What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your five-year plan? Ten years? When are you going to get married? Get a new job? Buy a car? Buy a house?
Every day we are bombarded with all types of questions that are future-orientated. You have a plan for moving forward right?
The primary force behind this thinking is that each of us has a goal or multiple goals in life. We have the ideal image of us, our family, our life, etc.
And if you are like me it stresses you out when you’re not on track, miss a deadline, or things aren’t going the direction you want! You’re stressed because your ‘ideal image’ isn’t happening the way you planned.
“Did you hear the latest lesson Nate Felkel taught? Oh my gosh! It was so good. I don’t know where he gets his ideas from, but they just impact me so much.” – Fake Person #1
“I know exactly what you mean! He is like the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. The games he comes up with are sooooo good. It’s like he is so in touch with God and with us, you know?” – Fake person 2
“I think the exact same thing. I also love how awesome his family is. I mean their daughter is the best soccer player I’ve ever seen. His wife is so beautiful but is also so good at loving and supporting him. I hope my future spouse is like Nate” – Fake Person #1
“I agree. His wife is so lucky. But the best thing about the Felkels is how generous they are. They always have us over to their amazing lakeside house, and I know Nate gives away most of his money he makes from those life-changing, inspiring, New York Times best-selling books he writes.” – Fake Person 2
“They are just so perfect. I mean they really are the best. They follow God so well” – Fake Person #1
I’d love to overhear this conversation one day. I mean look how amazing me and my family are. We are loving God so well, we’re giving, I’m a great teacher and writer. Literally, I’m great at everything. Even being humble!
I’ve never really thought any of this was wrong. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how dangerous this can be. For me, my ‘goals’ are completely ministry related. So how could they be wrong?
Parts of ministry have become more important than God and his plans. You know what that’s called?
You mean you are worshiping gold statues!?! – Nope.
I mean there are times that I have let my goals and dreams take God’s place in my heart. In those times it is no longer God’s glory or his plan that I’m worried about. Instead, all I care about is making sure Nate looks good.
This is Hard
This is really hard for me to admit. It’s kind of embarrassing and I’m also ashamed. In another way, it’s hard for me to admit because I don’t want to believe it or I want to justify it. Which is easy to do ….
“I’m a hard worker. All my goals are just because I have high standards of excellence. Besides all my goals have to do with people learning more about God. Surely God wants to bless my work in sharing about him. I’m frustrated things didn’t go according to my plan because I know God is also upset since my plans are his plans.”
Maybe God does have a plan, and maybe my plan isn’t part of his plan. If that’s true am I really okay with that? Honestly…
IDK. Like seriously I don’t know.
I know that I’m supposed to know and trust his plans are the best but when you aren’t seeing it or aren’t sure where you are going then it’s easy to question. Yet time and time again whenever I trust God I’m amazed at how he has come through in the clutch.
So why the struggle?
Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Pride.
I want to be respected, valued, and sought after because of my wise thoughts. I want to be funny, awesome, and brilliant. So I set some high goals and push hard to hit them. When I miss them, I’m depressed, moody, and upset. When I hit them, I’m arrogant, self-righteous, and empty because there is still another new goal for me to hit.
Either way is a lose – lose. It doesn’t matter what I do I’m just a big …
Do you ever fill that way? I’m sure for others it’s completely different, but have you ever thought about why you are stressed all the time? Or why do you get so frustrated when things don’t go your way? Are you always running around but always feeling that nothing is getting accomplished? Why are you not finding joy and peace in life?
The answer to these questions can point to where you are prioritizing things over God.
Please tell me something good!
You are not a loser.
When you are following Jesus and in him, the Bible says that what is true of Jesus is now true of you (Romans 5:12-21).
This means that you have the power not to be controlled by all the plans, goals, and stress that you feel. Even better? You get to have peace that God has a plan that is wayyyyy better than anything you could come up with.
So maybe next time you are feeling stressed, worn out, or empty from hitting a goal – reflect on what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Hey, I’m not great at this either! So how about you let me know what this looks like in your world? I’d love to hear from you!