It is one of the biggest questions Christian believers ask themselves, “What is God’s plan for my life?” We pray over it, we ask for blessing, we read books and articles and we search for the answer. We walk as close as we can with the Lords will for us, and when life throws us a curveball we wonder, “Maybe this is part of God’s plan for me”.
This blog post is written to challenge our thinking a little bit. It is definitely important to care about following the Lord’s will for our life, but I wonder how many of us get so caught up in our lives, that we are neglecting to look past ourselves to our neighbors, and brothers and sisters out there.
This year we personally faced some unforeseen life altering changes that created a huge financial burden. There were days we didn’t know how we’d afford our next gallon of milk or package of diapers. When you are living life like this, things like God’s big plans for your life are not a focus. Things like “will god be true to his promises and provide for us what we need?” are more what is on your mind.
The Lord did provide every need for us. He spoke into the hearts of others in our lives who blessed us in their giving. And it has given me a different perspective having now been on the receiving in need side of the coin.
I think of the lost out there, the people in this world we try to reach, and I think of those who are struggling to just make it. I’m reminded of our hierarchy of needs. The first things we need are basic- food, clothing, shelter. If we do not have these things, we cannot focus on the higher level things like God’s will for us, or his love. We are too fixated on getting the next meal or worrying about paying for a new winter coat for our kids.
I believe this is why God wants Christians to give to others, to feed the hungry, to cloth the naked, or to provide shelter for the homeless. He knows that is the first step in the hierarchy of needs. We cannot reach others for Christ and start sharing all about his love and grace, if we do not first demonstrate his love and meet their basic needs and feed their hungry stomachs or give them something to quench their thirst, or provide a listening ear to the lonely.
Matthew 25:34-40 says to us: “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then the people who have God’s approval will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you as a stranger and take you into our homes or see you in need of clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.”
So as we keep looking and searching for God’s will in our lives, let us not forget that we are also his hands and feet. We are called to help those in need too, and to be fishers of men for Christ.