God Has A Plan for your Life!
No matter what the circumstances of your birth were, you are not an accident! Just like an architect draws up his plans before the building begins – God has planned your life before you were even born. The purpose of this lesson is to get you on the road to discovering what God’s purposes are for your life.
God says “I know the thoughts I think towards you …thoughts of good and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11). God has a plan for your life, and it is a good one. It is a good future, one that is filled with hope, satisfaction, and expectation. Many people are unhappy and dissatisfied in life because they are not fulfilling the plan that God had intended for their life. God spoke to Jeremiah the Prophet and said “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer 1:5) Isn’t that amazing? God had a call and a plan for his life before he was even conceived. This same statement is true for everyone. God had a specific design and purpose for your life before you were even in your mother’s womb. He knew who you were, what you would look like, and who you would become. He even knew that one day you would be reading this lesson about His plan for your life. That is because we serve the only true and Living God.
A lot of people ask “how do I know God’s plan and purpose for my life?” This is a great question, and I hope to help lead you in the direction where you will find the answer. Some parts of God’s plan are the same for all of us.
To Know God
We are all called to know God and have a relationship with Him. This is the first and most important purpose of our life. This begins when we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour and repent of our sins, but it doesn’t end there. Our Christian life should be a life of constant discovery of more about God’s truth and getting to know Him in a more intimate and personal way. The Apostle Paul, knew God in a way that few men know Him, and yet even as a mature Saint he proclaimed “That I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10). His heart’s greatest desire was to know Christ in a deeper way than he had known Him before. Mankind was created for fellowship with God, and to bring Him pleasure (Rev 4:11), therefore we also find our greatest pleasure and satisfaction when we are fulfilling that part of His plan for our life.
We will come to know the Lord in a greater way as we read the Bible, attend church regularly, and spend time praying and waiting quietly before Him each day. The Lord will also walk with us through our day to day experiences in life; each experience whether joyful or difficult can bring an opportunity for us to know the Lord more deeply. Knowing God intimately will also be the key to discovering your very own unique and personal “calling” that God has for your life.
A “calling” is an invitation by God to enter His service, but it is also a “summons” or a mandatory service to our King. God has specifically planned for each person to “do” something for His Kingdom. Not every person is called to do the same thing, but everyone is called to do something – it is unique for each person. What are some examples of things that people are called to do? A person can be called to be a missionary and go to foreign countries to preach the Gospel or teach at a Bible School. Some people are called to be worship leaders in churches, or play a musical instrument. Some people are called to be teachers, doctors or politicians and be a witness to the people they work with. Other people are called of God to be farmers and raise food for their communities. There are many things that people could be called to, but I want to help you understand what God has called you to do.
How do I find out what God has called me to do?
The Bible says that if we ask He will answer, if we seek, we will find, if we knock the door will be opened unto us (Matt 7:7-8). Our part is to ask and keep asking God until He reveals to us what that calling is. The calling is not always 100% clear at the beginning, but God will give us some direction. For example: when I was a young boy I knew that I would be a preacher and a missionary, but I did not know if that meant I would be an Apostle or an Evangelist. However, as I got older and went to Bible School to prepare for the call of God He made things more clear to me. As we obey each step that He gives us the call becomes clearer. He can reveal it to us in many different ways, and He gives us some clues that help us discover our calling:
- What do you have a desire to do? This may be a clue to your calling. God has “wired” you a certain way, because of the task that He wants you to fulfill (This can even include your personality, and the type of person God has made you).
- What do you have the ability to do? God will not ask you to do something that you are unable to do. For example: God will not call you to be a concert pianist if you have no musical ability whatsoever. He will equip you for the task, but we also have to do our part to prepare for it – such as study or training.
- What do you feel God is saying to you? God should put the call in your heart and He will express it to you somehow.
- What is your pastor saying about your calling? God works through His designated authorities. It is important to have your pastor’s counsel and blessing.
There are people that God has called to be ministers and there are five specific ministry gifts that the Bible lists for us. These gifts are not something that can be earned, bought with money, or aspired too, BUT these are special gifts from God and only He can call someone to them (Heb 5:4). These gifts are called the Five-fold Ministry Gifts, and are listed in Eph 4:11-13 – “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
These Gifts are given to specific individuals whom God has called to be leaders and ministers in His church.
