Here’s how to trust God with your future plans and take practical steps forward in your life. Trusting God always involves small steps of faith, action, and contemplation.
I love hearing sermons and reading books about trusting God, praying, and waiting patiently in faith. I often say “amen” to sincere prayers for healing, justice, and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Yet I don’t often hear practical, applicable tips for actually taking action and walking in faith.
Taking action — moving from stage to stage toward your future plans — isn’t just smart. It’s Biblical. Completely trusting God with your future, family, finances and friends requires you to get involved, show up, and even make mistakes. You’ll never do it perfectly but if you’re living in the Spirit and listening hard, you’ll do it well. Here’s what I recently discovered about following Jesus into a strange, exciting, often confusing new world…
This article is part of my She Blossoms Through the Bible project; I’m writing an article for every chapter in every book of the Bible. This article (How to Trust God With Your Future – Step 13) is inspired by Genesis 13. Abram swung back and forth from being completely obedient to not trusting God with His future. Let’s learn from his successes and mistakes so we don’t have to make so many of our own!
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit to benefit from my tips on how to trust God with your future plans. Just keep an open mind and consider these ideas. Amazing new beginnings and fresh blossoms always grow from tiny seeds of life.
How to Trust God With Your Future
Believing in God isn’t enough to secure your future. Even the demons believe! Learning how to trust God with your future, finances, family and friends is a whole new (and scary) level.
It’s called “leveling up”, and it’s not just good. It’s great.
1. Deal with your fear of God’s plans for your life
In Overcoming Fear of Following God’s Voice – Step 12 we learn that Abram left the Negev and went to Egypt because of famine. He was worried about his wife, family, livestock, and servants starving — and rightfully so! Famine is scary and even life-threatening. However, it’s not until Genesis 13 that we learn Abram had to return to the Negev after his disastrous stint in Egypt. The Pharaoh kicked him and Sarai out. We also learn that Abram returned to his altar site and then called on the name of God (Genesis 13:3-4). It seems to me that Abram forgot how to trust God with his future, instead trusting his fear, doubt, and self-reliance. I understand how Abram lost his way (as much as I can, not being 75 year old Jewish man living in Canaan 2,000 years before Jesus!).
How does fear affect your willingness to trust God? Fear is probably the number one reason you haven’t learned how to trust God with your future, finances, family and friends. You’re scared of …. what? You tell me. I know what I’m scared of: disrupting my husband’s life, creating problems for my dogs, not having enough money for retirement. I use my fears as an excuse to not trust God with my hopes, dreams, and plans for my future. What about you — do you let fear affect your ability to trust God with your life?
2. Do not fear missing God’s “perfect” will for your life
I’m not sure I believe God has a “perfect will” for our lives — with the exception of Jesus’ life. But, whether or not God has a perfect will for us, we will miss the mark sometimes. Maybe more often than not. Abram was an obedient Jew who faithfully loved and obeyed the Lord…yet he made mistakes, failed to seek God’s will for some decisions in his life, and didn’t always actively trust God with his future. This is a natural part of being human. We wander, stray, and neglect to include God in our plans. If we’re smart — like Abram was — we’ll turn back to the Lord.
What do you think about God’s will for your life? “Perfect will” means God has a specific plan for your life, specific person for you to marry, specific job, specific car, home, dog, kids, etc. “Permissive will” means God doesn’t mind who you marry, where you live, what job you have, what car you drive, etc. Give this some thought, especially when you’re learning how to trust God with your future, family, finances and friends. What you believe about God’s will for your life affects how you trust and respond when you hear Him calling. Even if you believe God has a perfect will for your life — and even if you missed His mark — remember that you can turn back. You may not be able to get back the time, people, opportunity, or resources you lost…but if you follow Jesus, your life will be redeemed.
3. Expect seasons of fast growth…and seasons of slow growth…
Abram “journeyed by stages to the Negev” (Genesis 12:9), and then “went by stages from the Negev to Bethel” (Genesis 13:3). Abram’s plans — both when he was and wasn’t trusting God with his future — involved a progression. A process, a slow movement forward, a journey. Abram’s plans started with a notion, a seed of an idea, a possibility for the future. That notion or inkling became a thought, which developed into concrete plans to move to a different place. This is often how life unfolds, isn’t it? Notions become ideas. Ideas become thoughts. Thoughts become plans. Plans become reality. For better or worse.
How can you make the most of the stage you’re in? Earlier I mentioned that my fear of disrupting my husband’s life prevents me from actively trusting God with my future. I’m reluctant to put our dogs in a kennel while I pursue my dreams, plans, goals. I’m also recovering from a broken shoulder and orthopedic surgery, which limits my energy and mobility. So, I’m in a season of waiting, slow growth, reflecting on the possibilities. What about you — what season are you in? How can you make the most of this season while learning how to trust God with your future plans? Write down a few practical things you can do, things that will help grow emotionally, spiritually, professionally, mentally. Even more importantly, grow forward in your relationship with Jesus.
Read Genesis 13. See how Abram wandered off track, and how God welcomed him back? God and Abram had a strong relationship…and you can have a strong relationship with the Lord, too! It starts with learning how to trust God with your future, and it will blossom when you keep moving forward no matter what season you’re in.
What is holding you back from actively trusting God with your future plans? Your thoughts — big and little — are welcome below!
With His love,
P.S. If you’re struggling with a difficult decision or starting a new season in life, read An Easy Way to Stop Overthinking God’s Will.