The beginning of the New Year is a good time to spend some time seeking God for His plans and purposes for your life. Have you got a vision for 2017 and even beyond? Perhaps right now you’re thinking you don’t even have a vision for next week and are wondering what the purpose for your life is? Well first things first, God loves you and is well pleased with you right where you are – He created you so He could love and delight in you – you can read more about that in my previous post With You I Am Well Pleased. As you think about that truth and allow it to penetrate deep into your soul, it will begin to renew and restore your hope and prepare you for the future that God has planned for you. You see God has definitely got good things in store for you. This is what the apostle Paul said:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
So it’s true that God has good things planned for you but how can you know what they are so that you can do them? The actual Greek word, which is translated “things” in Eph 2:10 is érgon which means “work” or “a deed (action) that carries out (completes) an inner desire (intention, purpose)”. And the word translated “do” is peripatéō which means to “walk around”. So one way to discover what those “good things” are, is to think about your inner desires. It is very likely that the good things you desire are the purposes God has placed in your heart long ago. (Note that the desire must be for something good!). Have you desired things that seemed out of reach or even impossible and therefore discarded them as unrealistic dreams? If so, perhaps it’s time to start thinking and praying more seriously about them because they just might be God’s plans for you! In your imagination and your prayers begin to “walk around” in those inner desires, imagine them actually happening and allow God to breath His life into them. The Spirit of God will begin to prepare you, guide you and enable you to carry out those good things He has planned. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he said “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16).
The word translated “walk” in Gal 5:16 is also peripatéō as in Eph 2:10. So we are to “walk around” or live our daily lives under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And we know when the Holy Spirit is leading us because we are led by His emotions and His character traits, i.e. His fruit:
King David is described in the bible as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). He was a shepherd boy whom God chose and anointed to be king of Israel – something which was impossible humanly speaking but which God brought to pass. David became a not only a mighty warrior and a king but he was a gifted musician. He wrote many psalms or songs of praise to the Lord. He said:
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37:4)
So the way to be sure to fulfil the plans God has for you is to delight in Him. The more you spend time thinking about your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus, and especially keeping your eyes on Jesus, the more God will prepare you and enable you to walk in those inner desires of your heart.
The writer of the book of Hebrews said:
This leads on to two very important components: faith and patience.
The writer of Hebrews has likened God’s purposes for our life to an endurance race. Someone running a race keeps going to the end because they keep focused on the prize. As we keep focused on Jesus He will give us the faith we need both to start our race and to finish it but it will require endurance – Jesus did not promise a problem free life but He did promise He had overcome all the problems which we will face (John 16:33). So there might be times when we will feel like giving up and that’s when we are going to need patience. With faith and patience we will inherit what has been promised:
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12)
The wonderful thing is that both faith and patience are fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) so we don’t need to try and generate them ourselves, just receive them from Him. If you struggle with either of these qualities, simply ask your Heavenly Father and then believe you’ve received (Mark 11:24)!
My friend, God has a plan for your life. He has good things prepared for your future. Delight yourself in Him and start believing that your good inner desires have originated from Him. Begin to imagine them coming to pass – because He is able to do immeasurably more than you can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20) – mentally walk around in them and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and empower you practically. Ask for faith and patience and look forward to the good things He has in store for you in the year ahead!