It’s often easy to make our own plans for our lives, and it’s often difficult to let go of those plans when things don’t seem to be going the way we expected. But God tells us in the Bible that He has His own plan for each of our lives, and He promises us that His way will be best. What does it take to let go of our plans and to trust God in every aspect of our lives?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Growing up, what did you imagine your future would look like?
2. Can you remember a time in your life when you felt a tug, perhaps from God, to make a certain life decision, but you felt hesitant because that option didn’t fit what you pictured in the plan you’d made for yourself? What was that like?
3. Read Jeremiah 29:11-14. What are some times when you’ve experienced evidence of this scripture?
4. Sometimes God expects us to bloom where we’re planted by making the best of our current circumstances, even when we might not love where we are or what’s going on in our lives. Have you had a time in your life when you worked to thrive in tough circumstances?
5. We learned this week that Daniel’s story gives us a good lesson on staying faithful to God in the workplace. Have you ever been asked or expected to do things in the workplace that would be at odds with God’s will? If so, how did you handle that? If not, how do you think you’d react if faced with that situation?
6. Read Daniel 1:17-19. God rewarded Daniel and his friends for their obedience in the workplace. Do you trust God with your career or future career plans? Have you ever felt scared to live your faith at work because it might hurt your career, so you compromise what you know God’s will and ways are to get ahead?
7. How will you respond to God’s promises to prosper you and not to harm you? Will you trust Him with your whole future? How will you demonstrate and live out that trust? What are some ways you can begin to stop trusting in your own plans and instead trust in the plans God has for you?
Jeremiah 29:11-14 – “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. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
Daniel 1:17-19 – To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider checking out the Surrender outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path.
[Followers of Jesus must learn] to fully surrender their desires, hopes, and dreams and to passionately seek God’s desires, hopes, and dreams. To do so is simultaneously death and life. We die to the life we had envisioned so that we may live life freely for the greatest of goods. This depth of surrender is both powerful and profound, albeit at times painful. There is a peace gained that life circumstances can never give, and there is an empowerment that happens toward fulfilling one’s true calling and the good works “God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). It’s only when we do this that we can authentically pray with Jesus, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39).
To complete the Surrender outcome in its entirety, head to gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/surrender
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/surrender