I used to spend too much of my time stressing about my future and what I was supposed to do with it. What brought me peace in that anxiety was the book of Deuteronomy. I love that book. Through it the Holy Spirit revealed so much to me about following God’s will. A few months after learning from it and applying it, I landed my dream job as a high school youth minister (that’s right, I gave up on my dream of becoming a professional donut eater).
Many of us struggle with knowing and obeying God’s will. I would like to encourage anyone going through such a struggle. Hopefully the insight that I received from the Bible can help. Let’s run through some passages from Deuteronomy and look at what they have to say about God’s plans.
When I read Deuteronomy the first verses that stood out to me involved God’s words to the Israelites “Leave here and go to the hill country of the Amorites”…”I have given that land over to you” (Deut 1:7-8). These excerpts tell us something about God’s plans- they are already laid out. Notice God says “I have given that land over to you.” At the time God says this, the Amorites are occupying the land, and Israel will have to fight off their armies and topple their fortified cities in order to conquer it. But God speaks as if the land is already theirs.
How does this passage apply to our lives? Oftentimes we feel called to something that we think we are unworthy of, incapable of, or just not up to the challenge of doing. Here’s the cool thing: God already has His plans laid out. He already has the details taken care of. He has already qualified us for our calling. All we have to do is step out in faith and face the obstacles, knowing that God has already made a way to defeat them.
I encourage you to be at peace. Know that God is with you and is actively guiding you. He already has your path planned out.
Sometimes when we face obstacles, we are tempted to modify God’s will for us.
Another one of my favorite verses is when God says to the Israelites, “In your observance of the commandments of the Lord… you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it” (Deut 4:2). Sometimes when we face obstacles, we are tempted to modify God’s will for us. If He asks us to do something that we are afraid to do, we may try to do it halfway or not at all. But God said not to add or subtract from His commands. God gives us orders for our own blessing, not because He wants to control us. So if God tells you to walk a mile, walk a mile. No more, and no less. His plan is already mapped out for you and if you try to change it, things won’t work as well. We need to look at life through God’s eyes, trusting that He knows better than we do and will work it all out for our good.
If you don’t know where your life is going or what you are supposed to do, slow down and seek God.
You may be saying to yourself, “Cool Justin, it’s great to know that God already has my life mapped out and that I can’t compromise when I’m following His will. But I don’t know what His will is.” Don’t worry. Deuteronomy has an answer for that too. God said to the Israelites, “Yet there too you shall seek the Lord, your God; and you shall indeed find Him when you search after Him with your whole heart and your whole soul” (Deut 4:29). If you don’t know where your life is going or what you are supposed to do, slow down and seek God. When you seek God with everything you have, He will take care of everything else in your life. It will fall into place and you will know what He wants you to do. I never found out that God wanted me in ministry until I stopped seeking answers about my future and started seeking God Himself.
Let me ask you now, are you worried about your future? Do you feel unequipped for your calling? Do you simply have no idea where your life is going? I encourage you to be at peace. Know that God is with you and is actively guiding you. He already has your path planned out. Even if things are unclear, when you seek Him with everything you will fall into His will and experience fullness of life, peace and joy.