Encouragement for Today
“The Fundamentals of a Life Plan”
Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Romans 8:31-35, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (NIV)
Do you ever feel as though you don’t have enough time? There is no changing that there are only 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and seven days in a week. We have instant messages, instant dinners, instant coffee, and even instant grits. We wake up to alarm clocks, run our errands, and get stuck in rush hour traffic. It’s no wonder we start our days with a cereal appropriately named Cheerios, otherwise we might go Grape-Nuts!
I was speaking at a retreat once where we played an interesting ice breaker game. As we walked into the registration room a mysterious sign was placed on our backs. We were told that we had just been assigned a new “famous” identity and that it was our job to figure out who we were based on the comments of others. For many of us, we are playing the very same game every day of our lives, never guessing the name on our back is our very own.
In search of the who, what, where, why, and how answers in life, we seek to discover ourselves, but get lost in the process. I think life would be a lot easier if we all carried cards with us that listed the answers to all these questions about ourselves. Then we could cut through all the small talk and move right into the business of getting to know one another. Ok, that is a bit extreme, but it does bring out an interesting point. If you were required to carry such a card, would you know how to fill it out?
When I first started the process of answering these questions about my life, the answers were less than beautiful. In fact, the description I came up with was so unattractive it is no wonder I had a hard time getting out of bed many mornings. My identity was like a tiny life raft tossed about in the sea. How I felt about who I was, why I existed, and what I was to do vacillated between positive and negative depending on how I perceived others were thinking of me at the time. If the waters were calm and serene, I drifted without direction, but at least above water. The danger came the moment a storm started brewing; I had no anchor, no compass, no hope.
Many times, our self-perception tends to revolve around the negative, things parents or peers have communicated to us throughout our lives. Therefore, we often see ourselves as less than acceptable and inadequate. It is here that we must look to God’s Word to understand the truth about who we are.
God sees us as being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Therefore, if God thinks I’m wonderful, then who am I to question Him? He means for me to anchor my life to His truth, let His Word be the light that directs me, and find the hope that can only be found in having a personal relationship with Jesus.
Because God thinks so highly of my life, so should I. Today’s key verse continues to answer our lives’ questions with a resounding, “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs. 39). God says that I am His holy and dearly loved child. God says that I am accepted.
God wants you and me to answer the fundamental question of life based on His definition of us as individuals, not anyone else’s. Understanding your identity in Christ is a crucial part of your spiritual journey. It will help you develop the eyes of faith to see past today’s troubles to where you want to be in the future. As a child of God, you have His power working in you, which will increase your potential beyond your wildest dreams and highest hopes.
My Prayer for Today:
Heavenly Father, help me today to know who I am according to your Word. May I be reminded of the greatest Love of all, the death of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I declare that His blood was enough to give me a hope and a future even when my world seems purposeless and chaotic. Reveal the who, what, when, why, and how You have ordained for my life so that I may live it to the fullest.
Prayerfully answer these questions:
Who am I? (My Foundation)
Why do I exist? (My Purpose)
What am I to do? (My
Where am I to serve? (My Ministry)
When does God want me to do these things? (My Stages of Life)
How am I to live my day-to-day life? (My Principles)
Have you ever stopped to wonder at the amazing way God has created you? Write down ten wonderful things about yourself. Don’t let this be difficult. If you have a hard time, ask God to reveal the things He would have you write down.
Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:11, “’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.’”
Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst
Lysa’s Testimony (on audio tape and CD), by Lysa TerKeurst
A Woman’s High Calling, by Elizabeth George