grim reality surrounding this verse: amidst oracles of doom and judgment against Judah, Jeremiah says these words to comfort the people (as a group) with promises of eventual restoration and return from exile.

This is a bit different from claiming it as a guarantee of a fulfilling job, wonderful spouse, or ministry “call.”

Moreover, for every verse we quote to support the presence of a divine plan, there are others suggesting God is not super concerned with our understanding of it.

Throughout the Bible we encounter people frustrated and confused by life. Abraham is challenged to sacrifice Isaac. Joseph is jailed in Egypt for speaking the truth and behaving honorably. Hosea is asked to marry a prostitute. John the Baptist is imprisoned and beheaded; before his death he questions the point of his entire ministry. “Are you really the one?” he asks Jesus.

Most of the “Bible heroes” experienced huge setbacks with little explanation. As for the “ordinary” believers, Jesus spoke in parables his followers didn’t understand and weren’t supposed to (Luke 8:10).

From his caution about trees in the Garden to the mysteries of Revelation, the Bible consistently communicates God’s love, his wisdom—and his apparent unconcern that we figure him out.

 

• It can harm, not help.

For years I believed God not only had a specific plan for my life, but he was keeping it from me. As I struggled to choose a major in college, I wondered about all the other 20-year-olds in my dorm. Did they have it figured out? Why would God enlighten them and not me? As I made the first steps of my career I pleaded with God to show me his will. “You know I’ll do anything you want,” I once prayed. “Why won’t you tell me?”

My friends have struggled, as well. When I explored these concepts on my blog, one commented, “Doesn’t God lead us if we spend enough time in his presence? Isn’t a lack of ‘calling’ really a sign of an immature Christian?”

If we don’t see The Plan, it’s easy to feel forgotten or ignored by God. The belief in a heavenly micromanager almost guarantees feelings of anger and resentment when the answers don’t come.

Or, like my friend, we assume the communication problem is our own lack of faithfulness. Perhaps if we prayed more fervently, fasted more frequently, or read the Bible more regularly God would finally break down and give us a glimpse of his will.

The God-has-a-plan theology must also encompass our heartaches. Does his plan really include sexually molested children? If God “gave you” your spouse, why does your equally faithful friend remain unmarried? If we believe God has a detailed plan full of good things for every person, we must also have an answer (better than “everything happens for a reason”) for that devastated child and lonely single man.

 

• It ignores the freedom God gives us.

“The choice is no longer yours!” exclaims the website writer, apparently delighted at his loss of options.

Yet the Bible consistently points to God giving us many choices; from asking Adam to name the animals to allowing our rejection of his Son, God offers humanity a staggering amount of freedom.

We love to talk about God as Father when it comes to his love, care, and compassion, but if we are going to use the metaphor we must accept its full ramifications. My own father does not control my life. He does not make decisions for me, tell me where to work, or insist I marry a specific person. He did not tell me what to write in this article. He raised me to think critically, develop my character, and use good judgment.

If good earthly fathers do not dictate life for their children, why would a perfect heavenly Father?

 

All Stars

So why is the belief in God’s master plan still so prevalent?

For one thing, it’s a spiritual way to abdicate responsibility—if I can figure out what ministry or profession I’m “called” to, I don’t have to risk making a bad decision on my own.

If God has already planned our majors, careers, spouses, and futures we can bypass the hard work of dating, auditioning, interviewing, researching, moving, learning, and failing. (It’s interesting that while many of us will reject Calvinist theology in matters of salvation, we embrace the idea of a predestined personal life.)

By the way, my childhood dream was to become a belly dancer, which I consider irrefutable proof that your first “calling” is not always the best one.

Many of us also believe life is a movie and we have a starring role. Have you ever noticed God always calls people to plant a church, start a ministry, or launch a speaking career? No one ever gets called to work as a maid at the Best Western in Altoona, Kansas (population 454). No one “has a passion” for less excitement or less attention. As the popular Monster.com commercials remind us, no child ever said, “When I grow up I want to file all day.”

But believing God has a specific (and blessing-filled) plan for their lives lets American individualists feel special. Preoccupation with oneself seems more holy if wrapped in Christianese language.

The problem is we aren’t all special. There was one Moses and millions of followers, one Mary and a country full of unremarkable Jewish girls. For every Billy Graham there are stadiums full of “ordinary” Christians.

