August 11, 2009
Choosing God’s Plans
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Several years ago, I was sitting in a management meeting, when my manager suggested we kick off the meeting by allowing each person the opportunity to say what they felt was their most important contribution to the company.
One by one, each person spoke, stating things like, “to decrease overall expenses”; “to lower headcount”; etc. When my turn came, my heart fluttered, and I felt compelled to share that I felt my primary purpose was to counsel employees, encourage them, and help them work through personal or work related issues. You could have heard a pin drop in that room, as everyone stared at me with blank faces.
You see, the months leading up to this meeting, there had been a lot of issues going on in the company. There were office politics, power struggles, lofty egos, and people had been hurt.
As a result of my position, people would often come to me for guidance. God had been leading unexpected people into my office for weeks and opened the door for me to minister to believers and non-believers with the love of Christ. He’d also given me the desire and courage to be a light for Him, in an environment that didn’t operate under Christian principles. He had ordained opportunities for me to share how Jesus gives true peace and acceptance, even when people and politics cause pain and disappointment.
My supervisor was not a believer, so he didn’t appreciate my answer to his question. He wanted to hear how I was going to streamline procedures and improve his department, not what was on my heart, and as a result, our relationship went downhill from there.
A year or so later, I resigned from that position. The atmosphere had simply become too difficult, but more importantly, I knew God had been nudging me to make a change. I felt called to serve in ministry and to be a stay at home mom. All that time, I had been walking in disobedience.
When I resigned, it felt like a sacrifice. However, I quickly discovered that God’s plan was so much better than mine. I realized that I had been unable to understand His plan, until I was willing to lay aside my own, and that I had to choose Him, before He could show me His will for my life. Had I simply said what I knew my boss wanted to hear in that meeting, I might still be working there, climbing the corporate ladder, and striving to reach my career goals.
But God had been working on my heart for years, preparing me for that moment. He had gradually shifted my desires to building His kingdom, more so than building my resume. He had inspired me to see the hearts of the people in my office, not just the problems in the people. And He had helped me to see that lasting success and happiness could be found in Him alone, not through my own accomplishments.
Was making that change easy? Or course not. Did I have to make difficult sacrifices? Most definitely. But was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!
Regardless of where you work, you can make a spiritual difference in people’s lives. Whether you work in corporate offices or a Christian ministry, when facing a difficult choice, you can trust that God has prepared and equipped you for such a time as this.
Pray for strength to stand up for God’s truth, even against all odds, and ask Him to lead you in your decisions.
Choosing Christ’s plans, over our own plans, will always result in more peace or blessing than we could never imagine.
Dear Lord, it is not always easy to stand up for you in the face of opposition, or to make choices that seem outside of our understanding. I seek your guidance, and your divine wisdom and discernment regarding the decisions in my life. I do desire to do your will. Thank you for never leaving me. Please help me to be strong in You, and for you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Tracie Miles’ blog
Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles
What Happens When Woman Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
Consider a hard decision that God has been calling you to make, and pray for His wisdom.
Write down the steps you can take to begin working towards a goal that God has placed in your heart.
Is God calling me to make a change or a decision that requires sacrifice?
Do I trust that God ordains all things?
1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 11 August 2009.