Trusting God with Your Purpose
By Shana Schutte
Fourteen years ago I sat on the edge of a canyon in my hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho, and felt God calling me to minister to others through writing and speaking. Since then, He has confirmed my purpose many times by opening numerous doors I could not have opened myself. Directly after my days at the canyon, I trusted Him to lead me. I worked hard, but didn’t stress or panic if things didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned.
Then somewhere along the way I started walking in my own effort rather than in the Spirit and I stopped fully trusting God. I wanted to reach my goals in my time, in my way. As a result I became driven to succeed, so much so that I wasn’t just working hard toward my purpose, but I was striving which led to emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion. Not to mention I was cranky and had a lack of peace.
Over the years, God has slowly been smoothing off the rough edges of my stubbornness and softening my heart toward doing things His way. The funny thing is, I didn’t even realize how inflexible I had become until one morning I felt the last bit of selfish determination slip way. I have finally given in. Joy came and tears flowed. Thank you for rest, Lord.
I am so happy that I am now experiencing the genuine fulfillment that comes from following God in my purpose. Yes, I am still working, but I am letting Him guide me a whole lot more.
Here are three things I learned through this experience:
Celebrate the little successes
Having goals is a great thing because no one gets anywhere by accident. Even small goals like baking a cake require a plan. However, if you focus too much on the future, you’ll fail to appreciate the many successes in the present.
Unfortunately, I spent too much time disappointed and frustrated because my present circumstances never measured up to where I wanted to be. I hate to admit that I was ungrateful for many of God’s little blessings like getting a new radio program or receiving a note from an appreciative reader. Being demanding will always steal your joy.
Plan your plans and create goals, but always allow God to steer your life—and don’t forget to celebrate the little successes and God’s blessings along the way.
Striving leads to panic
It’s impossible to strive and trust God at the same time. Therefore, if you are driving and striving, you won’t have any peace. The woman—or man—who trusts God to lead them in their purpose is characterized by internal rest, even as they work and move toward their goals.You can always tell when you have moved from a place of trusting God to a place of striving and driving when the peace of God is replaced by panic, anxiety, or worry. Peace and God’s presence are always apprehended as we remain in Him and surrender to His plans for our lives.
Rest in the unknown
In Psalm 131, David knew that there were some things about God’s ways that are “too wonderful” to understand. To rest in the unknown means that we patiently wait for God to unfold His plan for our purpose. We don’t try to run ahead of Him. Instead, we keep in step with the Spirit and we are okay with the mystery of God.
It’s easy to become demanding when we don’t trust God to guide us in our purpose. Remember, we are here to serve Him; He is not here to serve us. Forgetting these truths will land even the most well-intentioned person in an emotional and spiritual ditch.
As you move toward your purpose and your plans remember Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Will you let God have His way today?