How God Reveals His Plan For Your Life
Almost everyone in our culture has questions for God. Why does God allow evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? These questions are normal for people to have, but when you encounter God you’ll soon come to find that in His presence there is so much joy, peace, and beauty that these questions seem to disappear. Once you encounter God, you will have questions, but they will be different questions than the ones you had before you encountered God.
Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians. In his encounter, he asked the Lord two questions that changed him and his destiny.
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”Acts 9:5-6
Apostle Paul had today’s equivalent of 4-5 PhDs. He was the intellectual of that day. Paul had a plan, dream, and ambition for his life. He was not one of those people who didn’t know what to do with his life. Yet, his encounter with God changed everything because his ambition lost its appeal. Paul’s plan for his life lost its attraction compared to knowing Jesus more. He had plans but asked the Lord what He would have him do.
You know you have really encountered the Lord when you submit your dreams, ambitions, and desires under God’s feet.
Everybody wants to know what God’s plan is for their lives, but it can only be found after you encounter Jesus–He’ll reveal the right place, the right people, and the right plan.
How God Reveals His Plan
1. Right Place
Jesus answered Paul’s question by telling him to go to the right place, where the right person would meet him and he would know what to do. Jesus did not tell Paul everything at once. He only gave Paul directions to the right place.
In the right place, you will meet the right people. God will lead you to the right place before He brings you to the right people.
Four characteristics of the right place:
- Fasting (Acts 9:9). The right place is not a location; it is an attitude. It’s not necessarily somewhere you go but something you do. Paul was fasting for three days after his encounter with Jesus. That was the first thing he did after his salvation. That is the right place. We have a generation today that meets Jesus and does not fast.
- Prayer (Acts 9:11). The second thing that makes it the right place is prayer. God went to Ananias in a dream and when He told him about Paul, He said he was praying. Paul wasn’t just starving himself, he was fasting and praying.
- Being Planted (Acts 9:11). Paul was planted in someone’s home. The Lord directed Ananias to the Christian home where Paul was planted. This tells me that God not only wants us to pray and fast, but to be in somebody’s home group. The right place also signifies a place where you will be known, loved, and encouraged. Paul was not planted in the temple; he was planted in a house.
- Vision (Acts 9:12). While Paul was there, he got a vision. When you start to fast, pray, and are planted in a local home group, you will not be confused about your identity. Paul was blind but he had a vision. This means in some areas, we might not be able to see what to do next but we will have a vision and know in your spirit who you are in Christ.
2. The Right People
When you are in the right place, God sends you the right people. For Paul, that was Ananias.
God will send the right people to you this year. The right people play such a big role in God’s plan for your life. Interestingly enough though, God didn’t tell Paul what he needed to do. Instead, He sent Paul to Ananias and made him dependent on Christians whom he had sought to kill prior.
They say things like I don’t need church and I don’t need other Christians. While you may be able to answer questions about Jesus, an encounter with Jesus will lead you to the question of what He wants you to do.
Jesus’ answer to the Apostle of the nations was not a step-by-step guide. Instead, the Lord tells Paul that He wanted him to go to the right place, where other believers were and wait for people there, whom he was trying to kill. God’s purpose will always be connected to the right place and the right people. He will not tell you everything because the church is not an island, it is a body. God will teach us to relate and depend upon each other. God will send an Ananias your way, who will open doors for you.
I also want to warn you, you can be in the right place and meet the wrong people. The blindness of the right place is believing that just because you’re in the right place, then everyone must be the right person–wrong. Judas Iscariot was in the right place but he was the wrong person.
How to detect between the right and wrong people:
1. A right person is connected to God (Acts 9:10). A wrong person is simply gifted, successful and someone you want to be like but in the area of their walk with God, you won’t want to imitate them. They are a wrong person for you. They are not walking with God. Ananias walked with God and knew the voice of God.
