How Does God Want to Use You?
God has a plan for you. He laid it out before He saved you. Your future in Christ is filled with good works God prepared beforehand that you should walk in them. God Himself raised you from spiritual death to impact the Kingdom of God in a meaningful. Most Christians understand this to some degree. You know that God wants you to do His will. Yet, you get stuck trying to determine exactly what that means for you. Where do you spend your time and energy with all the choices out there?
How do you know God’s plan for you?
The world is full of choices. There are so many ways you can help people that could benefit God’s Kingdom. Yet, if you try to do all of them, you will be effective in none of them. It would be easier to know your job if God called you from a Burning Bush like Moses. Paul’s life was clear to him from the moment Jesus appeared on the Road to Damascus. These calls are the exceptions, though. Understanding God’s plan involves seeking Him daily for the vast majority of Christians. Hearing Him requires effort. You must go to Him repeatedly and wait for an answer. Your intimate relationship with Jesus comes before your direction how to use it… and this is exactly as He planned. It is a straightforward process to understand.
How Do Your Know God’s Will?
The word Paul regularly used for “know” in Greek in the Bible means more than just academic information. It involves a perfected experiential understanding. It assumes first hand contact with the subject known. To know Jesus is not just to have information about. It is to spend time walking and growing in Him. This process will logically include learning about God’s view of you and your role in His plans. The more you know Jesus in this way, the more you will love Him. Your increased love of Him will spur you on in your desire to be like Him. This will open up a whole new world of Christian service.
You will also become more aware of two things: Your unworthiness and His greatness. This will help your love for Him deepen and your love for yourself fade. It will also encourage gratitude, humility, and the willingness to serve Jesus. This love and gratitude will naturally result in you telling others about Jesus and loving others. The more you do this, the more the Holy Spirit will direct you…and the more you want to know Jesus. The cycle then repeats.
Jesus sums this entire process up in John 6:
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
“Believe” is not abstract intellectual thought. It is trusting Jesus to be all the things He says He is in the Bible. This is life changing. He is the vine. You are the branches. Your purpose is clear when you connect to God as the source of all good things. Only then will you understand your purpose and bear fruit.
How do you get to know Jesus better? How do you hear from Him in practical ways as you abide?
Hearing God in 5 Easy Steps
Here are 5 easy steps you can take:
1. Read the Bible.
The Bible is the best way to hear God. It is the way He chose to reveal Himself to man. The Word is God’s description of Himself. He wrote it for you to read. It is how He shows you Himself. There is no other book like it. It is also your handbook for life, full of inspiration and insight
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3
God’s larger plan for your life is in the Word. His specific plan for you is there as well. He may need to provide details directly through the Holy Spirit, but God leads through the Word. Importantly, God’s will for you will never conflict with the Scripture. If you think it does, then it is likely your will be done not God’s.
You have the Lord and Master of Heaven and Earth on speed dial. Jesus invited you to bring everything to Him. He promised to hear you and answer. God sits on the throne of all things keeping the planets spinning through His power. Yet, He also calls you to come boldly to Him on that throne as son or daughter.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5
God calls you to relationship. It is one of love, communion, and intimacy. The Holy Spirit lives in you.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Romans 15
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. – John 14:23
It is not much of a relationship if you are not communicating with God.
Ask, seek, and knock and God answers.
3. Surround Yourself with Believers
Your view of yourself is often wrong. You may be carrying baggage of your past around that obscures your understanding of yourself. You also may trust in your own innate talents and miss your God given gifts.
Christianity is not a solo sport.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…. – Hebrews 10:24-25
Just like God can use you to help others, He will use others to speak His truth to you. Just be sure to test their advice in steps (1) and (2) above before proceeding.
4. Die to Self
Jesus set out a clear path for those who seek to follow Him. Where does it start? Saying “no” to the biggest enemy to your fulfilling life in Christ, you:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16
Your plans are not God’s. The emotions formed through your perception are not His either. Your motivations often are in direct conflict with Jesus’. The things that honor God can often start in your dishonor. Jesus laid out the starting point in the journey following Him so simply – say no to you. Your thoughts and emotions are not bad, in themselves. You are not expected to be robotic. Yet, they are all powerful forces especially when you really want something or think the answer is obvious:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
The disciples all though their plan was straight forward and Jesus path obvious. They even argued about who would take the thrones next to Jesus when He became King of Israel. They suffered greatly and failed miserably when Jesus’ plan conflicted with theirs.
You want to follow Jesus’ plan for you? Think of your plans, dreams, and expectations for yourself. Got them? Now throw them out the window. You planning, dreaming, and expecting things is not your job. Now, ask your Master, Jesus what to do, what to dream, and to look forward to.
That is what servant of all means. Mark 10
“You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
5. Worship, Rest, and Wait
Do you trust that God can communicate with you? He speaks in a still, small voice, through the Word, and dramatic revelation. God can reach you through the counsel of other Christians and through teaching. He will His message across. Jesus may simply want you to wait and learn to trust in Him:
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
In the meantime, do your first job – worship the Risen Lord Jesus. This brings Him glory. You can be so busy trying to figure out your calling that you forget the One who saved you.
Powerful work for Christ only comes from living out a loving relationship with Him. Your love for Him will bear fruit.
It is so simple:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”