Do we not feel “called” to be one of these nameless, obedient believers, or does it just offend our sense of importance? As author Donald Miller says, if you are a pregnant virgin or an angel wants to wrestle with you, God may have a plan for you. Otherwise, it’s likely you are a not a main character in the story he’s writing.

 

Choose Your Own Adventure

Because we’ve tied a belief in God’s plan to our understanding of his love for us, a sense of loss can accompany this realization. Some people feel scared or alone; others confuse it with lack of faith in God’s sovereignty. When I once told a boyfriend I didn’t believe God had chosen a specific person for me to marry, he sputtered and stammered, “Are you really a Christian?”

Yes, I am a Christian (one who is glad she ended that relationship). I believe God is firmly in control of his creation, accomplishing his work of redemption and salvation through (and in spite of) us, and inviting us to partner with him. I believe the call to every believer is the same—to become more like Jesus and to serve him in our own small corners of the world.

But he allows us to choose how we obey this call, and for me this is proof of his great love. He promises to direct our steps, but not to dictate them. He doesn’t say we’ll always understand, but he promises we won’t be abandoned. Jeremiah’s assurance of “a hope and a future” is not a guarantee of career fulfillment or marital bliss; it’s the promise of real relationship with a faithful, mysterious Father.

 

Jennifer Taylor, one of CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Read her blog at www.seejenwrite.com.

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80 Comments

  1. You hit the nail on the head when you said Gods plan is for us to be more like Jesus. That is what it’s all about and has been about before the foundation of the world. To be like Christ. God has a plan, it’s called salvation. My life is broken and I can’t fix it. Failed marriages, failed jobs, failed at being the best father I could have been and I can’t fix it. I have failed at many things in my life and I can’t fix those things, but I have found the one thing that I can win, one thing I don’t have to fail at, and it’s my God given choice, my free will. I can say no to sin and yes to Jesus, I can choose to have faith in Gods word. I can still win this race and that’s success!

  2. Great sentiments Phillip. Sounds like you are definitely on the right track.

    Jennifer – what a wonderful article. Honest & refreshing. Really helped me.
    P.S. So glad you dumped that guy that questioned your Christianity. Good decision.

  3. I agree BUT your point of an earthly father and perfect heavenly father falls short. I get the point about God not controlling but your earthly father doesn’t know you like God nor does he see the future today like God does. The whole analogy of God as father will always fall short because earthly fathers are not perfect.

    Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People makes the point that everyone wants to be important. The whole superstar Christian thing is really damaging to the faith on the whole. I see it manifested in basic religious rituals like closing our eyes and squinting our faces or extending our hands when we pray. Its also in the whole church structure and liturgy of our services and “leadership” It is everywhere and makes it hard for me to concentrate on what is important in church. People just want to feel like a super hero and therefore want miracles and other fireworks for all the wrong reason. We want these things and money so that we can spend it on ourselves not others or to glorify God.

    We have a warped sense of entitlement in recent generations and I believe propaganda and expectation of a “special plan” by groups like Campus Crusade has really crippled many Christians with a constant nagging that they are inferior, just making the wrong choices, and leading people to less of a life than they could have if they just made a decision.

  4. This is well-written and where my thinking has been struggling. Growing up in the church, praying, seeing my reality, etc. I have struggled with the concept that God has a plan or a calling because I have struggled and still do to figure out my fit in this world and how to achieve my dreams and goals. More and more I believe the Lord is there for our own individual moral compass and that how life goes is more a result of the Law of Attraction, our genetics, personality, how we present ourselves, how we are perceived by others (either accurately or inaccurately), the natural talents we each possess, our personalities, the skills we have learned and the people we have met. I still pray, but am not sure anymore what gets heard…I just chalk it up to he is doing something, there is a spiritual world playing into our lives, but the rules of the world I see dictate the most and blessing from obeying the Lord seem more in the next world than in the current world as I live.

  5. Thank you for writing this. I appreciate your faith and how down to earth you are with life. I needed to read this.

  6. Have you ever read “Decision Making and the Will of God” by Gary Friesen ?? It is a real eye opener. There are many “traditions” of the Christian faith that are just not biblical. Also many of the stories used by “motivational pastors” are not normative, not even in the lives of those where the miraculous happened.

  7. I think that there’s a difference between God having a ‘plan’ for someone and a ‘purpose’ for someone. God has HIS plan (for all of creation), and we all fit into that plan. Thus you could say that we all have a different role in God’s plan – which we could call our purpose.

    so I’d say, God Has a plan, not for us, but for the salvation of the world and our purpose in life is to join God in His plan in the way that He wants us to.

