defined by others…
Ever looked around and wondered, “What’s next?” The tone of your voice and how you say that can communicate volumes! From a “I’m ready for anything”, “bring it on”, to a nearly defeated “what could possibly go wrong now” attitude.
We have all been there… what does the future hold? What are the “Next Steps”? What you must get a hold of and always remember is this – God wants to take you from where you are to where you need to be.
This is true for every person reading this… age doesn’t matter, how long you’ve been a Christian doesn’t matter. He wants you to finish what you’re doing and step into the next thing because your future is always forward, it is just ahead of you.
Sometimes it is helpful to know what a thing isn’t, because that will help define what it might be…
Your future is not defined by others…
When we talk about the future we are speaking about things that haven’t happened. I know that is stating the obvious but it is something we have to keep in mind. Just as we learned earlier, your future is not what you think it is… your future is what God knows it to be!
“I refuse to live and die in the box of someone else’s design.” Unknown
I was given this quote at a particularly rough time in my life. I was struggling for definition and direction, what am I called and capable of doing, what is my future and how will it be defined. You see others were attempting to define these for me and this quote really helped me understand that I didn’t need to live in a future of their design.
How many of us have allowed others to define who, what, when, where and how we will live!?! Instead, we should be relying on God, the one who knows what we are really capable of. There is safety in the counsel of many but our ultimate counsel should be His.
I am reminded of a young lady who I have known for nearly 13 years. (I did ask her permission to speak about her and I want you to understand I am speaking from my perspective not from anything she directly said to me.)
She was a homebody. She really didn’t like to travel to far from family. Not that she was afraid; she just didn’t want to go to far out of familiar territory without family.
This became an issue when she left home to attend a Bible school. It was hard! She was away from home, missing the comfort and security of her family, she rarely went off campus unless it was with others.
In fact, most thought if she ever went on the mission field it would likely be to Africa with her family, family you know provides safety and security, a safe haven against a nasty world. I personally thought she would be a great fit in our children’s ministry on Sunday and preschool during the week.
Who would have thought that instead she would actually go to India? Alone! With no family! Who would have predicted that in High School or at Bible school?
She went from a girl afraid to leave home, to a young woman who is on the mission field with no support except for her family, friends, and church back in the U.S.! She is hanging out on the end of a long rope trusting that she is doing the Lord’s work with special medical needs children at an orphanage in India!
She is not living in the box others defined for her! She is allowing God to define her future and He is busting up the box of anyone else’s design…
John 14:16-17 (NASB)
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth…”
John 16:13 (NLT)
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
Your future is not defined by others… your future is determined by “Another”.
If the Apostle Paul had allowed others to define his future, instead of letting “Another” determine it, we may not have half the NT.
If John Mark had allowed Paul to define his future instead of letting “Another” determine it we may not have the Gospel of Mark. He would not have been a companion to Barnabas, Peter, or years later to Paul.
“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.” Jim Rohn
Do not allow your future to be defined by others, let your future be determined by “Another”.