Choosing God's Plans
Tracie Miles

"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.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Tracie’s blog

Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles

What Happens When Woman Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
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.

Reflections:
Is God calling me to make a change or a decision that requires sacrifice?

Do I trust that God ordains all things?

Power Verses:
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)

© 2009 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments:

Blogger gretchen said...

Ladies-

This is EXACTLY where I am now. I just resigned from a teaching position that I have loved for 13 years to stay at home and homeschool my Kindergarten age boy and my 2 1/2 year old boy.I have always wanted to stay at home - but it never seemed doable. This spring the Lord was teaching me obedience. I knew that with the lesson that the application was soon to follow. Through some Godly women He called our family to this decision. My husband works for our church as a graphic designer - our income is being cut by over half. BUT GOD - is faithful. He is our Provider and I am confident that since He has called us to do this that He will provide for us along the way.

Thank you for your devotions. I am touched every morning when I sit down and read what God has to say to me through you. God bless your ministry. Please pray for our family during this transition as many questions are still left unanswered to us.

His!
Gretchen

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still getting my education to become a teacher and I'm a single parent to three children (13, 8, 6). I trust in His Word Jeremiah 29:11.

The Lord will make a way.

Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse. After 46 years, I am still so surprised by God's plans for me most of the time.
I stay at home with my children, whom we have homeschooled from day one. We will begin our 12th year next week. I would never had dreamed this would be what I would do with my life. It has been a lot of hard work, but the rewards have been out of this world!

Blogger Believer said...

I thank God for inspiring this devotion. My husband and I are making some decisions and WOW, how this spoke to me. I thank God for confirmation and comfort in this time of change in our life! Thank you, writer, for obeying God and writing this devotion!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, i can't believe you've put into words how my heart is felt these last few months. thanks for the conformation.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes how many times God speaks to us and we don't listen! always thinking our way and not his! I was stuck in a job for 23 years,lying to customers about what they needed,I could never satisfy my greedy boss, finally I had it out with him,now I'm self employed and also working in the ministry of helping people that are down and out,I guess I did'nt listen to God for 23 years,but maybe He "forged" me to be what I am today,a person ready to give help to others in time of need

Blogger Blue Maiden said...

Ah, the loss of joy that I experienced because I didn't listen when God first told me to move. I was in a job that was so stressful it actually affected my health and I wasn't aware of the damage that was being done. I am so blessed that God moved me out of that job. His plans are so much better than anything I have for myself.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, what an amazing confirmation. I just quit my job yesterday to stay at home with our two year old son and I have been praying that the Lord would give me some comfort during this life changing experience and he used this devotion to really speak to my heart. Thank you Lord for always being so faithful.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

your message on listen to your heart and allow God to guide you hits home in spite of financial difficulties and not knowing what to do from one minute to the next. This message could not have come in a better time I am around people 24/7 and I know that I find myself speaking the word God so much more and in return I have witnessed many blessings. The problems are still there but i am dealing with them differently and I know God is in control.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all of you,trust in God above all things,He will never let us down! look at the promises he said in the Old Testament-- they all came true! I can't wait for the book of revelations to be revealed, I hope I'm still alive on Judgement day!
God bless you all!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh My Goodness! God is so wonderful and faithful. When I read this devotion yesterday, the tears just started streaming! I recently just quit my job to stay at home with my 4 year old and to focus on ministry. God has called me to be a writer and to teach His word to women. And although I cannot see all of the steps---I knew what the first one was to be--so despite all that is going on in the world--I walked away from a job. But I take comfort in the fact that God is so faithful. Whenever I am feeling a little nervous, God has always taken the time to show me that He has not forgotten me or my family. Jeremiah 29:11 has been the verse that has reminded me of the faithfulness of God over the years. He is just so good!

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