God has a plan. As a mother watching all three of our children chase and pursue their dreams, many times becoming discouraged in the process, I have found myself telling them, “God has a plan!” I do believe this with all my heart. Of course, I have followed those words with many other words in Scripture to try and map out how God works and unfolds His plan for their lives. I’m not sure how I have done at communicating this truth to them, but I am sure of the truth. God does have a plan.
He created each one of us to do good works. As written in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” There are many stories in the Bible that we can study to see all walks of life and how God’s ultimate plan prevails. We humans are given a “free will” to either seek God and allow Him to lead the ultimate plan He has in store for us, or we can choose to be the “Captain of our Lives” and go down the roads WE think we should with little or no regard to God’s sovereign plan for our lives.
I immediately think of the story of Jonah, who God specifically told to go to Nineveh. Jonah ended up in the belly of a whale and had a few days to think about his life and choices. He was ultimately given a second chance by God to follow God’s plan instead of his own. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is that Jonah allowed his FEAR to cause him to go in the exact opposite direction from where God had asked him to go.
Fear is an emotion I have looked at a ton in the last few years. Fear is an emotion that drives many decisions and has done so in my own life. I have realized Most Fear is never from God! Of course there is healthy fear that exists to prevent us from doing stupid things like “diving in shallow water” where the result would possibly be a broken neck. But there is a very unhealthy fear that exists and is used by Satan to paralyze most of us into “disobeying God”. Mostly because of a lack of TRUST IN GOD, we fear He won’t be able to carry us through to the other side. Look at the disciples. They knew Jesus well. They had traveled with him and seen him perform great miracles but, when the storm arose on the sea, they were terrified even though Jesus was with them in the boat. The end result was that “JESUS CALMED THE STORM.” Jesus was fully man and fully God. While on earth He exhibited the emotions of compassion, sadness, and anger but there is NO account of fear in His life. Why? Because Jesus operated through His Father, God.
As I have sought to Keep my eyes on Jesus, the “Author and Perfecter of my faith” I have had to really examine my own personal fears and seek to daily give them to God. I ask Him to show me and guide me. I literally tell myself over and over again, “FEAR IS NOT FROM GOD”. I have been able to walk forward to do God’s will, even though, I will admit, at times my legs were shaking! The result is diminishing fear, more confidence in Christ, rewards, and peace. I have seen Christ, through my disciplined intention with Christ as the “CAPTAIN,” fill me with courage and equip me to do GOOD WORKS even though a voice (Satan) whispered to be AFRAID.
It has been a battle. It is a battle I desire to have victory over as well as see others have victory over, especially our kids. I can see now how effective the emotion of fear is in preventing us from DOING THE WILL OF GOD and fulfilling HIS purpose for our lives. It is a valuable tool of the enemy. It keeps us operating in self-reliance, not depending on God, but instead using our personal effort to muscle our way through life. Look at a few verses on fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God hath not given us the spirit of FEAR.” It is not up to us, God is able. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.” And Matthew 19:26 says, “With God all things are possible.” 1 John 4:18 says, “There is NO FEAR in love. Perfect love drives out fear….” God is the only one who is perfect and HIS LOVE IS PERFECT. IF we seek God and His love, we do not have to FEAR. HE [God] drives out fear.
With golf, I have literally seen our children become fearful of hitting a shot, a shot they have practiced and hit thousands of times. I have seen Satan whisper and trick them into believing the following lies:
“Will I get cussed out for hitting this shot?”, fear of man.
“What will other people think if I don’t execute this well?” fear of other’s opinions.
“What if I don’t hit it where I want to?” fear of failure.
“What if I don’t make this putt that everyone expects me to make?”…fear, fear, fear!!!!
Let me say as well, FEAR IS FROM THE PIT OF HELL. It is paralyzing. The Bible says in Psalm 118:6, “The Lord is for me, I will not fear; What can man do to me?” We are not to fear man but have a respect and a reverent fear of God. God is the one in Charge and we should want to please and follow HIM. Trusting HIM for our good. Now, if we are like Jonah who disregarded God, continually cruising and living without regard to seeking HIM and His will, then look out. We will have things to FEAR because we were not designed nor created to LIVE apart from Christ.
The last thing I want to make sure I convey is that following Christ and allowing Him to lead your life will not always be smooth sailing. There will be challenges and trials. In the book of James, especially in the first chapter, it teaches and explains that there will be trials in our lives and challenges, some put there by God to specifically “mature and complete us”. I can see at age 51 some of the trials and challenges I have experienced in God’s divine plan for me were purposed so that I, first, could grow closer to HIM. Second, to humble me and help me not be self-reliant. Third, so that I could relate to others and their trials. I realize if you have this “perfect easy life,” no one can relate. Fourth, it has been used so that I can give our kids and others examples in my own life of how God has walked me through the hardships and how I have “SEEN HIM WORK”. If this had not happened, I would not have been able to give a PERSONAL AND REAL ACCOUNT OF GOD WORKING IN MY LIFE!
With all this being said, understand, God has a PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE! DRAW CLOSE TO HIM, SEEK HIM, HE DESIRES TO FULFILL IT. DO NOT LET THE ENEMY USE FEAR as a WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU TO PREVENT YOU FROM YOUR DIVINE PURPOSE.