For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I’ve always been a goal-oriented person with strong drive and initiative. I’m never happier than when making plans and moving forward to reach my target. It energizes me and fills me with purpose. So, when Christian author and pastor Henry Blackaby said that what we plan to do for God is not important, I was stunned! It is my passion to do things for God! He said we may be moving forward with the best of intentions, able to reach all our goals and yet be far from God’s will.
“What is really important,” he explained, “is what God is up to and wants to do through you.” It was a provocative statement and I immediately knew Blackaby was right. If I really belonged to God, then His purposes had to take center stage in my life.
Blackaby noted that God didn’t ask Noah, Abraham, Moses or Esther what they would like to do for Him, but rather revealed to each one what He was planning to do through them– in their cases, destroy sin, build a nation, lead the Israelites out of slavery, and save the Jewish people (respectively). While none of us may be called to fulfill such monumental feats, God can certainly work through us to bring grace, healing, redemption, and light into our families, jobs, churches, communities, etc. in thousands of marvelous ways. But…
“God’s ways and plans are radically different from ours,” said Blackaby. Although I’ve been walking with God for many years, I did stop to examine what I was doing in my personal life, my marriage, work, and other spheres of influence. Even as a committed Christian, was I in step with God or dashing ahead doing my own thing that seemed worthy but perhaps was far from God’s will? Blackaby explains that if we are watching and listening, God will reveal what He wants to do through us. Then, when we align with Him and His purposes are accomplished, people will come to know God because they will recognize that what happened could only be explained by God. That sounds thrilling and much more significant than my own personal agenda! But, it does require cultivating a close relationship with Him so we can recognize His voice when He is speaking to us.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.
Today, I invite you to stop and take inventory of your goals, dreams and pursuits. Are they yours or God’s? Can you tell the difference? If you purpose to walk daily with Him, make Him the priority relationship in your life, study His word and pray, God will draw near to you, enlighten your understanding and reveal His purposes. What a great adventure awaits!
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.