How To Know (and follow) God’s Plan For Your Life

Have you ever wondered about God’s plan for your life? Or wondered what exactly is God’s plan for me?

As a pastor I get asked a lot about how to know what God’s plan exactly is and if He even has a specific plan for each person’s life.

And I get it, it can be hard to know which roads we should take in life. And many have prayed about these things and which direction they should go and received no strong feelings either way. Leading to us back to this question, what is God’s plan for me? 

In this blog post we are going to look at what the Bible says about God’s plan and purpose for us and then how we can practically live out His purpose in our life. 

What The Bible Says About God’s Plan For Your Life

To answer this question many turn to 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.

And at first glance it appears that this verse answers our question of what God’s plan is for us. But there’s more to this verse and it doesn’t directly apply to us today. I won’t get into that in this blog post, but if you want to read more about Jeremiah 29:11 you can read my post about it here: What We Get Wrong About Jeremiah 29:11

Rather than look at a single verse I want to take a broad overview of some of the key points of what the Bible says about God’s plan for our life.

God knew you before you were born. (Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13)God’s plan is that every person would come to know Him and walk with Him. (2 Peter 3:9, Galatians 5:16) God’s plan is for you to do good works with the gifts He’s given you. (Ephesians 2:10)God’s plan is that you would spread the good news. (Matthew 28:18-19, 2 Corinthians 5:20)God’s plan is you would be conformed to His image and likeness. (Romans 8:29) Jesus summed up God’s commands for us as love God, love your neighbor. (Matthew 22:37-40) 

Again, this is far from an exhaustive list of God’s plan for us. But it does give us a good overview of what the Bible says. 

So, now let’s break down what the Bible says into something more specific. 

What Is God’s Plan For Me? 

Now that we’ve looked at a broad overview of what the Bible says, let’s get into the weeds a bit. We will start by looking at a common question. 

Does God Have A Specific Plan For My Life? 

Does God have our lives mapped out? What we are supposed to do. Where we are supposed to live. Who we are supposed to marry. What car we are supposed to buy… Etc… 

Is God’s plan for us specific? Maybe, but probably not.

Go back to the Bible and glance at the people throughout. You would see that some seem to have a specific plan and others don’t. Take David for example. He seems to have a specific calling on his life to carry out a specific purpose. The disciples on the other hand certainly have a calling, but it’s not really that specific. Throughout the Bible we can find examples of both. 

But what is clear is that God seems to make it very clear to those He has a specific purpose. They aren’t searching or waiting for it; rather God interrupts their lives and reveals to them their purpose. Think of Mary and Joseph. 

Many of the people I know that believe God has a specific plan are sitting around waiting for God to reveal His plan for us. But what if there isn’t one? What if we are waiting for something that will never happen?

In the Bible a specific calling is an exception, not the rule.

It would seem that God does have specific plans for some people. But not all. 

So, unless a donkey has spoken, you were a virgin and got pregnant (good luck getting anyone to believe you), or God specifically talked to you, God probably doesn’t have a specific plan for you.

Don’t misquote me… I DO believe God has a plan for you. But I don’t think each step of your life is mapped out in His plan. 

What Is God’s Plan For My Life? 

Does God have a general plan for you? Absolutely.

God has given each person a unique set of skills and passions. It’s up to each of us to figure out what they are and use them, not for our benefit but for the benefit of those around us. While we might not have a specific plan, God does have a general plan for all of us.

That should be freeing for many of you. And exciting! At least it is for me. I’m free to live my life as I feel best honors God. I get to use the skills and passions He’s given me to the benefit of those around me. God has a plan for me, but I’m not waiting for a calling. Rather I’m identifying my passions and putting them to use.

God’s plan for your life is that you would use your gifts, passions, and skills to show His love to those around you. You have freedom in this plan, God’s given you the guidelines and you are free to do anything within those boundaries.

God’s Plan For Me In A Nutshell

We know God’s plan for us is more general than specific. But we do still know about His plan from the Bible. Here’s 3 specific things you can know about God’s plan for me.

God’s Plan Is To Be Reunited With His People

This is God’s primary objective in His plan, to bring those far from Him back to Him. Jesus spoke about this so many times, about reuniting the lost. And that is why Jesus went to the cross. God’s desire for you, and everyone, is to be reunited again. That’s the central message of the Bible. God’s plan centers around the lost being found.

God’s Plan Is For Us To Be Fed, Clothed, And Have A Shelter (basic needs)

God wouldn’t be a good God if He didn’t want you to have what you need. Not what you want, but what you need. The Bible describes God as a good, good father (I couldn’t help myself). And every good father wants His children to have what they need. But this is where it also gets tricky. Because He’s left part of this plan up to His people. Which leads us to the last part of God’s plan.

God’s Plan Is For Us To Show His Love To Those Around Us

God’s plan for all who follow Him is to take His love to those around us. That means with our words, but also our actions. This is our purpose to show love, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to provide for those in need. 

God didn’t give us specifics on what that looks like for each of us. But you have a skill, a gift, a passion, that you can use to show love to someone somewhere. It’s God’s desire for us to use those things to show His love to those around us. 

God has given us a blank canvas and each a unique set of brushes and paints. So paint, don’t wait, paint. Use your skills, find your passions, and bring glory to God and love others.

4 Ways You Can Live Out God’s Purpose For Your Life

I want to end by giving you 4 ways you can live out God’s purpose in your life. 

1. Walk With God 

This is where it all starts, developing a relationship with God. 

All throughout the Bible we are called to love God with our whole heart. This means that we devote ourselves to prayer. We study God’s Word. And we listen to what God says is best. 

This isn’t something that happens overnight, rather over a lifetime. We cultivate our relationship with God and it will grow over time. This is first in God’s plan for your life. 

2. Die To Yourself 

We don’t like this one as much. But Jesus talks about it a lot. We are told to pick up our cross and die to our desires in order to follow Jesus. (John 3:3-7, Matthew 16:24-26)

God’s plan for your life is that you would die to your purpose, SO THAT, you can take up His. 

That might sound harsh, but this purpose is for our benefit. The reality is our desires will always let us down and leave us wanting more. But when we die to those weak desires we can grab ahold of something greater. 

C.S. Lewis in The Weight Of Glory says, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

God’s plan for you is to die to your desires so that you can grab ahold of the infinite joy that He has for you. 

3. Live In Community 

We weren’t created to live alone. Even Jesus walked this earth with people around Him. God has created you to live in community. 

The only way that you will be able to step fully into God’s purpose for you is to do it with the help of others. 

4. Love Those Around You

When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus said it was to love God and love your neighbor. The two cannot be untied. (Matthew 22:37-40) You cannot love God and hate those around you. 

God’s purpose for you is to not keep your faith to yourself, but to take it to those around you. You are in a unique spot to make an impact on someone in a way that no one else can. You are His hands and feet and are charged with taking the good news with you everywhere you go. 

So, go. Live in the purpose that God has for you. Walk with God. Die to your desires. Live in community. And always love those around you. 

The best life, the most fulfilling life, is found when we live in God’s plan for your life.

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