“‘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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” Jer. 29:11-13 God’s plan is to prosper our lives, while imparting a healthy focus of anticipation and an ever increasing passion to seek Him.God’s plan is to prosper our lives, while imparting a healthy focus of anticipation and an ever increasing passion to seek Him. Jer. 29:11 Click To Tweet
Many times I have prayed the above verse when I was in need of direction, and it’s proper for us to be listening for a prompt reply from God. He delights to speak to us. In the historical context of God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God’s plan and promise had a time stamp. “This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.’” Jer. 29:10 The plans were clear but they could not be rushed. God’s plan for our lives is generally a layered one, the harvest ahead much larger than we can imagine, and the process not always predictable.
Earlier in his prophecy, Jeremiah revealed a deeper layer to God’s plan for His people in captivity: “For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” Jer. 24:6-7 (emphasis mine) God’s plan is for me to have a heart to know Him.
I honestly don’t know how I would respond if I knew what the definite time periods of fulfilment in my life were. “Mike, you will be in a time of testing in the wilderness for the next five years.” Would I continue to fervently seek God or would I simply hunker down for the duration, not get too hopeful for anything great to happen, and wait out the time period? Perhaps it boils down to ascertaining God’s plan for me today.
“So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness’… See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’” Heb. 3:7,8,12-15 (emphases mine) God’s plan for me today, is to hear His voice and have a soft and pliable heart.
Allow me to illustrate this concept with my four year old granddaughter. As I pray for her, I wonder what wonderful plans God has in store for her life; what will her gifts and calling be? Will she marry and have a family? No doubt, she is a future woman of God in the making, but I DO know God’s plan for her life today. It is to learn how to hear God’s voice and to have a responsive heart. It’s a junior version of what we adults desire – to be quickly aware when we grieve Holy Spirit, to have a functioning conscience that doesn’t simply learn “rules” but learns the ways of God. So while the external plans are important, for us to fulfill our assignments in this life, the internal plans for the heart are just as, if not more than, vital and necessary.
Holy Spirit, unfold God’s plan for my life today; let my heart prosper and thrive, with a desire to know you more.