“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” — Michelle Obama
“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.” — Jeffrey Gitomer
Trends come and go. But one trend has become a foundational belief and has grown into a worldview: Self-Elevation By Seeking Success. Yes, we are encouraged to risk our assets to start new businesses, invest in thriving stocks, and climb the career ladder. And now, “Influencers” who feel they have the wisdom of Solomon convince us to go for it. Sadly, many people act on the advice of those who are making blanket statements and live stressed-out, unhappy lives because they have suffered financial losses, or traded away their peace of mind.
Okay, we know the world seeks after tangible things. But many of the royal priesthood–believers, whom God loves, fully accept the prosperity messages preached from pastors who thrive on material wealth. The prevalent scripture that is misquoted and misinterpreted is Jeremiah 29:11. God’s promise is manipulated and twisted from its original meaning to support the acquisition of wealth.
NASB translation: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
KJV-For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In Matthew 6, Jesus gave us warnings regarding the pursuit of wealth: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [material wealth].” Matthew 6:24.
James clarifies the stability of our lives, cautioning us not to make future plans.
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit. Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:13, 14 NLT, NIV)
Does the life of a believer consist of an endless list of “Do Nots?” God has given us the ability to dream and abundantly blessed us with natural talents and spiritual gifts. Learning and accepting that God’s plans are 100% fail-proof should provide us with the desire to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. Jeremiah 10:23.
Christ in His life on earth made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will? As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps. E.G. White
Before making a decision, pray and wait on God for an answer in every aspect of your life. God has the desire to bless us “according to His riches in glory” according to His will and His plans. The peace and joy that come from faith, trust, and obedience in God are available to every disciple. God’s omniscience gives Him the ability to guarantee the perfect outcome of His plans. Who else can provide us with the guarantee that no obstacles–human or spiritual wickedness can prevent the plans of the Almighty God from coming into fruition?
Prayer: God, help us to rely totally on you. We ask for direction in our lives and the strength to achieve and fulfill Your plans. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2022 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers, and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries