I have heard the question for 30 years of ministry, “What does God want me to do with my life?” Or the related question, “How do I know if this is what God wants me to do?”
Then there is the statement, “Everything happens for a reason.”
Does God have a plan for my life? Does God have a plan for your life? The answer might surprise you.
Does God have a plan? “Yes, but not the way many think.”
God does not have a plan for your life that specifically spells out whom your parents will or will not be, where you will go to school, what you will experience in your life, whom you will marry, when or if you will experience pain, disease, or suffer in an accident. God does not preplan the day you will die. He may know that day in His infinite wisdom, but He did not create you with a specific expiration date – you are not a loaf of bread! Nothing in scripture teaches that God controls all the specifics of our lives. Heb 9:27 mentions our death being appointed but that is not a set date on a calendar, the Hebrew writer is stating that we will die, that death and judgment to come are what we are to expect out of life.
The same writer does answer the question of God’s will for my life and His will for your life. God’s word is the only way we can know 100% what God plans for us. Here is the Hebrew writer’s answer, “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Heb 13:13-16.
There are three things in that text that define God’s plan for you and for me:
Love and Praise Him.
Seek Eternal Life with Him.
Serve Others in His name.
Curiously, the wise preacher said something very similar, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecc 12:13-14.
God’s plan is simple! He wants me to CHOOSE to live for Him in all my life’s choices and to CHOOSE to live in a way to spend eternity with Him through the saving GRACE He offers in Christ.
By the way, the statement “Everything happens for a reason” insinuates that all the bad things, the hurts, the disease, and death that occurs is a direct result of God’s hand in my life and His teaching me lessons to grow me the way He wants to grow me no matter what choices I think I have. Such a statement of pseudo-faith takes away the free-will of man that is key to our understanding sin and a faith response to God for salvation. And thinking that God preplans every aspect of our lives tempts us to blame Him when things go wrong instead of accepting the blame and turning to Him for help when we mess up.