“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
If you would have asked me in college what my plans were, I would have said something like this: I was going to graduate with a business degree, obtain a prestigious corporate job, meet a nice guy, get married, buy a house, have kids, and somewhere in the middle of all of this climb the corporate ladder to a 6-figure salary. I had big plans for my life! And in every way, I was headed in that direction. After college, I obtained a job with a prestigious accounting firm that would eventually set me up to live out my plan.
I worked tirelessly pursuing what I thought was God’s plan for my life. And I loved it – I loved the people, I loved feeling important, I loved the perks of working in corporate (the travel and the nice salary) – I loved it! Until about year 2, when the Lord began really pulling at my heart. Helping me to realize that maybe my plans were not in fact the plans He had for me.
Sometimes, we hold on to our plans for so long that we don’t even realize they are just that – OUR plans, not His plans! And it will wreck our whole world to know that the plans we’ve been holding on to are not what God has for us. And to follow Him, we have to let them go!
So how do you know when God is changing your plans to His plans? You will probably experience one, if not all, of these 4 things:
- Discomfort. The things that you used to love and find comfort in are suddenly uncomfortable. For me, I started out loving my job and all the perks it had to offer. But then the long hours began wearing on me. I wondered if the long nights were worth the time I spent away from family and friends. If making a 6-figure salary one day was worth losing my soul. I found myself spending less and less time in church and reading my Word. The things that brought me comfort (job security and a nice salary) now brought me discomfort (sleepless nights and a lackluster relationship with the Lord). If a job, relationship, or whatever else starts to bring you discomfort, it may be the Lord wanting to remove it from your life!
- Not being able to see ahead. We are visionaries – always looking forward to what’s ahead. At one time I was able to see myself as a corporate executive, and then I couldn’t even see myself being there for another month. If you used to see yourself getting a promotion and being ecstatic and now you can’t, something is wrong! If you were able to see ahead and hope for the things to come, but now all you see are bleak and dreary days – maybe it’s because there’s no future there. And God is trying to get you to see that!
- God opens a door only He can open. When I began to feel that discomfort, I wanted so badly to find another corporate job. I went on interviews, networked with professionals, and sent out countless résumés – to no avail! I didn’t receive another job until I stopped looking. I had briefly mentioned to a friend that at one time I wanted to be a high school math teacher, but instead I chased a business career. A few weeks later, my friend who worked at a high school was sitting in a meeting where they were discussing needing to find a substitute math teacher. Within two weeks, I left my corporate job and became that high school math teacher! God opened a door only He could! I wasn’t trying to push open the door – I wasn’t even looking for it. But He opened it anyway.
- His plan requires you to lean on Him. Walking through the door He opened required me to lean on Him. I left that job and that salary that made me comfortable for a 50% pay cut to become a substitute teacher. I had to lean on the Lord to provide all my needs, not only financially, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as I stepped into the world of teaching, which was foreign to me. I had no teaching experience. And if you know anything about being a first-time teacher – the word “difficult” is an understatement. But the Lord saw me through that substitute position and into a new career in teaching. He opened the door only He could open and once I walked through, I could only lean on Him.
If you find yourself uncomfortable when you used to be comfortable, unable to see ahead, or presented with a door that only He could open and it’s going to require you to lean on Him… God very well may be changing your plans!
If God has ever changed your plans, comment below!
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