Enjoying the Ride with God

 

I don’t know about you, but I am very futuristic. I like to think about what could happen in the future, what I want to be, and how I should get there. For example, 6 months before I started college, I decided that God was calling me to be a professor of Biblical studies. And because of my planning nature I started researching what I needed to do to become a professor. This research consumed many hours each day during the summer after my senior year of high school. And before I even started college, I had already narrowed down which graduate schools I wanted to pursue for masters and doctoral degrees. Now I am not saying that planning is wrong, because it is not, but don’t you find it a little ridiculous that I had already planned my doctoral schools over 6 years in advance? The truth is that, at the time, I had no idea what the next four years of college could bring, how my life could change, or if God would change the direction of my life. I wasted many hours looking at the same graduate school websites over and over again when I could have spent that time investing in my relationships with the Lord or with other people. I could have been living in the present as opposed to the future.

 I believe that it is human nature to want to have everything planned out. We want control over our lives and it makes us very uneasy when we don’t know what is going on. The future scares us because, unlike God, we can’t look at the future and know that everything is going to turn out okay. Yet we feel somewhat in control of our future if we have that time totally planned out. So we plan. The fact is, however, that we are not in control of the future or even our own lives. Listen to what Solomon says in Proverbs 16:9:

 “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

 The Word here for “establishes” is the Hebrew word kuwn, which means something that is fixed or securely determined/directed. So we see here that we can plan as much as we want, but the final outcome, and each step along the way, is determined by God. It is His purposes that will be accomplished and not ours. This is a hard truth to swallow in some respects because, again, we are comfortable when we know exactly what we are going to do and what is going to happen to us. But it is the truth of God’s Word. So how are futuristic planners like you and me supposed to apply it? Thankfully, Solomon has two more verses of advice for us.

1. Trust the Lord

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV).

We already learned that it is the Lord who determines our steps and not us, but there is one thing that we can do: trust Him. We tend to look at the uncertain future with fear because it is out of our control. If we trust in the Lord, however, we have reason to be confident that the future will be for our good because God Himself is good and works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His name (Romans 8:28). If we acknowledge Him in the present, then He will take care of the future and work everything according to his purpose. We must trust that it is better for God to be in control of the future than for us to be in control.

2. Enjoy God’s Gift

“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

If we truly believe that God is in control of the future and that He will work everything for our good, then we are free to live in and enjoy the present. I am now a senior in college, and though I still like to plan, I am not worried about the future because I am confident that God will direct me to the graduate schools I am supposed to attend. I still study my brains out, but I have chosen to take the time that I used to plan for graduate school and invest it in people and in the Word. God has put so many good things in our lives RIGHT NOW! His small graces in everyday life are too important to miss. Especially if you missed them because you spent all your time planning for the future. My exhortation is for you to slow down and stop focusing so much on the future. Focus on today, how God has blessed you, and how you can glorify Him in all you say and do. ENJOY THE RIDE in the present and God will show you the way in which you must go.

 

If you happen to know Richard you know that he lives with purpose! Richard has been around the Precept Ministries for years and has most recently served as one of our summer interns. Richard attends Lee University and hopes to someday be a college professor.

 

 

Discovering What the Future Holds

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One Response

08.26.13

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What a good reminder and well put! Now to live it out!!! :)

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