Does God have a plan for me?

Yes, God has a plan for every individual He creates. God's plan can span from the general to the specific, and He reveals what He desires for each person in His Word. He also slowly unfolds the more specific plans He has for an individual through life experiences. Let's start with what we know He wants for every person and move toward the specific with examples from Scripture.

First and foremost, God wants each person to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through faith in His work on the cross and resurrection. Peter wrote to a group of churches, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). This is why God does not hasten the end of this time period before the tribulation and final judgment. He wants to give as much time as possible for as many souls as possible to accept the free gift of salvation though Jesus.

Second, God gives many guidelines on His expectations for those who put their faith in Jesus and are given new life in Christ and the seal of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is, to which He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37–40). Jesus told His followers, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:10–10). This gives believers a framework for life and decision making, an overall plan He wants us each to follow.

Third, the New Testament is full of guidance on how we are to approach our lives no matter our circumstances. From using our spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:3–8) to sharing the Good News of Jesus, we are all commissioned to bring others into the body of Christ (Matthew 28:19–20) and to serve others with fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). First Thessalonians 4:3–4 says, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor." First Thessalonians 5:16–18 exhorts, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." The New Testament has many other exhortations regarding how we are to live in this world and with one another (e.g., Romans 12; Ephesians 4; Philippians 2:12–13; Colossians 3; James 1). Each instruction helps us to make decisions about our lives, and following each of these instructions aligns our lives with God's will for us.

When it comes to specific plans for each person, the Bible is full of personal accounts and verses that tell us God created each person with a purpose in mind. For example, we see God's preparation of Moses to be the one to lead His people out of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 1–4). To Jeremiah, God said, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). David said to God in Psalm 139, "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Zechariah and Elizabeth were told their son John would "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared" (Luke 1:17).

Discerning God's plan and purpose for our lives is often a lifelong journey with different purposes in different seasons. Jesus, in addressing our worries about our lives, said that the very hairs on our heads are numbered and that He sees our worth as individuals (Luke 12:7). Seeking after God, asking Him for direction in all we do, and listening closely for His Holy Spirit are how we discern each next step, which will take us into God's will for our lives. It is the great adventure of following in the obedient footsteps of Jesus Christ.

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