Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC
You Are Not Big Enough
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Somewhere along the way, many well meaning Christ-followers have embraced the idea that there is only one specific path for them to follow in this life. Because of this, they believe if they deviate from this path in any way, they will somehow mess-up the life God has called them to live. It is a frightening place to be, believing that at some point you may make the wrong decision that might derail your life and all of God’s plans and purposes for you.
Let me help you with this…
You are not big enough to stop God’s plans for you – period.
This week alone I have witnessed the crippling ramifications of this kind of thinking by three different Christ-followers. They all came from very different walks of life but were paralyzed by the same fear. Each person was wrestling with a significant life decision and was staggeringly afraid that they’d somehow make a wrong decision that would put them outside of God’s will and ruin his plans for their futures.
Because their fears were all consuming, each person found themselves doing nothing and wondering why God wasn’t giving clear direction.
Listening, I could hear the deep desire in all three to please God with their choices. It was obvious these were not people still trying to figure out who Jesus is for them. No, these are people fully committed to him as their Savior, and yet there was confusion in each person regarding how to move forward.
What was so interesting is that none of the choices were moral in nature. I think this fact actually made their decisions harder. Because these were not situations with black and white, yes or no, right or wrong choices, the decisions became overwhelming. Why?
The answer may be too simple. In our exuberance to please God, I think we’ve forgotten, or maybe overlooked, the hope and security that verses above like Proverbs 19:21 give us. We forget that God is for us, and that when the answer to a life choice isn’t so clear, one truth does remain, “he will never leave us nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV).
As I drove to work yesterday this was simply illustrated for me. There are so many ways for me to get to work. The quickest route has a pretty risky intersection that I hate trying to navigate. It’s so dangerous, but sometimes it’s the only way when I’m running late. The longest route is safe, but long. And then there’s the route that is somewhere in the middle as far as distance, but runs by a school, so depending upon the time of day you never know what you’ll run into.
Regardless of the route I choose, I still make it to work – every time. Some days are faster than others or have more adventure, but I still get there.
The same is true with choices in this life. Rarely are these choices as simple as which way to drive to work. Many are difficult and will in fact have significant consequences that may affect us and those we love in tremendous ways. Some of these choices may turn out phenomenal, while others leave us wondering if made the wrong decision. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, take heart…
No matter what path you choose to take, if the desire of your heart is to please God, he will go with you and fulfill his purposes for you.
Remember, Godlongs to do life with his children. Sometimes the fork in the road is the opportunity our Savior uses to hold out his hand to us and whisper, “Take my hand and you choose, I’ll go with you either way.”
For Your Reflection…
One of the most beautiful gifts God gave us as his children is free will; yet sometimes we are afraid to exercise it. What gets in the way of you believing God will go with you in your choices?