Worried that God does not have a plan for you? Or do you have purpose but fear of failure. Maybe you are still in faith boot camp. Discover how you are trained for God’s plan for your life.
Faith Boot Camp: Training for God’s plan for your life
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
We serve a miraculous God and that is easier for me to say than to truly understand. How can I ever grasp someone who has no beginning, no end, infinite knowledge and perfect wisdom? Our God is so perfect that He is unchanging. Why? Because He has always been flawless, every decision made perfectly and, therefore, no need to change. He knows what we are going to ask before we ask it. And He knows our true needs when our mind tells us differently. He cannot be manipulated or confused. God knows all, sees all, and is all around us. He is the omnipotent Creator, Yahweh, and the mission is to serve God’s plan for your life.
Although we cannot grasp His vision, humanity has a way of questioning His intentions, His decision-making, and the vastness of His love. It’s understandable since we are creatures of sight and struggle with just letting go and walking in faith. But that is what we are going to focus on today. Understanding God’s ways and why they often do not align with our own.
Why do I not know God’s Plan for my life?
Before entering the Navy, I remember visiting the recruiter’s office every weekend to join in the “recruit run.” We would run around the building and slowly build up to running in some 5k’s on base. We were eased into the physical training to prepare us for the 12 week boot camp where we would be training daily.
When I finally arrived at boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, I remember walking through more snow than I had ever seen, with a full pack of gear, just to get to my quarters. Just walking through the snow was more exhausting than my recruit runs and I could not imagine what it would be like if my recruiter had not prepared me. He prepared me for what was to come, and honestly, I can’t say I even realized how bad it would be. Thank God that the recruiter had the foresight to prepare me for what was coming next. If not, I would probably still be laying in the snow waiting for Spring to come and thaw me out!
Once I got to boot camp, much of what we were required to do didn’t even make sense. From running needlessly all day, waking up from a dead sleep to recite the sailor’s creed; things I saw as useless and unnecessary. But once I was aboard an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Persian Gulf, I soon realized that although it wasn’t just like boot camp, I had developed skills I didn’t even realize. Boot camp conditioned me to endure the long days, jump out of bed at a moment’s notice, navigate a ship and manage the stress and isolation of a life at sea.
So the lesson?
The lesson here is that if you are on this earth, God has a plan for your life. If God is 100% good, then he did not create anyone to spend eternity in Hell. He does not delight in suffering and he only wants your love and to be glorified. But of course, we have free will and not everyone chooses that path. But our interactions with each other, no matter how small, can have a butterfly effect of massive proportion; good or bad.
You are here on earth because God has purpose for you. If you are not actively saving souls or leading others to Christ, perhaps you are in Bible boot camp, being shaped and trained. God is preparing you for what He knows you will become and ensuring you have the knowledge and endurance you need to succeed.
Another reason is that He knows your heart and there still may be something that will lead you down a path, from which, you may never recover. Perhaps you do not have the tools yet to handle what is coming and He knows sending you on your mission too early will cause you to fall away. We cannot even assume what God knows, but we can always assume that He knows what is best.
You never want to be aboard an aircraft carrier before you even know how to navigate one. It’s just a giant steel maze of numbers and letters, hatches and decks with potential dangers everywhere if you do not know what you are doing. So embrace the time that God is investing in you, learn and grow. If you are still standing, He will use the talents He blessed you with as long as you drop your self ambitions and follow His will.
I know God’s purpose for me but I am not growing!
Each night I pray that as God gifts my soul with His words to write, that whether I reach 1 million or just 1 person, that I remain humble, tenaciously follow His plan, and always give Him the glory. I do not write or take faith-inspired photography to gain fame, glory, or even “win” souls, I do it because my soul feels heavy until I let it out. God has filled me up so full that now I have to turn that valve open and let His glory flow out. We call that conviction, and I am sure you have felt it too. Open that valve and watch God flow as you grow.
If you feel you are not growing, then it is time to call on God in prayer and to reflect on things in your life that could be acting as “spiritual blockers.” These blockers are earthly things and mindsets that prevent our growth into Godly things. It could be something we carry along with us from our life before Christ. But it could also be a new habits and mindset that we have created.
For some, it’s feeling elevated above non-believers. If we are following Christ’s example, then we are separated but not elevated. Christianity does not elevate us above anyone, it is our job to show humility while elevating God above everything else.
There is also the struggle between our impatience and God’s perfect timing. How long do you think Joseph served as a slave and then sat in jail before interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, becoming the overseer to the King? Over 13 years! But now that we can look back, we realize Joseph was perfectly placed and prepared for the moment God called him to save Egypt and his family. God is much more patient than we are, waiting for the most opportune time to use the talents He gave us to further His glory.
No matter where you are in life, as long as you are following God and are bettering yourself to walk the path He has laid for you, enjoy the contentment that God provides and stand ready for His call. Just like boot camp, you train for what is coming. God may not tell you when He will call. Prepare yourself and trust it will come at the perfect moment.
I feel God working in my life, but I am not sure I am the up to the task
The tough love version of this answer is, you aren’t, at least not on your own. But all things are possible for God. Faith in God’s power is what led David to hurl a stone to defeat a giant. And it was faith in God’s plan that led Moses to demand that Pharaoh free God’s people. David didn’t have the combat knowledge to defeat Goliath and Moses didn’t have the Egyptian authority to give commands to Pharaoh. But as vessels of God’s plan, they fulfilled their duty and God was glorified.
So when we each have our self doubts just remember, God is accomplishing this plan through you. He will always give you what you need to succeed. Just trust and follow, let God do the rest.
Now Moving Forward to Serve God
Whether you are still trying to find your purpose in life, feeling stagnant, or currently seeing God work through you, know that He is always present and His heart is only full of love for you. We are all constantly growing as Christians and building our relationship with God.
There was a point in my life that salvation and a private relationship with God was enough. As I grew closer and saw Him moving in my life, the more my goals aligned with His. I held back for years thinking I was not insightful enough, not motivated enough, not knowledgeable enough; but that was my boot camp. I was training to become something other than myself. I learned that my shortcomings were not God’s, and it is His plan that calls me to action so He will see me through it.
Pictures and articles will not guarantee me a spot in Heaven, that is something given, not earned. My actions are a result of aligning myself with God, laying down the old version of myself and becoming the version that God always intended me to be. If you want to fulfill God’s plan for your life, God only needs one thing from you. Faith. Put your full faith in God and He will accomplish great things, through you.
I am a conceptual fine arts photographer and author for Seven11. Together with my wife, Kathleen, we pull inspiration from our photography to deliver messages of Christian encouragement to help others in their walk with Jesus. In addition to our writing, we also run a Christian podcast where we put “Christ in Focus.”As a separate mission, I author a photography blog to help new photographers develop their skills, learn tips and tricks, find reliable equipment, and I provide free mentorship. My goal is to prove to new photographers and models that they can pursue their dreams in fine art while staying true to their Christian values.
View all posts by Jon & Kathleen Frederick