An Apostle is a special messenger of God who starts new works (often from scratch) for God’s kingdom. He is usually empowered with miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, and has a close unique relationship and revelation of Jesus Christ. An Apostle often times will begin his ministry feeling called to one of the other Five Gifts and as time progresses the Lord reveals an Apostolic Call.
A Prophet is a man who speaks the words’s of God. His word’s often provide direction and foretell future events in a person’s life or even for a nation or the whole earth. This is a very high office in the Kingdom of God and is NOT the same as someone who operates with the Gift of Prophecy.
The Evangelist is a soul winner. He carries a burden and a driving passion to see the unsaved find salvation in Christ. He also is used in the church to teach, equip, and stir up others to win souls. He often accomplishes these tasks through his preaching. The Lord often will give him supernatural gifts of healing and miracles to confirm His Word and convince people to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
A Pastor is a Shepherd, who cares for the people in his congregation like a shepherd of old would care for sheep. He prays for them, he protects them from evil, and counsels them. He feeds them the Word of God through teaching and preaching. He must have a real love for his people. This is not an office that someone takes just so he can earn a living, but it is a call of God.
A Teacher is a spiritual foundation builder. He builds a foundation in the life of those whom he teaches. He teaches his subjects the Word of God in an orderly fashion, beginning with the simplest basic truths and builds on each principle a little bit at a time till one reaches spiritual maturity. Sort of like the way a baby eats milk and soft food until he is old enough to eat meat (Hebrews 5:12-14).
How do I know if I am called to one of these Ministry Gifts?
That is another really great question. God will make this calling clear to us as we progress in our relationship with Him, but there are some clues that He gives us – similar to the ones listed above.
- Has God given you a desire to be in the ministry?
- Do you have the ability? Some things can be learned, but somethings are given to us by God. You may, in God’s time, have to go to Bible School and gain some abilities to prepare for this calling.
- Does your pastor or other people recognize that you might have this gift? Sometimes this call may come through a Prophetic Word or insight that someone else has for you, but it is important to receive Godly counsel, and the blessing from your spiritual oversight.
Not everyone is called to the ministry, but everyone is called to do something for God’s kingdom.
Once a person has an idea of what God is calling them to do they have to prepare for that calling. Just because you are called to be an Apostle or a Prophet does not mean that you are ready to function in that ministry. There is a time of preparation in our life for that call. God does His part, but we have to do ours. For many of you that will mean going to University or Bible College and getting training to do what He is calling you to do. This is our part. There is another aspect of our preparation for the call of God that only God can do. He will take us through different circumstances in our life to help refine our character. These circumstances can be difficult at times, but are necessary to help us become just what God wants us to be, so that we can be successful in what HE wants for our life.
The plan that God has for our life is threefold: To know God, to do something (our calling), and to be something (our character). Our character is who we are. God’s plan for your life is that you will become like Jesus Christ. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). This does not mean that you lose your personality and your unique identity and become someone else entirely. No, God has made you who you are, but there are aspects of your life and personality that need to be changed, and over time God wants to do that and make you like Him. This will not happen overnight, and you should not feel condemned if you feel like you still have a long way to go, because we all do. Your character has many facets to it, and could not possibly be dealt with in an exhaustive manner here. Our part is to allow the Lord to take us through different circumstances in our life to work His character into us. As mentioned above, these qualities are worked into us through some difficult experiences. If we will hold on, and not give up during those times, the Lord will bring us into all He has purposed for our lives, and we will become more like Christ.
The following is a list of things that describe the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all of these things He eventually wants to be a description of our character – He is humble, not proud. He is good to everyone. He hates sin and does not indulge in sinful pleasures. He is not full of anger or hatred, but loves other people. He is full of joy and singing. He does not complain when things are difficult or hard. He does not criticize others. He stands up for what is right – He is not a coward. He is meek – He does not retaliate when others do or say things against Him that are wrong, or when He was misunderstood. He is strong not weak. He was willing to die for each one of us to make a way to His father. Jesus is perfect, and he wants to perfect each of us.
There are many more things that could be said about all of these subjects so – I recommend that you do some further reading or studying, and talk to your pastor about these topics too.
As we conclude this little blog, let us each begin asking God what His calling is for our life and ask Him what we need to do to prepare for that call, and let’s take steps toward preparing for the call that God has for our lives.