Focusing on the future, learning to trust in God’s plan, and practicing spiritual disciplines
While preparing this week’s blog, I stopped writing just as I was finishing the post. I felt as if God was telling me to think of something new. To look into the future and beyond. This is what I intend to do with this post, to not dwell on the past but to look towards the days ahead.
As I was having writer’s block, I asked my Dad for input, and he said something that essentially encompassed what I was thinking. He told me, “It’s easy to get submerged in the past. It’s more fun to float in faith.”
Too often, that’s exactly what happens. We become easily entangled in the past, when God is urging us to look at what He has in store for us. So instead of submerging yourself in the quicksand of the past, relax, take a spiritual floating tube, and float on the never-ending river of God’s faith.
I thought about this and thought about this, and I decided to write a Spiritual Bucket List of sorts. This doesn’t necessarily imply that these are things I plan to do before I die physically, but a list of things that I will strive to work on as I turn to God to help me keep focused on the future.
Here’s what I thought of so far:
1.) Complain less. This is something that I struggle with. It’s easy to complain about the little things. When I complain, something I will try to do is to step back mentally and think of something positive in that situation.
2.) Watch my tongue. This is another one of my struggles. Recently, I told a friend that for Lent, I made it my goal to give up cussing and hopefully continue this for months and years to come. When I told my friend this, she was perplexed, telling me that she’s never heard me swear. One thing that the vast majority of people don’t know is that when I think no one is listening, I occasionally talk like a sailor, so to speak. I have prayed to God to help me stop cussing as I felt that it drew me away from Him. It can be hard to break a habit like this one. I continue to slip, but I am trying.
3.) Slow down, don’t rush, take time, and listen to people. I love to have conversations with people. Once I get to know you, I love to talk. One thing I strive to do is to never feel so much in a hurry that I can’t enjoy a conversation with someone.
4.) Read my bible more! It’s easy to get so caught up in homework, essays, book reviews, Netflixing, spending mindless hours googling something absurd on the internet, and of course Trivia Crack. Now while I don’t plan on completely giving up the internet, a nice movie, or my new favorite trivia game, or more importantly, schoolwork, I need to spend more time in the Word. So instead of that watching that movie that probably stinks anyways, I will try to instead read a chapter or two of the Bible.
These are just some of the things I plan to work on. As I try to complain less, use my words more wisely (even when no one is around, God still is), take time to listen, and read God’s Word more, I will also try my best to focus on what God has in store for me.
Which is why I will try to focus more on the future. God has something mighty in store for me. I don’t know His exact plans, and I’m not going to try and put Him in a box like that, because not a single box fits. I hope, however, to graduate from UMHB, go to grad school, get married, have a family, have a nice career, encourage others in their walks with God as they encourage me, run for president (Stewart 2028!), win the Nobel Peace Prize, invent some new technology, make first contact with extraterrestrials (My Klingon is a little rusty), etc. Lofty goals? Some of them perhaps. I’ve already pictured where I want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 15, 20 etc. But even if that doesn’t go the way I would like, the awesome truth is that God has something in store for me. I don’t know what, but I know it’s something.
And the beautiful thing is that He has something in store for us all. Maybe for some of you, part of your plans have recently come crashing down and things didn’t work the way you thought they would. However, I pray you can take comfort in knowing that God has something in store for your life. If what you wanted didn’t turn out the way you wanted, perhaps God has something even better in store for your life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying forget about your past and don’t tell it to anyone. In my previous post last week I talked about the power of sharing your testimony, because we each have a story to tell. So share your story! What I’m saying here is that we should try to focus on the good that God has in store for us.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
In this verse, God is telling us that we shouldn’t worry. Instead we should strive to rely fully on Him. Our God is so mighty and so great that we can’t put him in a box to fit our expectations. God tells us that He is making the way, not us. We’re not making the way, He is! And He is so powerful, that he can make rivers in our deserts!
Therefore, when we place our full trust in Him, He will guide us towards our future. This assures me that I don’t have to worry about tomorrow, because my plans will never work exactly how I want them. I don’t know what the future brings, but I know that God does, and any future with Him is an awesome future regardless of the challenges.
So while this post’s title is “My Spiritual Bucket List,” the awesome thing is that as a believer, when I die on this Earth, I know I will continue living, spending eternity with Christ. This is the greatest promise we have in store as believers. How awesome is it to know that one day, everyone will stand before God and proclaim that He is Lord, and as believers in Christ, we will spend eternity with Him. This is something I certainly look forward to.
In the meantime, as I look forward to that wonderful day, I look towards the future in my life here on Earth. In preparation for living with HIM, I will strive to practice these spiritual disciplines that are on my “Spiritual Bucket List.” I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but I know that my God will be with me tomorrow as He is today.
As you look ahead, plan some ideas of how to draw yourself closer to Christ and others, and always trust in Him to guide your future.
So instead of submerging yourself in the past, FLOAT IN FAITH!
English Standard Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
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