“God has BIG plans for you!”
I hear this phrase tossed around all the time. We use it to inspire each other to greatness and as consolation when plans don’t work out. I’ve said it to people and I have had it said to me. But lately I’m wondering where we got this idea. Because I have searched and can’t find much scripture to back it up. And I wonder if saying it to each other does more harm than good.
We live in a culture obsessed with fame. We hunger for influence and affirmation. Social media invites us to broadcast our every good deed. I wonder if the “big dream” mentality is allowing a hunger for significance to infiltrate our thoughts and play to our pride. “God has BIG plans for you!” sounds epic but it’s not really about God at all. It’s about us.
Of course we all hope God uses us to make a big impact. There is nothing inherently wrong with dreaming big dreams. And I do believe God gives us dreams. He also calls some to positions of great influence. But we need to be careful not to place our dreams above our obedience. Our egos above our humility. Our plans above God’s plans. And we have to let Him lead.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
To imply that an average life falls short of some big plan God would otherwise have for us creates a spirit of discontent. We might gradually start wondering, “Is this it?” rather than working with what God has already given us.
We can’t let the world twist what Scripture teaches and usher us right into the traps of comparison and discontent. Because what plan is “big” enough? Who gets to decide?
Is leading a mega church bigger than teaching Sunday School?
Is being CEO bigger than consistently reaching out to the co-workers around your cubicle?
Is writing a best selling book a bigger than writing notes of encouragement to your friends and family?
Is leading a national nonprofit bigger than fostering a child in your home?
Does God love you and have a special plan for you? One hundred times yes. But that plan may or not be “Big” by anyone’s standards but God’s. And that is ok. Its wonderful.
God placed us in our specific families, homes, and circles in this period of time. He didn’t make a mistake. And we have infinite opportunity to be salt and light in our everyday lives. In fact, some of the most influential people I know live average, simple lives. We can’t let society or our egos tell us we are not enough or that our lives are not enough. It’s a lie.
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Lets not waste emotional energy wondering what big plans God has for us and spend more time being faithful to live out our call to serve in the world around us. Where are we serving? Who are we blessing? Who are we pointing to Christ? In the day to day. At our jobs. In our homes. With our friends.
What if God’s big plan is for you to be the best parent you can be to your children? You have an opportunity to disciple them and point them to Christ every day. That is BIG. That is HUGE.
What if God’s Big plan is that you humbly serve at your 9-5 desk job? You don’t need to be the boss to have significance in the eyes of your co-workers. Be their servant. Be their encourager. Point them to Jesus.
What if God’s big plan for you is to serve your friends by being available to talk or watch their kids or bring a meal? Be the hands and feet of Christ.
What if the “Big thing” God is calling you to do is merely the sum total of little things?
I have this crazy dream where we, as the body of Christ, get busy. Really busy loving people right in our own little spheres of influence. I can’t imagine the impact it would make in our communities if we each took seriously the call to be salt and light.
Instead of telling each other God has big plans for us, lets tell each other to be humble servant ambassadors of Jesus.
We can be content serving God in our every day lives. We can rest in the knowledge that He loves us and make an impact by obeying his call to live out our faith in love.
Besides, we don’t have to wonder if God has something big in store. God already DID something big. He promised us he had plans to give us a hope and a future. And he delivered. In his loving kindness he sent us a Savior to redeem us. We are all at his feet. We have hope in him. He IS our future. He IS the big plan. And He is enough.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.