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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Do I Discover God's Plan For Me?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


At some point in your life, you've probably heard or been told, You need to get a vision for your life. I have found that most people struggle in understanding how they could possibly know what God's plan for their life is! They struggle because they don't understand that God's plan is an unfolding plan He leads you in step-by-step. If He gave you it all at once, your doubts and insecurities would shut it down. So instead he instructs you to walk by faith, asking for help along the way, with you expecting to see His grace help you again and again.

There were four verses in the Bible that seemed to steer my course as I labored to be led and comprehend what the vision God had for my life was. They cried out to me and seemed to be more important than anything else. The first was Genesis 18:19, "For I have chosen Abraham, because He will direct his children and His household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him." That was powerful to me. God chose Abraham because he knew Abraham would be obedient and train his household and loved ones in the Lord! That would result in unfathomable blessing for Abraham. What a compliment and credit to Abraham from Almighty God Himself. That helped me know what direction I wanted to go in life. As my desires evolved through the Word of God, I knew I wanted to be married. I knew that I wanted to be a great husband and father. I knew that I wanted to work hard and provide well for my family. And I had a deep and special desire to be a father that would help my children come to know Jesus and God’s Word from a young age—learning to live their life with Biblical life application.

The second was Paul's comments about his friend Timothy in Philippians 2:20-21 NIV, "I have no one else like Timothy, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." I sincerely cared for people and wanted to help them with no strings attached and with no motivations for get-backs—just because God loved them! It’s like I craved to be this person Paul described. (And not just because my name was Timothy!)

The third verse was Proverbs 10:4 NIV, "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth." My father instilled a strong work ethic in me that took. This promise only reinforced the need for its development. I now believe it’s one of my greatest strengths.

The fourth verse was Psalm 75:6 (NKJV) "For exaltation (promotion) comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south." God shaped my heart to despise self-promotion and instead taught me to believe my character and the fruit of my efforts would speak for themselves and bring promotion —if I was deserving of it. Because of this, over the years, if I wasn't promoted, I only pointed the finger at myself and blamed no one else. I'd only work harder and more diligently. I tried to never blame anyone else because these were more than just words to me. They were a covenant promise from God. Proverbs 18:16 NKJV, says "A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men."  If I worked the gifts and abilities God gave me, they would bring promotion. No man could hold back what God promised would be mine. It was my responsibility to work hard and receive His help and grace in every step. God would take care of the promotion!

I didn't know what my career was to be. But I did know who I wanted to be. I wanted to be a great husband, the best father, a person God and others could count on, the person who took a genuine interest in the welfare of others, and a faithful and diligent worker. Those things were etched in my heart. They were clear so that I could run with them. In the pursuit of my different endeavors through life, these core values were instrumental in shaping me and what helped lead me through life and God's plan. They also helped keep me rightly motivated and focused. They brought me to where I presently am today.

Without being rooted in biblical core values, it’s too easy to chase the wrong things and be led astray. I may not have initially known what the vision for my life was, or what path I wanted to walk out, but my core values and godly desires helped me develop the character that would promote me again and again. That was powerful and made it simpler to find what God would have me do!

1 Thessalonians 1:4 (MSG) "It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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