    The problem, as some bloggers have stated is essentially that a lot of Christians feel that the only purpose that’s acceptable is super stardom and if their not the lead singer at Hillsong, a TV Evangelist or a Faith Healer then they’ve fallen short!

  8. I didn’t find this post one bit encouraging. No, I don’t think we are puppets and God is just going to give us a perfect life, but the word guidance would be nice to know is part of his plan. The way you spelled it out, we are down here on our own.

    “But he promises we won’t be abandoned”–the truth of the matter is we are. Prayers go unanswered and at times I have suffered depression so bad that I have almost killed myself.. The fact I didn’t is of no credit to God. I accept his Son so I don’t go to Hell, but you’re article just reinforced what I have always suspected: God gave us free will and wishes us the best of luck, but don’t bother Him by praying for anything.

  9. Jennifer: Thank you so much for this brilliant,well-reasoned article. It expresses thoughts that have confounded and vexed me for so long and which have nearly led me to the point of giving up on God.

    That God has the CAPACITY to micromanage is not to say that He either intends or desires to do so. I wish that so many evangelical preachers would come to this realization, because this ‘special-plan’ theology imposes insurmountable burdens on the body of Christ.

    Thank you again.

    Brian K

  10. GOD is perfect beyond our imagination. GOD has a plan for everyone. EVERYONE! On all continents on earth.
    Our very hairs are numbered.
    Everything happens for a reason.
    Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. – Hebrew 11:1

  11. A response to John:

    My heart goes out to you. I have struggled with a lot of suffering at the hands of others…and it’s far easier for me to accept that my personal suffering is somehow a part of God’s plan, than it is to accept that somehow in God’s wisdom, evil finite human beings are responsible for choosing from an infinite number of possibilities– the consequences of which we cannot possibly predict from our limited perspective.

    I don’t have the answer for you… But I can tell you that this idea of unrestrained free will in the world does not stand to reason, nor is it found in the Gospels. If you don’t believe me, read them again with new eyes– Jesus came for the sick, and the imprisoned. Who would choose to be ill or be in bondage of they could choose otherwise all on their own? For myself, I’ve come to believe that There is no free will apart from Christ. And the freedom we do find in Christ is restrained to whether we continue to choose a life in the Spirit, or return to one of separation and illusion.

  12. Well stated. Right on target. My impression is that believers understandably want comfort in the face of all the horrible circumstances that can befall us. it makes us feel better to think that God is benevolently behind it all. if that is the case, we can relax. but the Fall did a number of humanity, and not just unbelievers. we all labor under the effects of sin, and if God is programming things so that believers don’t have to suffer the consequences of the Fall, then the Bible fails to point that out. I do indeed wish all my life’s events were exactly what God designed, but in my heart I know personally the sinful motives that led to many of the unfortunate events I experienced. and I learned from them. but I doubt seriously that God programmed me to sin as I did. Good article, well articulated. thanks.

  13. Think of it this way. The Lord is our Shepherd and we are his sheep. Without a shepherd we would all be scattered and lost. When you become saved you are a part of the lord’s flock. Sheep do not make their own decisions they follow what the shepherd intends for them. If you follow and believe in the bible then you are being tended by God and you are not in control. You are a part of God’s will and we all play a role in it. When you follow Gods word every decision that you make in life is based on God’s word, so in a sense you are not making your own decisions. God is doing all of the decision making for you. Decisions unguided by God are fleshly decisions and we all know the outcome of fleshly decisions. God has a will for everyone whether it is glorious or humble. Just accept what God is doing in your life and know that he is working on you. God is not human and do not expect him to think like one. You will never understand the reasoning behind a majority of his decisions, so do not stress yourself out trying to. Just follow him and accept that everything that happens in life is a part of his plan for you. FAITH in god and everything that he says in the bible will destroy any doubt that you have. If your heart is with God and you have given yourself to him then the decisions that you make are driven by him and not you. YOU ARE NOT MAKING THE DECISIONS IF YOU HAVE TRULY GIVEN YOURSELF TO GOD HE IS.

  14. Well said, Eddie; some good points though Jennifer. I think these big preachers put people under a cloud of feeling inadequate because success in serving the Lord is portrayed as this big blinding ministry all the time and I sympathise with struggling to hear God on decisions . . . not that God doesn’t do that, but the truth is we should be looking to God’s Word primarily to discern his will. There’s been a lot of extreme teaching out there over the years in this matter, and I think it’s done a lot of damage. The emphasis in Scripture is on God leading us, as Eddie has said. I reccommend the books The Mystery of God’s Will by Chuck Swindoll and Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.

