When you think about God, what comes to mind? Who is God to you? Is He someone you rely on, or is He someone you hardly know, if at all? Do you think of Him as a loving father, or someone who is only there to judge you and make you feel bad about yourself ? There are a lot of misconceptions in our society about God and who He really is. The ultimate question to be answered in our lives is: Who is God, and where do I fit in His plan?
Since time began, people have tried to fit God into their own understanding. We have formed our own opinions, and if that is not good enough, we just tell ourselves that He does not exist. We declare, that we ourselves must be God, and everything revolves around us. But God says in Psalm 14:1,"The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."KJV. However, there are others who believe in God, but are confused about his purpose or plan for them.
Let me assure you that God is a loving Father, who desires your best. He wants to see you succeed. Not only does He want you to succeed, but He has provided a blueprint to help you get there. God truly does love you and cares what you go through in your life. Because of the challenges you have faced in your life, it may be hard to see anything good coming your way, but hold on because God is still in control. God has a plan to make you a successful, happy and healthy person. All He requires of you is to follow Him.
It is unfortunate that there are many people today that feel they know better than God. They work with you, live with you or are related to you. So they must know better than anyone what you need, right? And they are more than willing to give you their advice. When questioned about whether what they are telling you is what God would desire for your life, they are quick to remind you how spiritual they are, so it must be from God. But what they are really doing is trying to place their own mistaken values on you, and claim that it is God's will.
But cheer up! By the time you finish reading this book, you will have a much better understanding of God and His purpose for your life. Just remember, He wants you to succeed, He is on your side, and even better, He wants to share His life with you. So sit back and relax as you read about God's wonderful plan for your success!
Who Is God?
What we know about God is given to us in the Bible. We know that He is described as all-knowing(omniscient), all-powerful(omnipotent), and all present(omnipresent) meaning He can be everywhere at the same time. Next time you think your God, trying being everywhere at once. He describes himself in the bible as the Alpha and Omega(the beginning and the end). If you have trouble understanding that, then join the club, because a lot of people try but never can get their heads around that fact. What I am saying is there are things about God that we can't understand because, well frankly, we are not God. That is where living by faith comes in. We believe in God, by faith.
God also gave Moses some clue as to who He is when He gave Moses instructions to lead the children of Israel. Moses had the same question. In Exodus 3:13,14 it says, "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and He said, thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.KJV.
We can attempt to contradict or find some flaw in God's statements somewhere, or we can live by faith and follow His will. Just as a side note, let me advise you that those who are trying to prove God wrong have wasted a lot of their life. God is God, yesterday, today and forever.
Your Life (Who Are You?)
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Who am I ? What am I doing here? We all have asked ourselves that at one time or another. Especially as teenagers when the world can be a very confusing place.
Have you ever felt like a robot at times? Like you are only here to do what someone else wants you to do? Sadly, there are people who try to take advantage of your good nature, and will try to impose their will on you. They remind you that God says we are to be servants of one another, but somehow it seems like you are doing most of the serving. There is a big difference between being a servant and being a slave. We are to serve each other out of a loving, genuine desire to help, not out of demand by someone elses whims. So how do I fit in God's design? How can I understand God's ways?
When you were created, you were designed by God himself to be your own individual person, with your own talents and abilities. There is no one else like you. Someone may have your same name, but no one else thinks,talks or acts exactly as you do. You are an original design by God's plan. Don't let anyone make you feel inferior or that you were a mistake. God does not make mistakes. He planned you, and has a special purpose for your life. Psalm 139:14 says, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."KJVE
The main reason that you are here is because God desires your fellowship. Now you may think that He could make anybody for that, which is another reason that you should feel special. God could make anything praise Him, but He desires your company. God says that if we withhold our praise, the rocks would praise Him. Luke 19:39,40 says, "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And He said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."KJV.
So how would you like to be upstaged by a rock? Don't ever take for granted the special place you have in God's heart. As an example, God calls us his children. Think about your own children for a minute. At times they disappoint you, maybe even make you a little angry, but you wouldn't trade them for anything. You know how happy you are when they are around, and hate when they don't have time for you. God feels the same way about you. He wants your companionship. He knows you intimately, and would like you to know more about him. This life we live is actually a place for us to learn more about God and his ways. And in doing so, we become more successful in our lives.
