My Christmas List
“For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
Friend to Friend
Every year, I make a Christmas list comprised of every person for whom I am buying a gift. Then, beside each name, I put a dollar amount, a limit for that gift, vowing not to spend one penny more. (Somehow, the amount I actually spend rarely coincides with the amount I intended to spend.) With every purchase, I then draw a beautiful red line through that name. Done!
I carry that list everywhere I go because sometimes I find a gift during a random shopping trip but mainly because I can’t afford to let it out of my sight. There are evil people lurking in my home who will go to any lengths to find that list! You see, I am the Queen of Surprise when it comes to Christmas so I must guard my list with my life in order to keep my “Queen-ship” status secure. Consequently, the list is hidden in various and unusual places – in a random file on my computer, in my closet, in an old purse, in a sock drawer, in a flower pot – you get the picture! I know where that Christmas list is at all times because it is my gift-giving plan for the holidays.
I wish I were just as concerned about "God's list" for my life; carrying His life plan for me in my heart and mind as I live each day, constantly making choices and decisions in light of that list, guarding it like the treasure map of eternity that it truly is. Just knowing the plan God has for us does not guarantee success. We must do the plan. That is where the choice to obey comes in! An obedient heart is a “fixed” heart.
“O God, my heart is fixed!”
“I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.”
A “fixed” heart is a determined heart, a steadfast heart that is rightly focused on God and His will, His plan. When we choose to follow God’s plan, the desires of our heart will line up in obedience to that plan. We will find our greatest joy in pleasing God, in doing His will because that is what we were created to do! Maybe today is a good time to stop, go back over the list, review those life lessons we have learned, checking to see where we really are in our walk with God.
Father, forgive me for living my life outside of Your will, abandoning the plans you have for me. Help me to remember that Your plan for my life is one of joy and hope. Today, I choose to obey that plan. Thank You for Your love, Your guidance and your presence in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
Look back over the last year. Make your own list of the lessons you have learned as you have followed God’s plan for your life. Have you truly been seeking that plan? Are you ready to surrender your will to Him? Write out your thoughts and choices as a letter to God. Read it often this year.
For more on this subject, see Mary’s CD, Experiencing God.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Friday, 15 December 2006.