The author shares their personal journey of discovering their purpose and realizing that their plans for moving to New York City were not aligned with God's plan for them. They emphasize the importance of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and trusting in God's greater plan for their life. The author encourages readers to focus on following the Lord, loving Him, and sharing His truth, as that is all that He asks of us.
I love the city . . . always have. I love the hustle and fast-paced type of living. Then, a few years ago, I grew a love for all things coffee. During that time I had been asking the Lord what I should do, and I can genuinely say that I felt the Lord leading me to start a coffee shop, and open it in none other than New York City. For years I made this my reality. I was looking into apartments and learning how loans work so that, right out of college, I could pack up and move to NYC and start my shop. This was my plan. I told everyone about it and I knew God wanted this for me… or so I thought.
Fast forward to last summer. My brother and I were on our way to camp. Our first few days of camp went by and my friend and I were talking about how we felt like nothing big had happened yet. By the time the last sermon was given I was ready to feel something. The sermon itself was good, but I didn't feel convicted. Then our speaker told us to bow our heads and close our eyes. I thought the sermon was over. But the speaker continued on saying, “I hadn't planned on saying this, but I feel the need to share. What is something in your life that you have convinced yourself is God's plan but, in reality, is yours?” And there it was. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My thoughts and heart were, in that moment, completely directed to New York.
For the first time, I was convicted about my decision to move to the Big Apple, realizing that this wasn’t God’s plan for me. I convinced myself that this was my future home. I realized that I still believed the Lord had called me to open a coffee shop one day…but not in New York. At least, not right now. Instead of feeling sad or disappointed when my plans changed, I felt relieved and excited for the way the Lord was working.
I use this story because there was a time in my life where I was so unmoving on my plan for my life, that nothing would have changed that from my own doing. But the Lord knew that I needed Him to intervene, and I'm grateful He did. This doesn't mean my plans might not come to fruition, but it does mean that listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit ultimately has to be our guide. When we do that, He ultimately will bring us peace in our decisions in life.
In Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) the Bible says “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” God says to keep our minds on Him and He will lead us throughout our lives. I used to think that I needed to figure out my life on my own, but by doing so, I was underestimating the power of Christ. His plan for my life is far greater than my plans could ever be. There is such a peace about letting go of what I thought was best for my life and trusting Him with it instead. Not only will you see what God can really do, but you will see the work He can do through you.
As kids, teenagers, and even adults, we search for our purpose.
When we’re young, we dream of becoming something important, and we shared those dreams with our parents. As we grow older those dreams may shift, and we may find that we are constantly searching for our purpose in life. But the truth is that following the Lord, loving Him, and sharing His Truth is all that He asks of us. If we do that, then the rest of our lives will fall into place.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV) states, “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Some of the best things in life are not seen. I love how this verse puts into perspective how we ought to live our lives. We have learned how to trust in the things we can see and the things we can have right now, but those things will never satisfy. They have satisfaction for a moment and then it fades. However, the truth of God’s Word will never fade and never change. We all want to feel secure, yet we live for things that can never bring us security. We are in an ever-changing world… but I'm thankful to know we don’t have to worry. I’m thankful we don't have to live in fear.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
So how do you practically apply this? By living out this verse. Be steadfast. Know what you believe and why you believe it. Search the Scriptures and base your truth from the Word. Open your mind and heart to the things you think are true, or the plans you think will never change, and be willing to let the Holy Spirit guide you. A lot of people will tell you to live in your own freedom and to follow your truth. God says, “Follow Me and the truth shall set you free.” I pray you not only choose to leave your worry behind and wholeheartedly follow the Lord with the plan for your life, but I also pray you find the peace that comes from accepting Jesus into your life to save you. Once you’ve accepted this beautiful gift of grace and freedom, I pray that you may learn to live your life for an audience of One.