God's success blueprint is actually found in Psalm 1. It says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not whither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."KJV.
How would you like it said about you, that whatever you put your hand to prospers? God promised that it could happen to you. The first point is that you be someone who delights in the law of the lord. That doesn't mean that you keep the ten commnadments and never do anything wrong. We are human and we do sin. But God wants us to strive in delighting in two important things. To love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and second to love your neighbor as yourself. Like I said, you are going to make mistakes. We all do. But keep these things in the forfront of your mind and you will prosper.
God's plan for your Wealth:
Have you ever heard anyone say that if you have money, you can't be a Christian? To listen to some people, in order to be a Christian you have to be just barely getting by,drive an old car, wear old clothes and generally give the impression of someone who has no money. Of course you will never catch them living like that. I hear people say this all the time, and it is actually a misinterpretation of the scriptures. So how does God feel about having money?
The question is not about having money,but rather about what you do with what you have. God wants to use you to increase his kingdom. That does not mean that he wants your money. Remember, just like he could make the rocks praise him, he could produce all the money he needs if he wanted to. It's not about the money, it is about having someone who is a good manager of what he gives you. God wants people who will be responsible with what He gives them.
I'm sure you know people who would be dangerous if given a million dollars. One minute they would have it, and the next minute it would be gone. God needs people who can be examples of Godliness to the world, and he wants to use you as that example. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having money. But it is a matter of whether you use it responsibly or selfishly.
So how does God know if you are someone He can trust? It is actually very simple. He watches what you do with what you have. If He sees you are a good steward of what He has already given you, then He will increase what you have. Here is a story to illustrate what I'm talking about, taken right from God's Word. Matthew 25:14-29 says, "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold,I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I had sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."EKJV.
The key is, the better manager you are, the more God gives you to manage. To put it bluntly, most people don't have a lot because they aren't good managers of what they have. Unfotunately you will always hear them making statements like, "If you are rich, you cannot be a Christian.EThey will quote the scripture that says it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But take note, it says it is harder, it does not say it is impossible. While it is true that wealth can change a person, it still does not mean God doesn't reward good stewardship. There are many examples of people in the Bible who showed good stewardship, including Joseph(son of Jacob), Job and Solomon.
While we are on the subject,it must also be said that wealth does not mean just in monetary terms. A person can also be wealthy in friends, family, business and in life in general. It just depends on how you look at it. Which brings us to the next point. Responsibility can either make you stronger, or more stressed out. Again it depends on how you respond to the pressure.
God's Plan For Your Happiness:
Have you ever seen someone who had great wealth or responsibility, but looked like they had been sucking on sour pickles? They are very powerful and have a lot of influence, but have no idea how to be happy anymore. They have allowed the pressure to overcome their happiness. So does responsibility equal a seriuos attitude? Only if your goal is a short life!
Believe it or not, you can be successful and happy at the same time. This may sound like a simple solution, but the key to happiness is a matter of who is in control. We worry about our lives way too much. What would happen if you actually turned everything, and I mean everything over to God? What if He was now in control of everything that happens, and in charge of the results? You would actually have nothing to worry about, because it's not your problem. You would be able to just concentrate on living and enjoying life. But the reason we are not willing to give God control is that he might do something that we did not want. His results might be different than ours. Guess what, His results might be even better than ours. As a matter of fact, I will go out on a limb and say that I know his results will be better, because we have a way of messing up our lives over and over again.
We are professional worriers. Some of us would not know what to do if we had nothing to worry about. But when you worry, you are actually taking control away from God. So how is it working for you? I already know the answer, because I am a professional worrier too. I deal with the same stresses and pressures that you do. The key to happiness is to learn to give God the control of our lives. Trust Him with the outcome. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that God knows what he is doing. Allow me to share some scripture with you, that will show you how God takes care of us. I'm sure you will instantly recognize it, but it's good to just let it sink in once in a while.
Psalm 23 says, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."KJV
The key to your happiness is a matter of who is in control. The less you are in control, the happier you will be. God knows you intimately and wants you to get to know Him. He wants you to succeed, and has even given you the plan. He delights in your company and wants to share His life with you. All He wants you to do is just- Follow Him!
Read more articles by Carl Pruit or search for articles on the same topic or others.