  15. Dear Jennifer: I have mulled over this article several times since it appeared in the Standard. I read all the comments, and there were many as you know, even from the highly respected Victor Knowles. Good points were made from both perspectives, but I tended to agree with the ‘opposition’ as it were.

    Still, when I thought about your article, my thoughts about God’s plans for us were nebulous, at best. Until this last year when it all seemed to gel. Goes DOES have a plan for each of us and that plan is that we each and every one will ‘die to self’ daily (Luke 9:23) at which point, all the pieces will fall into place; but that will look different for each of us. This is not an abstract concept; nothing in the Bible is, I have come to believe, though oftentimes it can be difficult to grasp these truths on a personal level.

    So I went back and reread your article to see if you had touched on this, but if you did, I missed it.

    And the reason God can be so detail oriented when it comes to each of us is because the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21) through the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9).

    And then there’s Ephesians 2:10; sounds like a plan to me! : )

    Lest this smack of Calvinism, I believe we all have free will, and can spit in God’s face if we so choose and as the Romans did to Jesus. But once we surrender, and His Spirit invades us to the extent WE allow it, then we are more open to His presence and His guidance. And what a wonderful place to be…life abundant, to the max!

    L W Park

  16. I believe Jennifer is right on many points. But the Bible does say to acknowledge the Lord on all thy ways and he shall direct your path. It’s up to me to take that direction or ignore it and take my own. Fear is the biggest obstacle of trying to follow the Lord’s directions as we worry about the outcome resulting from following his direction. And just how much we fear his direction says a lot about how much we trust and know him…doesn’t it?

  17. I have been struggling with infertility for many years. People always tell me God has a plan, there is a reason you are struggling with this. I know for some, thinking that helps them, but it never has helped me. I don’t believe that God wants me to suffer and struggle. I don’t think he wants children born to women who are on drugs. Reading your article has put my mind at ease, more than anything anyone has ever said to me! Thank you!

  18. Thanks for posting this thought-provoking article. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. I believe God has both an overall plan for all of humanity and in many respects, a plan for each of us. He doesn’t necessarily have a program for each day or even year. He doesn’t necessarily have a spouse or career picked out for us, but he has given us the capacity to work these things out for ourselves and to seek guidance through prayer and the Holy Ghost. He has answered many of my prayers. I know He is there and wants the best for us. But there are many times where answers don’t come and we are left wondering what to do. These are times for growth. That is one of the main purposes of our lives – to grow in character, in capacity to choose and to act with our own free will. To choose to follow Christ! We have the Scriptures to teach us of his character and his actions. Go and do likewise (Luke 10:37).

    God’s plan is that all of humankind be redeemed through his Son. That is his work and glory. He knew awful and terrible things would happen to us here in this life because of the agency he gave us. His plan is to redeem us from those things as we accept Christ. People can heal from awful things. Think of Elizabeth Smart who was kidnapped and raped at 14 – what could be worse? But she has healed through faith in Christ. Check out her video https://youtu.be/lfQlN_rhzNQ.

  19. I really enjoyed this post and article, Jennifer. Thank you for writing and sharing it, and please keep up everything.
    -Chana

  20. According to Ms. Johnson, God does not have any plan for my life at all except that I should not sin, & that I should do something good with my life—whatever I want.

    She quotes one verse in Jeremiah that admittedly has been abused, & then she abuses it in a different way.

    Scripture clearly teaches that God DOES have plans for our lives, & he DOES reveal them at times to those who listen.

    Did God have no plan for Adam’s life? She cited God allowing Adam freedom to name the animals whatever he wanted, but she forgot God’s command to name the animals. God also told him to fill the Earth, & subdue it.

    Did God have no plan for Noah’s life? As long as he avoided sin, he could do whatever good things he wanted…?

    What about Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Mary, John, Peter or Paul?

    Anyone who has read the Bible knows that God did have specific plans for each of them, & we can easily find God’s specific instructions for them.

    Of course God allows freedom in many choices. (The author clearly does not understand Calvinism’s errors, BTW.) But he has specific plans for us in other areas. And he reveals those plans in different ways to his people.

    Just because God hasn’t told her his will in certain areas doesn’t mean that he doesn’t tell anyone his will.

