"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." (Proverbs 16:3)
I am currently a graduate student in my master’s program at Indiana Wesleyan University. Through the university each week, we are asked to complete reflections based on that week’s subject topic. Recently I completed a devotional where the focus of questions was based on: Why is it so difficult to keep God at the front of your plans, whether it be business ventures, career moves, or financial expenditures? What keeps you from committing your plans to God?
"How might you work towards keeping God's will at the forefront of all of your planning?"
Below is my reflection on those questions:
I find that there are so many distractions and obligations in daily life. When we feel we must complete task after task, fill our lives with busyness, in areas of business ventures, career moves, and financial expenditures, we often lose sight of the most important thing: keeping God first in all that we do. We become so consumed with being successful and achieving our goals through our careers that we tend to forget, at times, what is most important. I have personally experienced that myself. When I worked as a case manager, I became so engrossed in working on completing all of the job tasks that I lost sight of keeping God first in each move I made. That absence of placing God first caused so many downfalls. My work suffered, my health suffered, and even at times, my faith. When I was able to refocus and place God at the center and first and foremost of my life, it helped me to see that I needed to change career paths to one where I was able to focus on placing God first, even though that can be quite challenging at times. This helped me to choose IWU as my college for my master’s degree.
"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." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Many obligations, distractions, and temptations in life can all keep us from committing our plans to God. We are often distracted by what appeals to us and/or distracts us that we forget in life what is most important. We see large homes, extravagant vacations, beautiful clothes, and items to fill our homes that we become fixated on achieving those things when we should be committing our time and devotion to the Lord. We feel that we become obligated through our careers to advance in the workplace by impressing our superiors that we forget that our first commitment should be to God. It can also be challenging to commit your plans to God because not all may share that faith, especially within the workplace. This can cause you to feel conflicted and isolated, how do we balance our commitment to God and be successful in other areas of our lives as well? How can we continue to discern our plans with the Lord even when others around us may ridicule us for doing so? These are but a few of the questions that you may ask yourself (and questions that I often entertain) that can make it so overwhelming to place your trust and future in God.
"Can we continue to trust God when life does not always move in the direction we would prefer?"
You can keep God at the forefront of your planning by making ways to remind yourself that He comes first in all that you do. You can start doing this through something as small as keeping a Bible app on your phone that gives you a daily Bible verse or following a daily devotional book. When I first felt that I was straying from God, I went out and found a devotional book that has a daily bible verse and an area where I can reflect on what that verse means to me and how I can apply it to my life. I also believe that taking small amounts of time out of your day to pray can help you to re-center and refocus your attention, goals, and plans to the Lord. I work to keep a schedule with me each day to ensure time to take a break, breathe, and pray. This time helps to keep in mind what is most important in life and what should remain at the center of everything we do, the Lord. Also, working to surround yourself with people who look to place God first in their lives can help you to do the same. Finding others that love and serve God in every environment can be difficult, especially in the workplace. But, having even a few close individuals that help to remind you to Break, Breathe, and Pray can help you see that God should always be at the center of your life. These small opportunities for prayer, reflection, and discernment each day can help us to keep our minds and focus on committing ourselves to God and ensure he is at the forefront of our minds.