“God, I'm going to do me today.”
Ha! Or so I thought. :)
I remember when I used to do life my own way. That was a big mistake, and I 100% do not recommend! It's easy to go your own way and do your own thing because you think you feel “free.” But what does ‘living freely’ truly mean?
To me it means living a life that is pleasing unto God, living a life without restrictions and without fear, and being free to live in my faith unapologetically.
Yes, I've made mistakes but I also know that my mistakes do not define me and God does not love me any less because of them. The same goes for you, you are not defined by your mistakes. Sometimes we may get sidetracked and we may not always be in alignment with what God has for us, but the moment we turn back to Him He welcomes us with open arms.
This Christian walk is not easy, but I know for a fact that doing life God's way is one of the best things I could have done in my life. Sometimes we can be very hard on ourselves and we can be our own worst critics especially when we spend so much time planning and mapping out our lives and things go the complete opposite!
"I want the best for myself so I'm going to work hard to get what I believe that I deserve." I'm sure you've said that at one point, I know I have!
But what does God want?
Jeremiah 29:11 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." All that means is God has a plan for you, simple as that. The plans of man do not amount to what God has in store for us, only God knows what's best.
If I had learned that many years ago, I'm sure I would have avoided tons of heartbreak and disappointment. But thankfully, God gives us grace and He doesn't condemn us. He loves us and gives us multiple chances. He understands that our flesh is weak and we live in a world full of sin.
Sometimes I find myself not consulting God first about some of the “plans” that I have for myself. We all tend to do that from time to time, we're human. We live in a very “instant gratification” world where we want everything instantly. Our goals, our plans, our futures…we want it all on our own timing and then we become upset or feel as if we didn't do enough to reach our goals.
But what about God's timing?
From experience, I've learned that when things come into my life prematurely I'm not able to fully handle the blessing because there is a time for everything. Sometimes when things happen prematurely there can be consequences. If I prematurely purchased my home 5 years ago I would not be able to afford it, and I mentally would not be prepared for such a process! But today is a different story. I prayed about it, I did the research, I made sure I was financially stable, and I made sure that I was ready to take such a significant step.
So, how we do follow God's plan for us? These are the top two things that I do:
Read My Bible: The Bible is full of instruction for our day-to-day lives. There are scriptures in the Bible for every situation. I encourage you to meditate on these scriptures and apply them to your life and start living your life in a way that is pleasing unto God.
Pray: Prayer is how we communicate with God! The next you into your prayer time with God, I encourage you to not only ask Him for things but listen. Listen to what God is trying to tell you at that moment.
There are many ways God will get your attention, but for me personally when I read my Bible and when I am in constant prayer with the Lord I am able to hear God's instruction for my life more clearly. Sometimes, God will speak to me in other ways, or He will confirm His instruction when I ask church leaders for guidance. God will speak to you in the most specific ways that only you will understand, so keep your heart and mind open to receive.
God knows the things that you want, He knows the desires of your heart, and He knows your determination. Please don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go as planned because there's a plan from God that will never fail. I encourage you to continue to talk to God and follow His lead. He's got your back, your front, your side…He's completely covering you.
Walk in faith, and trust God to lead you.