    Ms. Johnson reminds me of the folks who twist 1 Corinthians 13 to say that miracles aren’t for today, possibly because they haven’t personally experienced God’s supernatural intervention.

    She says God directs our steps but does not dictate them, but God wants to dictate the steps of his people, as the following passages* teach:

    Psalm 25:12 — Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.

    Psalm 32:8 — I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

    Psalm 73:23, 24 — Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.

    Isaiah 30:20, 21 — And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

    Isaiah 58:11 — And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong;

    Romans 8:14 — For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Romans 12:2 — Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    James 1:5 — If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

    Ms. Johnson would add an asterisk on James 1:5 that severely limits the kind of wisdom you can ask for.

    I could write hundreds more words about God’s gracious, specific directions in my life. Ms. Johnson can’t take that wonderful guidance away from me.
    I’m disappointed that CS would allow this misleading article to be published.

    And my heart breaks for commenter John, who posted on 2/27. (Admittedly, he extrapolated things from the article that aren’t there.) I hope he reads my comment & receives hope from it.

    *The passages are in order of how they appear in the Bible. These are all general passages about God wanting to direct our lives. The list does not include the many, many instances of God giving specific guidance to individuals in the Bible, or the passages where individuals are asking God to guide them specifically, such as Psalm 143:7, 8.

  21. @John Allcot.

    Well said, probably the most well said thing on this web page/article.

  22. Thank you for this well reasoned article! For the longest time I drove myself insane trying to figure out if the simplest things were apart of “the will of god.” Everything from choosing what classes to take in college, who I should date, what major to choose, what job I should apply for, etc.

    Even the simplest of tasks like choosing what clothes/shoes would look good on me were made unnecessarily difficult because I needed an affirmation of “God’s will.” I was looking for a sign or a voice from Heaven.

    After a little research and experience I began to realize that God’s written Word is sufficient and going crazy trying to nit pick “God’s will” for your life is pretty insane, especially when his will for all of humanity is written in his Word, the Bible. I am also of the belief that God does not have a specific call or will for each life, his overall will is, like you mentioned, for us to be more like Christ. I’ve read several other similar articles that pretty much confirmed my view, with scriptural backing.

    Unfortunately a lot of people in this world will remain at the same point in there lives for a long time because, like I did in the past, they are waiting for some form of supernatural revelation that shows them God’s “plan” for their life.

    If you spend your entire life trying to figure out everything God wants you to do, down to the metaphorical “T,” you probably won’t get much done.

  23. You have to realize this one truth with God and it’s that you are not a robot. The way some Christians identify with life is that their life’s are a part of a plan or purpose so they try to discredit themselves and glorify God only. This is the recipe for rebellion a lack of fulfillment. We search for meaning, purpose, and destiny in a manner that is controlled against our wills in that even in fulfilling it we are not satisfied. Have you ever been on the winning team and although you won because you didn’t contribute as you would’ve liked, you didn’t quite have the same excitement as everyone else. This is most Christians.

    Here’s how we must view life. God created us in his image (likeness, authority, dominion). I am not created to appease God’s ego, I am not created to love God because he was lonely, I am not to follow a script. I am created because God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit wanted to share what they have together which is perfect with others. The way 2 parents have a child as an extension of themselves and they should not force a child to fill a particular role. But you entrust that all that you have taught your child will allow them to be blessed in whatever arena of their life that they go. The same with God, he instructs us of his will for our benefit not entrapment. If you have these principles in you then all you do will be blessed. You will find purpose and meaning in all that you do. You are not called to be robots, you are blessed in the city, blessed in the field. You also by strengthening your faith have the power through God to speak things that be not as though they were into existence. This takes much time as this world has polluted are thinking and what is in our hearts. But as we meditate and stay in God’s presence by making time for him our faith will be strengthened.

    God Bless You All

  24. Thank you for the kind words about my previous comment, Eric Thomas.

    Sadly…No, tragically, this awful article is still here, & people are still being deceived by it.

    How can anyone who reads the Bible think God does not have a specific plan for peoples’ lives???

    Folks, please read what the Bible says about this topic in my comment from November 27, 2015.

    Better:
    Christian Standard, please remove this article & post an apology.

  25. I think that the article posted above sounds pretty negative. Sounds a bit Humanistic too. I get the points you were making Ms. Johnson, and some of them were right, but not all of them. I ignored this post for a long time, but finally decided to read it even though the title alone makes it sound way too pessimistic. Christians believing that God has a plan for them or is in control is evidence of their faith in Jesus’ greatness, not in their own greatness or importance. It’s about faith in God’s love for us, especially for those who are oppressed, not faith that we are so important or are our own god(s). Jesus does have good plans for Christians..(Heaven) , peace, love, joy, and eternal life, for example. (spiritual blessings).

