07 Mar “What If I Miss God’s Will?” by Lindsey Dowiot
When I was younger, I was always anxious about missing God’s will for my life. What if I chose the wrong major in college? What if I took the wrong job? What if I married the wrong person, or moved to a different place that wasn’t the “right” place? These thoughts would often consume me, and I lived in fear that I’d have to deal with consequences if I made the wrong choices.
Can we really “miss” God’s plan for our lives? The Bible is filled with stories of people who misheard, misunderstood, or simply chose to ignore God’s calling. Look at the classic example of the latter- Jonah. He just didn’t want to go to Nineveh. He purposely bought a ticket in the other direction. But, God’s plan for Jonah was so specific that He caused the ship to go down, and miraculously brought Jonah to Nineveh- whether he like it or not (read the whole story here). Another example would be Joseph. Was it God’s “Plan A” for his brothers to sell him into slavery because they hated him so much? Of course not! We know that God calls us to love our brother (literally and figuratively!). But because God is the master of “Plan B”, he chose to use what was intended for harm and use it for good (Genesis 50:20).
When I was in my early 20’s and had been married for just a couple years, I found myself facing a major decision. Justin and I were presented with the opportunity to become missionaries in Nicaragua. Justin’s reaction was to immediately say yes, but I chose to ignore his enthusiasm (as well as some hints from the Holy Spirit, sadly), and said no. Looking back, it’s easy to say that I made the “wrong” choice. But many years later, He has brought us into full-time ministry- even though I was stubborn! So maybe it wasn’t God’s will for us to be missionaries specifically, but for us to be in ministry in general.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
We aren’t powerful enough to mess up God’s plans! He loves us and has plans to bless us with a future with hope. He may not be calling us to something so specific, but may be calling us to seek lives worthy of the Gospel, to do justice, or to love kindness. Or, His plans may be very specific for us, but we can’t live in fear of missing out. If we’re truly following after Jesus and listening to His Spirit at work in our lives, we can trust that He is in control and will guide us along the right path.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8