There is no question that God has a great plan for your life. It is will of God for you to succeed in life, to experience healing and health, for your marriage to prosper, for your kids to love Jesus and make positive choices, and much more! The challenge we all face is that life doesn't easily go this way! It seems there is constant resistance to keep us down in any one or more of these areas at all times. If you're like me, you have had times when you felt that you somehow missed God's best and are stuck in less than desirable circumstances. Or maybe you feel that you've been put in a perpetual desert where everything seems so spiritually barren and dry. You cry out and feel as if God is deaf to your cry. Let me give you hope - this is a normal thing and I quite sure every single person who loves Jesus faces such times not just once, but on numerous occasions throughout their life. Let me share with you a couple of practical things that I learned in one such season of my life.
1. If you feel stuck, it could be that God is requiring you to take a bigger step! Before you overthink what that step might be, let me explain. It is so easy to begin our walk with God on fire and over time the passionate fire wanes only to be replaced by spiritual stagnation, complacency, and pessimism. Even if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit and understand miracles you can slip into religion and going through the motions. Jesus warns in Matthew 7:21-23 there would be those who called Him Lord and even cast out demons, prophesied, and performed miracles in His name but will not make it into Heaven! Within the context Jesus spends considerable time talking about how we treat people, being fully devoted to God, and bearing good fruit.
Then in Matthew 10:17-27 Jesus tells a story about a rich man. The man wanted to know what he must do to be saved. Jesus' first response was to obey the commandments. The rich man, probably a little relieved, said that he had been obeying those commands since he was a child. Then Jesus unloads the bomb:
"Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 10:21 NLT)
At this the Bible says the rich man walked away dejected because he had great possessions. I am a firm believer that in order to keep the fires of God burning and growing in our lives, we must consistently submit ourselves to God and allow Him to change us on the inside. We must allow God to touch those areas that we are holding onto tightly. If you feel stuck, maybe God is wanting you to take a bigger step into Him! Maybe it's time to surrender in an area, release a burden to God and trust Him, allow Him to deal with you in an area of sin. God is far more concerned with yours and my character than He is our outward circumstances. God is good and if you will follow Him radically, He will move you forward radically!
2. Remember that although the plan and purpose God has for you may be somewhat specific, the route to fulfilling that plan is quite fluid. There have been times when I have been afraid that I was somehow missing God's best for me because of some stupid mistake or decision I made. The fact is that God has a pre-written plan for you (Ephesians 2:10) and that plan is fulfilled throughout your life through a series of choices and commitments. If you will get on board with holiness in your life, God will begin to lead you in your decision making in remarkable ways!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6)."
Listen, the only way you are going to screw up God's plan for your life is to rebel against God, or not obey God, or quit following hard after Him. Those who follow hard after the Lord will by faith need to make choices and decisions every day, but they will make more right ones than wrong ones! And if we in good faith make a incorrect choice, the worst that can happen is we learn from it! We become better for our mistake! So go after God and know that no matter what you are facing now, His plan for you is remarkable. And the journey to getting there is supposed to be enjoyable. Follow hard after God!!!!
Marc P. Eidahl
New Life Church