Do you have a plan for your life yet?
Not really, but seriously, it was a five year plan for fourteen-year-olds…the age when kids have an attention span of five minutes. I think some people changed their sexual identities more easily (and frequently) than their college majors.
It’s no wonder we think God is a fan of the plan. How many times this week have you tried to find “God’s plan for your life?” If you by chance haven’t been looking for it, I guarantee someone has been praying that you’d find it, or telling you to look for it.
This is like the other side of what I talked about on Monday. There’s those “Spirit led” churches that may not know what it means to be Spirit led Monday through Saturday. Then there’s those Spirit led Christians who are always looking for God’s plan for their lives.
But I’ve got to say this: I don’t think God’s as big a fan of planning as we are.
Three Reasons to Stop Looking for God’s Plan for Your Life
The Dude Who Demands Jesus Show Up in Person
We’ve all got that guy we know. His life is kind of a wreck. He probably likes the idea of Jesus being a hippie and would probably like to have a few beers with Jesus, but he’s not going to pay attention to him as God. He’s actually really got his doubts about God. I picture him as “The Dude” Lebowski. So one day, you ask him what it would take for him to pay attention to God.
He says, “If Jesus showed up in person, and gave me a high five right now while I’m drinking this Miller Lite, I’d become a Christian.”
Of course, that’s a big “if.”
The guy who demands Jesus shows up is really annoying to the Christian, because of course, you can’t raise the bar quite that high. Forget it, you’re out of your element. You can’t deliver Jesus in the flesh, whose soothing voice will straighten this guy out.
No, instead we promise that if the guy becomes a Christian, then God will speak in an inaudible, intangible, but definately real way to reveal His clear and absolute plan for his life…which if I were The Dude, would sound nuts.
Why do I bring up The Dude who wants Jesus in person before he’ll believe?
Because most of us are secretly in The Dude mode, we just don’t want to admit it. We’re waiting for God to show up and give us a plan, and then we’ll know what to do! “Tell you what, if the Holy Spirit comes to me while I’m drinking this beer, and tells me his plan for the next five years of my life, then I’ll go along with it. Until then…”
Looking for God’s plan just becomes a holding pattern.
How many people have actually recieved a plan from God?
A quick scan of my Bible shows not many people actually got a plan from God. Abraham was told to leave home. That’s it. Not much in the way of itinerary.
Even the holiest guys got kind of an outline at the most. Once in a while, they’d get a specific direction. But what was a year or five years down the road? Nothing on the calendar.
Next time a preacher is telling you all about God’s plan for your life, ask him how far out does God’s plan go. Better yet, ask the pastor how far out God’s plan for his life goes.
I especially love it when God’s plans that pastors talk about are really vague words like “success.” Gee, it sounds like God read my horoscope before He gave me my life plan.
Plans get broken.
That’s a fact. Plans change. They get broken. They’re inflexible. As soon as a plan changes, it’s not a plan anymore. It’s improvisation. And that sounds a lot more like real life to me.
I could be wrong, but looking for a “plan” from God feels a lot like a security blanket from me. And when we don’t find it, I think a lot of people are left with a lot of anxiety, if only because we think God is handing out plans to every Tom, Dick, and Harry like they were candy. We think there’s a bunch of people out there who know exactly what God wants them to be doing, and I get the feeling that’s just not true. At best, people know what God wants out of them for the next ten minutes. Anything beyond that is likely our plans, which we refer to as “God’s plan,” and just hope it pans out. Because nothing makes God look worse than when He has to change his plan for your life.
Here’s an idea. Quit looking for God’s plan for your life. Start looking for his purpose for your life. That seems like more of God’s game. Purposes aren’t rigid and breakable like plans are either. Purposes can take on lots of different plans. And finding a purpose is probably a lot simpler, and less stressful than trying to find a plan that God isn’t telling you, while at the same time requiring more faith because we don’t know the plan that goes with the purpose.
How do you see it? Does God dole out plans, or purposes? What’s God’s purpose for your life?