If you come to a local church, live a life of commitment to God, be wary of people who have opinions and intentions but don’t have depth with God. Beware of people who don’t love God’s Word, or the presence of Jesus but are successful, charming, attractive, or good on the outside. Single people listen to me. You will meet people in the right place who are hot but are not holy. A person in the right place who does not have a relationship with God is not the right person for you to become deeply connected with. You can influence and evangelize but the moment you get into a closer bond, if they don’t know God, you will get contaminated. If you get to the right place but don’t meet the right people, you will have a messed up plan. It will jeopardize your future.
2. A right person doesn’t live in the past (Acts 9:17). Are they speaking into your destiny or are they speaking about your history? God doesn’t consult your past to determine your future because through the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a new creation. Ananias spoke into Paul’s destiny as an apostle; he didn’t condemn him about his history as a persecutor and murderer of innocent Christians.
I want to challenge you this year to stop associating with toxic naysayers. Those are people who have decided that the future is not worth pursuing. They always get stuck somewhere. You were not saved to talk about your past. You have a future that is bigger than your past.
The promise for the future is what you should focus on, not the pain of the past. Victims focus on what they have been through. Victors focus on where they are going. Stop living in the past. Shake off the past. God has a region for us to conquer. We cannot spend this life talking about the giants; we have to slay them.
3. The right people minister to you (Acts 9:17). After talking to them, you do not feel sick; you feel more hungry for God. If you speak to people, and afterward you hate the church, pastor, and you don’t want to read the Bible, you might have been food poisoned by them. Some people carry bacteria, they themselves are poisoned and they will poison you. Be careful.
4. The right people will help you build a foundation (Acts 9:18). While the right people speak into your destiny, they actually don’t help you fulfill your destiny. These people are designated to help you with your foundation. One of the reasons we have small groups or home groups is that everyone has a destiny. A small group is not a place you will learn how to fulfill your destiny right away. Small groups help you build a foundation. The Lord doesn’t start with a roof, He starts with excavation. When God reveals your destiny to you, you don’t start moving in it the next day. That’s when the excavations start. You might have a calling, a business, and a promise but you also need to be cleansed from generational curses and demonic bondage first.
They might not have the secret to taking your career to the next level, but they help your foundation to go deeper so when God blesses you, you don’t fall with the storm, you don’t fumble with the rain, and you don’t disappear with the hardship. The right people come into our lives to help us build our foundations in God that His glory will be built on.
3. The Right Plan
Paul was in the right place. He met Ananias who helped him build foundations, get water baptized, and prayed for the scales on his eyes. Then Ananias gave him a prophetic word which unlocked Paul’s destiny. We may not all do what Paul did but we are all called to serve the same God. God has a plan for each one of His children.
God has a prophetic promise for each one of us; He wants to use us in some way. God’s purpose and promise is the make the name of Jesus glorified and to use you to accomplish that purpose.
Nobody can have a grand calling and only a little pain or persecution. You cannot have a calling if you do not have a cross. When you get a calling, it is often your family who are the first to turn against you because it hurts the worst. If you can endure that, you can handle anything and God will turn your family around in time.
Don’t become bitter or offended. Simply understand that the calling has a cost.
Check out: 5 Ways to Know God’s Will for My Life
God’s plan will be unfolded and revealed in God’s time but until then, He will cultivate endurance and patience in your life. Understand that God will test you to see if you are more willing to serve than to shine.
Are you more interested in the towel than the title?
Are you desperate to hold on to the perks or are you willing to do your purpose for God?
Paul faithfully did that and in Acts 13, while Paul was praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke and called Paul to what He had told him about long ago. Paul started to go from country to country, synagogue to synagogue until his critics said of him, that he turned the world upside down. God promised, there were perks, there was persecution and there was a process. Then, he stepped into it his full calling. God will give you the promise, you will see the perks, you will pay the price, and you will walk through the process of stepping into the fullness of it.
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