Discover God's Plans For Your Life
I hope that this year has started off with your heart full of hope for a beautiful future. God has a plan for you - one that is good, filled with hope, joy and peace. I know that it can sound like a cliché, but yet it is so true.
I'm so excited about what God is doing in the lives of Christians all around the world. I have been hearing amazing stories lately and one of these is of how, even though persecutions of Christians in India have been on the increase, regardless of that, people are choosing to turn to the saving grace of Jesus Christ through faith. Isn't it wonderful?
I know you agree with me - but I also know that even when we can be inspired by events such as these, it can also be hard to see the wood for the trees in the chaos of our own lives at the best of times.
BACK TO YOU AND ME
I hear stories daily of how the ups and downs of what we call a 'normal life' are causing people anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness and insecurity. We all face difficulties on a regular basis and the enemy has a way of keeping us ensnared in our own minds, by keeping our shortcomings, sins, shame and weaknesses on repeat, like a video you just can't switch off!
So, how can we change the narrative that is playing in our minds which leaves us powerless to the hope-filled future God has intended for us?
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'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.' Jer 29:11 (NIV)
1. DECLARING AND BELIEVING THE TRUTH
Say this out loud: God has a plan for my life. His plans are filled with Hope, Joy, Success and Peace. I receive God's good plans for my life in the name of Jesus.
Do you believe that? And I mean - truly believe that - with all of your heart? First of all we need to believe that God has good plans for you - regardless of what you may be facing and enduring right now. It may take some convincing your mind, and below, I'll share some techniques which helped me do just that.
This is why my book filled with 50 God-Inspired Declarations and Reminders of Who You Are in Christ is such a wonderful gift. (even if I have to say so myself!). My intention and prayer is that as you work through the book, your mind will shift from all the negative thoughts and focus on the Word. When you start to focus on how God sees you, it's easy to start receiving His Promises.
2. TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE
I've already mentioned how the enemy can ensnare your mind with negative, stinking thinking...but how do we stop this from happening?
You take the thought captive. Yes, that's right - You take it prisoner and you throw away the key!
2 Corinthians 10:5 says: 'casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,'
So what does it actually mean? Simply put - It means to regain or take back the control of your thought life.
I have struggled with thoughts my whole life. Thoughts that I'm not good enough, educated enough, pretty enough, strong or fast enough and just not enough in general. I know many of you may feel the same. There are however also other thoughts that plagued my mind and sometimes it still happens but the technique I've learnt has helped me overcome so much in my life over the years I've been practicing it. Here's an example:
There were (and still are) times that I can hear a news report, for example of a woman being attacked while taking a walk on her own. In my mind - that woman becomes me...I'm walking down the street, I am the one being harmed. If left, I can replay this over and over again, making me feel fearful, anxious and powerless.
But the moment I discovered this scripture, things started to change. I started to become disciplined in my thinking. I stopped listening to and reading the news, I scaled back tremendously on social media and stopped watching movies and tv series that I knew played havoc with my mind.
Every time a thought popped up that was contrary to who God said I was - I would take the thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. And it was that simple - Just saying it out loud - regardless of where I was and who I was with.
Say it out loud with me now: I take this thought captive unto the submission and obedience of Jesus Christ.
It takes time but the more you practice the more you'll realise that the enemy's thoughts have started to cease and you're starting to think about God's word a bit more.
Read: Matthew 4:1-11
When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, he didn't come up with clever answers to silence him. He quoted the Word. Scriptures are your weapons of warfare, but it is only effective if you know it and believe it.
Taking thoughts captive goes hand-in-hand with changing your behaviour. Start to become more aware and more disciplined with what you're watching and hearing. And then start investing time in God's word. This is key to you being able to live the life God has in store for you.
3. READ & KNOW THE WORD
I can't emphasise this enough. For some of you, this is superfluous to mention - but for most Christians, it's worth the encouragement.
The bible is a love letter from God to us. In it, He has captured His heart for us, His plans for us, and has given us tools and resources to guide us on our journey.
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Jeremiah 29:13 says: 'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'
If you've ever played hide and seek with a child, you'll know that you can't just look for them for a few minutes and then give up. You have to seek them until you've found them. God wants you to seek out the plans He has for you. The more you read and learn about Him, the more of His heart will be revealed to you.
He is not hiding it so deep that you won't find it - the reason you have to look for the answers is because of the growth that happens along the way.
When God gave Joseph the dream that he would rule over his brothers, God didn't show him the pit and the years of imprisonment he would face. Those years of enslavement is what set him up for his success. Why? Because Joseph continued to seek out the heart of the Father in the midst of his prison sentence. His spiritual growth happened in the deepest and darkest years of his life. But it's because he kept seeking with all his heart.
4. READING PLANS, STUDIES & DEVOTIONS
Bible reading plans, bible studies and devotions are a great way to help you zoom in on a specific study or area you need clarity in. For example - if you know that you are called to the ministry of healing or teaching, women, etc...then reading and listening to podcasts related to that will bring revelation and understanding about what God has called you to do.
These three platforms are a great place to start and all of them are free so there are no limitations in you learning from the very best teachers available. (just a side note - we are not affiliated with them in any way - this is just me, sharing free resources.)
5. THE POWER OF PRAYER
Prayer is a two-way street. God wants you to share everything about yourself with Him and in-turn, He wants to share his heart and amazing purpose for you.
Before Jesus returned to heaven, after His resurrection, He gave us the Holy Spirit.
The more time we spend in prayer listening - the more sensitive we'll become to the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is the one that will reveal more of what God's plans are for us.
If you're struggling to hear God's voice, know that He is always talking and we just need to learn how to tune into his frequency - just like we do when searching for a radio station. Reach out to your local church or spiritual leadership who can pray with you and help you with tools of how to learn to recognise the voice of God.
I'm excited to walk with you on this journey of faith. Remember that God still reigns and He is good. He wants what is best for you and you just need to tap into the resources He has available for you.
MY PRAYER FOR YOU
Father, I thank you for all that you are. You are such a good Father and we thank you that you never leave us nor forsake us.
I pray that the Holy spirit will reveal Himself to each and every person reading this prayer and that you Holy Spirit will show them your heart. Show them the plans you have for them. Plans that are good and not of evil, to give them a future and a hope. I thank you for your faithfulness and the promises of Your word that in Christ are yes and amen.
We give you all the praise and the glory, in Jesus name.