The verse many Christians think of with regard to this is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “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.” It might be argued that this verse properly speaks of the nation Israel and not of any individual. Yet Christians rightly connect this to God’s relationship with believers under the New Testament.
The matter is made clear by verses like Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do;” and Acts 17:26. Paul argued to the Athenians that “from one man [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” So yes, you can know God’s plan for your life. It just may not look the way you think it “should.”
The Righteous Will Live By Faith
Christians often wonder if God has a specific plan for their life. Maybe questions like: where they will live, what their life’s work will be, etc. The Bible clearly teaches that God does. The question therefore becomes, “How do I know God’s plan?” The answer is that you do not know God’s foreordained plan for the details of your life. At least you don’t get to know it in advance. The apostle Paul tells us that “the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17), not by knowing what God’s plan is. Out the rearview mirror we can often discern much of God’s plan – although probably not as much or as clearly as we think ro would prefer.
People usually seek to know God’s plan because they have decisions to make, and they don’t want to make them badly or “incorrectly.” We are seeking direction, as we should, so we want to know God’s plan. However, when the Bible speaks of God’s plan, it relates it to the sphere of his sovereignty and not to the sphere of our responsibility.
God Never Tells Us To Figure Out His Plan
God never tells us to figure what his secret, mysterious plan is for us. We do, however, have quite a bit of knowledge about God’s will. Not in terms of the details of our lives but in terms of what obedience to Him demands. God’s will is that we should obey his Word, that we should glorify Him in all things, that we should love Him with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. That is God’s plan for your life.
In that respect, God’s Law is an outstanding help in Christian decision-making. Perhaps you have a job decision, and you are seeking God’s will. But He has already told you how you are to live. Such things as what constitutes a godly decision, what it means to follow His will. Maybe you already know His will, but just don’t want to obey it. Especially if it doesn’t seem to point to the outcome we’re hoping for.
Consider God’s Will In Two Ways
I once read that there are two ways we should think of God’s will. First, there is the secret will of God, His foreordination of all things for His glory and our good. We only get to know this as He unfolds it in history. Even then we know it only in part. But then there is God’s revealed will, which is plainly declared in his Word. This is right before us. We find it in the Bible. Deuteronomy 29:29 relates these two categories of God’s will — His secret and His revealed will — saying, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Believing You Need To Know God’s Plans For Your Life Can Often Lead To Anxiety
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- Portions of this article are excerpts from a posting by Rick Phillips on June 17, 2001. The original article can be found at: https://www.tenth.org/resource-library/articles/does-god-have-a-plan-for-me/#:~:text=Christians%20often%20wonder%20if%20God,clearly%20teaches%20that%20God%20does