We all want to know what God’s purpose in our life is and we want God to tell us right now so that we can prepare. Of course we want to know these things! If God doesn’t tell us then how can we scrutinize His plans? But this post isn’t about the sin of impatiently wanting to know the future instead of being satisfied in the moment that God has provided. We want to know what God’s plans are for us and for the most part we should look to scripture.
Before David was a leader of a band of men he was a leader of a flock of sheep. Before he lead a country he lead an army. Before he fought Goliath he fought bears and lions. Before He was given big tasks he was trained by small ones. Before Paul became a leader in the church he was a leader of persecutors. Before Peter was a fisher of men he was a fisher. In the lives of the men mentioned above God trained them for what they would be doing for Him through their life experiences leading up to their major roles. I am not saying God has not or cannot suddenly impose terrific responsibilities and supply an abundance of wisdom, self control and Grace to deal with them. But it seems to me that God is pleased to sovereignly give us circumstances in our lives that will then build us up for the tasks He has in the future.
God gave Paul affliction and then comfort so that he would then be able to comfort others with the comfort he himself received (1 Cor. 1:3). So even Paul’s suffering as ordained by God and God’s merciful comfort in response to that suffering was for his training to build up others. Is it too radical to believe that God would still be functioning this way today in our lives? That our suffering and the comfort that He provides is to train us to comfort others? That the events of our past have been our training and the events of tomorrow are our preparation for the days even further ahead?
I don’t propose that we can figure out exactly what God intends to have us doing with our lives on the basis of what we have already done, but I do propose that by contemplating the experiences the Lord has had us go through repeatedly and where He has been refining us that we can come to catch at least a glimpse of what the Lord has in store in His plan for our lives. We shouldn’t be biting our fingernails and hoping that His plans or good enough for our taste, or exciting enough for our taste, or tranquil enough for our taste, or anything else of the sort. Our attitude should be one of worshiping the Lord in the moment and trusting in His leading wherever He so chooses to carry us of to. But it is not a sin in and of itself to consider the events the Lord has placed in our lives and to see if He has shown us a pattern of training that He is using to prepare us for future works.
What has the Lord been training you for in your life? And have you been taking away from the lessons as much as you should? He who is faithless in the little things is faithless in the big ones (Luke 16:10), so let us be faithful to learn from the little experiences we receive now and thus be prepared by the Lord’s guiding hand for the plans He has for us.