At some point in your life did you plan out how everything would happen? For instance, a good portion of people plan that their lives will play out like this: college, career, marriage, baby and/or house (depending on the person).
Or a different scenario – you KNOW that you are going to get that promotion at work. You’ll interview for the new position, nail the interview, and hear back in a week and by this time next month you’ll be sitting in your new office. It’s going to go like that, you can’t think of any way that it couldn’t go like that.
Now… how many times do our plans ACTUALLY turn out like we expect them to? Well, if you’re me then the answer is seldom.
Different Kinds of Darkness
When things don’t go according to plan then sometimes our world unravels a bit and we can get lost in the darkness it brings. A few posts back we discussed the two kinds of darkness in a person’s life. The first kind of darkness is when you’re locked inside of yourself in despair and fear, and cannot escape.
The second kind of darkness is what we’re talking about now. The kind of darkness that happens when things don’t go quite how we wanted to. This kind of darkness leads to discovery in God and in one self.
It’s Not On My Plan!
Proverbs 19:21 tells us that we, as people, have many plans in our hearts. Raise your hand if you fall into this category with me. It also tells us that the Lord’s overall purpose is the one that prevails. While I believe this verse to be true, I also believe that sometimes we fight it. I know I do. Do you fight finding your God given purpose? Do your plans seem so perfectly laid out sometimes that you THINK it’s God’s purpose for your life? Well, there are many times that we assume it’s the Lord talking, but sometimes what we think our purpose is really isn’t.
The Prophet with the Plans
The story of Jonah is a good example of someone who thought they were carrying out God’s purpose for their life but they didn’t quite have it right.
Jonah was a prophet of God. His purpose was to spread the word of the Lord. In a way this was his God given purpose, but Jonah didn’t know the full extent of his purpose. God’s purpose for Jonah was to specifically save the people of Nineveh from themselves and turn them to the Lord.
Jonah’s pride and what he thought was his “real” God given purpose kept him from obeying God’s true purpose for him. In his mind there was no way that traveling to Nineveh was his true purpose. So what happened when he decided he knew what his purpose was better than God? He got eaten by a whale!
God’s Plan, Not Yours
Jonah’s heart full of plans wasn’t quite aligned with God’s purpose for him. This is a pretty close reflection of how many of us are. Although we might have plans of our own as to what our God given purpose is, we may not be accurate. Instead, finding your God given purpose should be a discussion with God through prayer, scripture, and close friends and family.