Are you thinking about making plans to go someplace important in life?
When it comes to life, God established a perfect standard for developing plans: they must be revealed by Him, motivated by purpose, and in response to His will…rather than initiated by or centered on self.
Purpose involves people, ignites passion, and inspires pursuit. When it is time to take a Great Trip, there are nine key considerations to get you on the right way at the right time. (I’ve included sections of the Life Purpose Planning Course for reference and further study.)
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
1. Decide Who Will Drive
Am I willing to do God’s will, whatever it may be? If not, am I “willing to be made willing”?
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
2. Prepare and Pack Prayerfully
Have I prayed fervently about God’s direction?
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
*Pray and fast
3. Make Sure Your GPS is Working
Is God motivating me toward or away from a particular course of action?
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
*Listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit
4. Check the Map
What principles, guidance, commands, and prohibitions apply? What motivating verses or promises has God given me?
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
5. Check Travel Conditions
Has God arranged events to give me positive guidance? Is this God directing my steps?
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).
*Consider providential circumstances
6. Consult Significant Travelers
What prayerful counsel have I received from my parents and Christian mentors who know me well and are familiar with my situation?
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).
*Obtain Godly counsel
7. Get In—With Your Tools
What combination of skills, gifts, and talents has God given me to delightfully serve and effectively minister to a group of people I really care about? How does God want me to use these to accomplish His purpose in my life?
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).
*Review your God-given gifts and abilities
8. Start Your Engine—and Listen
Do I have continued inner peace as I consider the above factors in prayer? Or do I experience restlessness, impatience, or inner conflict?
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:17).
9. Proceed Faithfully
Is now the time to proceed, delay, or halt by faith, to respond to the light God has given through one or several of the above principles?
Before proceeding, George Mueller, Christian evangelist and coordinator of orphanages in Bristol, Engand, asked himself, “Is this God’s work, done God’s way, in God’s timing?”
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Ps 37:3-5).