May has arrived! I feel like it kind of snuck in the back door – I’m still back around Easter somewhere! However, I’m excited about what’s ahead in the next few weeks. There are some fun milestones for our high school senior and our college daughter will be coming home for the summer. What a blessing that she got a full spring semester at college this year after having it cut short in 2020.
Do you have any life changes ahead? Obviously, mine is an eminent empty nest! I don’t know exactly what September 2021 is going to look like. Lord willing, both of our daughters will be off at college. I’ll definitely be starting a new chapter, one where I don’t need to be on call to rescue anyone during the school day or make a last-minute run to the grocery store for lunchbox supplies or be at the ball field by 4pm for a game.
When it comes to all the time I think I’ll have on my hands, my guess is that it will be like when we sent our girls off to kindergarten. Beforehand, I thought, “Wow I’m going to have so much time to get all the things done!” Yet somehow, when it happened, I didn’t seem to have much more time at all! And I’m guessing that this transition may be similar.
But I know God has a plan for the days ahead. Perhaps you have a different kind of transition coming your way. Maybe it’s a move or a job change or a new ministry opportunity. As we look to move forward into God’s plan for us, here are five things we can know for sure.
1. God’s plan is good for us.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28
This often-quoted verse is often quoted because the truth of it is so grounding and reassuring. God works all things together for good. It may not always feel good to us in the moment. Yet as part of His orchestrated plan, each thing we encounter will turn out for our ultimate good.
I like that Paul says, “we know.” That defines our part of the plan clearly – it’s to trust God. He is good and only does what is best for us. [You may want to revisit ten things we can know about God’s goodness.]
2. God’s plan will bring glory to Him.
“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” ~1 Peter 4:11
The God we love and serve deserves all glory. Therefore, any plan that He unfolds in our lives will be one that brings glory to Him. If we find ourselves stepping out in any direction that goes against that, we can know it’s not part of God’s plan for us.
3. God will direct us into His plan.
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9
It’s wonderful if we have hopes and dreams for our lives. And we can make plans and decisions that move ourselves toward those goals. But we need to hold them with a loose hand. We must always be willing to turn them over to God if we sense that He is leading us in another direction.
As this verse says, ultimately God directs our steps. It’s not easy to give up what we see as our sense of control. But as we trust Him, recognize His leadership, and don’t depend on our own understanding, He will make our way clear. [Proverbs 3:5-6]
4. God’s plan will unfold in His time.
“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” ~Lamentations 3:25
I’m so thankful that I can count on God’s timing to be perfect. Otherwise, I’m sure I’d have messed up a lot of things in my life, arranging them to fit into my timetable. Let’s rest in the truth that, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” [Ecclesiastes 3:1]
5. God will equip us to fulfill His plan.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;” ~Ephesians 3:14,16
As God reveals our next step in His plan, we may be overwhelmed. Our first thought might be, “I don’t have the ability to do that!”
And you would be right. But remember this. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” [1 Thessalonians 5:24] He’s not asking you to do it on your own. God, who has all strength and power, will do it through you.
In fact, that’s the best way for it to happen. Otherwise, we’d be tempted to take credit ourselves, to be proud of our efforts. But we are just the tool He can use here to accomplish His purpose. Let’s ask Him for the ability to perform His plan.
Whatever season we’re in, whatever change may be on the horizon, may we trust God to equip us as He directs us into His good plan in His own time and for His glory.