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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11–13
As a teenager, I turned up at the university with little idea as to what I wanted in life. No career aspirations and little motivation above personal enjoyment. It was to my great surprise that I encountered Jesus within just a few weeks. More surprising was my willingness to commit to following in His footsteps. I purchased a Bible and was grateful to daily Bible notes to begin my education, coming as I did from an unchurched background.
One day, reading in Luke’s gospel, I could not stop thinking about Jesus’ words on returning from the wilderness; ‘… to proclaim good news to the poor …to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Luke 4:18-19)
This laid the foundation for my life, although I had no knowledge of that as I first read them. It was the start of a growing understanding that my life, once surrendered to God, was God’s to do with as He pleased. Such total surrender is little understood in today’s society, where individual rights are argued and fought for passionately.
My life was all about setting aside my personal preferences and taking time to discover God and all God has planned for my life. Perhaps, understanding is easier as I look back over my life and see how God has put me to work as an evangelist, in working for the incarcerated and running a house of prayer whose purpose is to offer hospitality, hope and healing.
Reflecting on Richard of Chichester’s prayer, knowing God more clearly only happens as we first surrender daily to God’s purpose and so discern God’s plans for us. For only as we realise God’s plans in our life can we deepen our encounter with God, and God’s with us.
Something to Consider: Are there Scriptures that you have felt compelled to return to many times? What is God saying to you through them?
An Action to Take: Find some time to surrender your life afresh to God whilst praying, that you might discover the fullest expression of God’s plans for your life.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, daily will I call on You and come and pray to You, and I will listen to You.’
Photo by Saeed Mhmdi on Unsplash
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