    Spiritual people know this. People influenced by the world might be tempted to think that because we will not be “great as the world thinks”, that God does not have a plan for us and that we are not that important. However, we are not all supposed to be famous or anything and yet we ARE still important. The Lord knows how many hairs we have on our heads, knows our spirits, and provides for us, especially knowledge, understanding, etc. He is Christians’ Shepherd. Jesus finds those who are lost and brings them back. He protects Christians and defends Christians when they are accused, etc.

    It is not easy for some Christians to discern God’s will, but the Lord DOES guide Christians. Don’t you remember that the Holy Spirit helps/guides Christians? The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the difference between right and wrong. Frustration with not figuring out a part of God’s plan might cause some people to think that they have to take matters into their own hands and decide for themselves what is best, and I agree with this if one is not getting any direction, since man should use his ability to reason. But, if anyone is wondering how to find God’s plan for their lives . . .

    (1) I feel that Christians have to maintain a close relationship with the Lord by doing righteous things like prayer/praise*, thanksgiving*, reading Scripture, etc. (act wisely)

    (2) Christians should wear their “armor” so that they don’t get derailed or “taken out”.

    (3) The Holy Spirit guides. It helps us to understand what is right with our own lives after we have developed a mind/spirit that Christ would approve of. Some Christians’ dreams can help them a little and even give them comfort or increase their faith.

    (4) Service. We should use as many gifts as we have that fit a career or job that will give us the opportunity to help the most people. Consider your personality, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

    (5) Dometimes failure can lead someone to success or be interpreted as a success in some way,

    (6) No matter what plan God has allowed for people to experience, even if includes a great deal of misery, life is not perfect, and we will someday be able to see how even our setbacks were really (or could be) setups for victory (peace, love, helping even more people, etc). Life is “like a tapestry” if we live wisely, like having a testimony and sharing it, or sharing one’s coping or learning skills.

    (7) Life is not just about us. it is about Jesus and others too. God’s plan should help Christians to see this.

    Keep your chin up! Pun intended! : )

  26. I could not edit after posting the comment above. But, we are all important. What I should have said a little more clearly is that Christians believing that God has a plan for them or is in control is evidence of their faith in Jesus’s greatness, not in their own greatness. It’s about faith in God’s love for us, especially for those who are oppressed, not faith that we are our own god(s). By saying “important” I was trying to say “think too highly of ourselves” as in arrogance, which is what Christians aren’t doing if they believe that God has a plan for them.

  27. The most important thing is to have faith/ believe that Jesus is God and to love/live righteously and the Bible teaches us to how .

  28. Did God have a plan for Joseph’s life? When we read and study the story of Joseph
    We find here that Joseph lived his life
    and God used Everything that befell him to bring Joseph to where He wanted him.
    God gave him the dream
    And the dream is what started him on his journey.
    What his brothers did to him.
    Throwing Joseph into a pit
    and he landed up in prison for years.
    Then God delivered Joseph in one day
    Was there a plan for Joseph In the mind of God?
    God knew what Joseph would do
    God knew what his brothers would do
    God knew what everyone would do
    And God let it happen.
    And through it all God brought Joseph to save many people alive
    God’s plan for the human race is the same for each person
    Trust Him And he will Bring you to where he can use you
    To help others.

  29. How tragic that someone feels this way. God does have a purpose for you and a plan for your life. Do I think God has planned out what I should feed my family for dinner tonight?? Probably not, but he teaches us to take care of our bodies as they are the temple- so I will do my best to provide good nourishment because of His word. I am expecting my 3rd child- God knew and ordained this child to enter into our family. Jesus speaks many many times of faith- what you can do and expect if you have faith, and that you can expect nothing without it. Don’t doubt that disappointments will come- but that’s doesn’t take away God’s goodness or His plan for your life. He does test us, but He says He has so many thoughts towards us (more than the grains of sand), and we do not know His mind. There are many Christians who think that as long as your saved then do what you want- that’s not a characteristic of a very personal God. The veil was torn so we could have direct access! That isn’t prosperity gospel – it’s the wonderful truth!

Trackbacks

  1. God Does Not Have a Plan for Your Life – By Jennifer Taylor | Thoughts of a Seminary Student

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