As we leave the holiday bustle behind and begin a new year, our minds can get clouded by the stresses produced by overeating and overspending, regrets of the past year, and the busyness of getting back to work and school. As our lives are quickly packed with people and places, room for God can easily become squeezed out.
Our lives get distracted when we fill our schedules with our own plans and purposes, but when we embrace God’s destiny, our lives become so much more inspiring!
Chosen By God
4 The Lord spoke his word to me,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you.
Before you were born,
I set you apart for my holy purpose.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (GW)
The question is: will you build your life for God or will you build for yourself?
Are you making excuses?
6 I, Jeremiah, said, “Almighty Lord, I do not know how to speak. I am only a boy!”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say that you are only a boy. You will go wherever I send you. You will say whatever I command you to say. 8 Don’t be afraid of people. I am with you, and I will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord stretched out his hand and touched my mouth. The Lord said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms.
You will uproot and tear down.
You will destroy and overthrow.
You will build and plant.”
Jeremiah 1:6-9 (GW)
God has plans to use each of us for a specific destiny. When we live for our own selfish ambitions, we will end up limited by the obstacles we face. When we embrace God’s destiny for us, God promises to be with us and help us overcome.
His Way or Your Way?
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
God knows what each of us desires. He wants to help us accomplish many of them, but only when we do it his way.
Do you trust that God will give you the desires of your heart? What destiny has he put on your heart?
God wants to give you good things (Romans 8:28). God has even proven his love for each one of us, but do you respond by wanting glory for yourself or glory for God?
We need to develop a purposeful heart.
Sacrificial or Selfish?
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
John 12:24-25 (NLT)
What plans for your life are you resistant to submit to God?
What do you need to give up in order to love God and the people around you?
When we are willing to make sacrifices to be close to God and people, we are able to love those around us.
Committed or Compromised?
Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, 11 but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?”Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12 So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.”
13 “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
1 Samuel 13:10-13 (NLT)
Saul was compromised in his walk with God. When he got afraid he took matters into his own hands. Although he did what God wanted, he did it his own way.
What ways do you compromise or minimize sin?
Choosing to be committed to God is being wholehearted. How can you be more wholehearted in your relationship with God?
Invested or Independent?
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
James 3:17-18 (MSG)
We develop wisdom when we allow spiritual relationships to influence us. When we are constantly caught up in arguments and bitterness with others, we need to ask ourselves if we are out for our own interests or the interests of others. God promises joy when we embrace the attitude of the Bible in our relationships.
What relationship can you begin to develop this attitude towards?
How will you inspire others together?
- Book to Study: Acts (The New Testament disciples were devoted to God’s plan for their lives, which made them effective at making a difference in the lives of people around them!)
- Prayer Focus: Pray specifically through the people you believe you are meant to inspire.