Do you spend a lot of time dreaming about your life, wondering when Jesus is going to fulfill your dreams? I think about his plans for me when I go to sleep, wake up, when I’m driving, and sitting in the doctor’s office along with every other minute of the day. After all my thinking and surmising, I’m still not sure how or when he will make things happen. But still I can’t resist planning and figuring things out so I can give God my suggestions. But, when I give him my proposal, I usually only receive vague instructions like: wait, go, pray, listen, be patient, believe, have faith, or step out.
Have you ever felt this way? Good I'm not alone and neither are you. In Luke 17:20-21 a Pharisee asks Jesus when the kingdom of God will come, and Jesus responds in the same indirect manner. The Pharisee is probably expecting Jesus to give him specific signs and details, but this is the answer he gets: “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, not will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Jesus is basically telling the Pharisee, "You won't know if you carefully investigate the world around you, and you won't get the answer from anyone around you because 'the kingdom of God is within you.'" I wonder if the Pharisee walked away more confused than when he came. Jesus gave him the same abstract answer we often receive.
Why does God answer us like this? Why won’t he tell us WHAT to DO?
God’s words are not specifically directional because his kingdom is more about what’s happening inside us than where we are headed. We are often so obsessed with God's plans that we forget his primary purpose. His primary purpose is to transform our souls to become like Jesus, but we often forsake our own souls by focusing on how to change the world around us. But think about it, if we let the kingdom of God invade our hearts, it will inevitably effect the world around us.
The degree to which you submit your life directly correlates to the measure he will use your life. He can use anything you give him. But I don’t want him to use my “anything” when I could give him "everything". The question is, "How do you want him to use your life?"
So what if we stop dreaming about what he can do through us and start imagining what he will do in us?
If your best laid plans are falling apart, possibly God's not as concerned with what's happening on the outside, but how you're responding on the inside. Maybe the work he is accomplishing inside is 100 times greater than your best-laid-plans. God's kingdom is about changing one soul at a time over time.
- Make a list of character issues Jesus worked on earlier this year. (My biggest one was: to believe the best and not the worst about people and situations).
- Take some time to ask God if he has more to do in these areas and give him permission to continue.
Offer It Up:
“Jesus, even though your vagueness is frustrating at times, we realize you are more concerned about who we are and not what we do. So, we submit our will to yours and ask for your kingdom to come inside us. You are a God who does not expect any greater offering than our sincere hearts and devotion.”
"God’s words are not specifically directional because his kingdom is more about what’s happening inside us than where we are headed." @SharieKing99 | Click to Tweet
"The degree to which you submit your life directly correlates w/ the measure Jesus will use it to change the lives of others." @SharieKing99 | Click to Tweet
"Jesus will use your 'anything' but he wants to use your 'everything'." @SharieKing99 | Click to Tweet
"God's kingdom is about changing one soul at a time over time." @SharieKing99 | Click to Tweet
About the Author:
Sharie serves the ministry as a speaker, traveling to universities, churches, camps and ladies events across the country. She is also an active writer and blogger.
Sharie was born and raised in Atlanta, GA where she gave her heart to Jesus when she was just 11 years old. At 12, she surrendered her life to ministry.
As a wife and ministry partner to Clayton, Sharie helped build the organization, working in multiple capacities since 1997.
She has written four books, co-authoring two with Clayton: 12 Questions to Ask Before You Marry, and The Beauty and the Mystery. She and Clayton also partnered with Lifeway to develop a curriculum for students based on their book True Love Project, recognized by Christian Retailers as the Best Non-Fiction in 2015. True Love Project (40 Days of Purity for Girls) also complements this piece.
Sharie also serves their children, Jacob and Joseph, as a full-time teacher, homeschooling the boys. She loves to paint, read and thrives outdoors!