If you are the first person in the world to have your whole life figured out since you were a kid, and have it completely go your way when you reach adulthood, I don’t think we can be friends. For the rest of humanity who is like me and have gone or are going through the wandering stage of your life, welcome to the club! It is an amazing and terrifying feeling!
Whether it is changing careers, finding the ministry that is meant for you, getting to know yourself, or even deciding what you want to go to school for, we all have decisions to make in the present that will affect our future. I am a very safe, by the book type of person; I make logical decisions even if it kills me. I knew sooner or later, that the decisions I would make wouldn’t always be black and white. My one advice to all you wandering readers… keep your eyes on God through it all.
While teaching a class to the youth last week, we were talking about Joseph and how even when he was in jail, with no idea of where he was going to end up, he still had faith in God and in the purpose that God had for him. Even though Joseph was in this hole for years, he kept using his gifts and exalting God with his actions; so much that he was even put in charge of the prisoners. I don’t know about you, but when something is not going right in my life my first thought is not always “through this problem I will do what God thinks is best even if it means putting my own desires aside.” I wish I was strong enough to always say that, but I am made of flesh and bones and won’t always do what is right in God’s eyes.
I think one of the hardest things to do as Christians is to put your own desires aside. As time goes by it gets harder to do that in a society where one of the biggest concepts that our generation lives by is “Do whatever makes you happy.” Don’t get me wrong, God wants us to be happy more than we could possibly know, the difference between God’s happiness and the world’s is that, the happiness that comes from God is never temporary. Why? In simple words, because He knows best! Without putting God in your decision making process you are getting a humanistic point of view. This means that you are solely making decisions on what YOU know, what YOU feel, what YOU see, and what YOUR perception of the issue is. If we went about our lives with this mentality, what makes us different than the people who don’t have faith? Having faith in God means that we make decisions based on what HE knows, what HE feels for you, what HE sees (not just in your present, but in the future), and what HIS perception of the problem is. We stop depending on our own understanding and depend solely on Him.
I am not saying that this is an easy process. TRUST me, I get it, but I recently asked myself “when has the Lord steered me wrong?” I am in a great place in my life were so many possibilities and opportunities are laid out in front of me. Not knowing what decisions to make is a good thing, it means you have options (which many people don’t), it means that you get to have conversations with God about them, and it also means that you get to sit back and watch God work.
When Joseph was in jail and the cupbearer forgot him, he sat back and waited for what the Lord had in store for him. Today I encourage you to do the same. After you put your plans in the hands of your creator, just sit back and watch Him work. When all of a sudden a job opens up, you become interested in a new career, you want to open up a business, doors start opening while others are closing, you go through a break up, you meet someone new, you get laid off you job, and you find a job that you never knew you’d love, and so many more possibilities! When that happens you will be able to happily say, “I’m glad I did not depend on my own understanding and desires, because there was something better for me that with my own humanistic view I wouldn’t have seen.”
"We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16: 1-3)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29: 11-13)
-By Sheila Amaro