Life At Its Best: Seek God's will for your life
By Jim Graff
Jan. 17, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.
If you are like me, you like to have a plan. You take comfort in knowing the direction you're headed and that the details of life will be taken care of.
Both life experiences and Scripture show us the importance effective planning in moving toward our objectives. But are there times when our plans can actually keep us from realizing God's best for our lives?
In Matthew 4, Jesus was in the city of Capernaum, preparing to choose His disciples. He was walking near the Sea of Galilee when He saw two brothers, James and John, fishing with their father. He called out to them, "Come follow me." They immediately left their boat and their father and followed Him.
It's important to realize that these guys weren't just cutting out early on a fishing trip. This was their family business. Fishing was their primary source of income. And when they left the boat, they were choosing to walk away from the comfortable, stable life they were used to.
They didn't know all the details of what they were entering into. But they knew passions were in their heart that their own plans couldn't fulfill. They were confident that, if they'd lay them down and obey Jesus' call, He would lead them into something greater. And He did.
James and John ended up ministering and spreading Christ's message across the known world. John even went on to write five books of the Bible. Their willingness to trust and obey God's plan led them to experience a life better than they would ever dreamed.
That's what God wants for each of us. He has a perfect plan He's called us to pursue. He knows our hearts desire even better than we do, and He wants to lead us to the place where those desires are fulfilled.
Unfortunately, this all won't happen on its own. Like the disciples, we must first learn to surrender our own plans. Matthew 16:25 says, "If you try to hang on to your life, you'll lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you'll save it."
Truly, living begins when we learn to place God's desires and priorities for our life above our own. It can sound a little crazy, I know, but it's true. We can't pursue our will and God's will simultaneously.
We must identify areas in which our plan is taking precedent over His and be willing to sacrifice it in order to fulfill His perfect one. It's not always easy. It requires trust and vulnerability. It may bring temporary uncertainty, but it's the first step in pursuing a more rewarding life.
God will lead us one step at a time as we live in consistent communication with Him. So give His plan a shot. I promise you, it'll bring fulfillment that you could never find on your own.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.