Plan and purpose are concepts that flow beautifully through the entire Bible. There is nothing random or spontaneous about our God and his works. He is purposeful in all things.
God’s kingdom is increased by men and women who tap into the purpose that God has for them. They understand that their story is part of a much bigger story, his story, and this great insight becomes their guiding light.
Perhaps the greatest verse in the Bible on the subject of God’s will is this one: “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” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Consider what that one verse means for your life:
- God has a plan perfectly formulated with your name on it.
- It’s a good plan. He didn’t create you to be miserable, but to be fruitful.
- God has reserved for you a future filled with hope.
Further, we can venture certain conclusions from this plan:
- God’s plan was written long before you were born. (Jeremiah 1:5)
- God’s plan for you is bound up with his plans for others. (Romans 8:28)
- God’s plan is built upon your gifts and talents. (Ephesians 2:10)
- God’s eternal purpose brings together your plan with those of others. (Proverbs 16:9)
- God will guide you as you attempt to follow his will. (Proverbs 16:3)
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, had a favorite sermon he loved to preach over the years. Its basic message was:
- Gain all you can.
- Save all you can.
- Give all you can.
Wesley began a frugal life style as a young man. As he grew older, his income began to increase quickly as his fame grew, but he maintained humble standards of living so that he could give more away. Even so, he realized that many of his followers who were devoted to business would have opportunities to make much more money. He wanted them to realize that, as long as they did it honestly, Jesus would approve their business acumen.
Therefore I try to stay as close to the Lord as I can, immersing myself in his Word and the flow of the Holy Spirit every day. I focus on his purposes, and ask him what he wants me to do. In the course of the day, I continue to pray about opportunities to serve him in some way.
Meanwhile, I continue to be a good businessman, just as I always was. I try to gain all I can and save all I can, so that I can give all I can. I know in doing so that I’m walking the straight path that he set out for me. It’s amazing just how many questions and puzzles and problems drain away from everyday existence when we know exactly what we’re setting out to accomplish. I want consistently to do whatever honors God and pleases him.