Does God give us a blueprint for life?
The restoration of the operation of the gifts of revelation, namely Prophesying, Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge, has refreshingly reassured us that God does speak today. But one of the misuses of these gifts is evident when preachers who claim to have these gifts promise believers a blueprint for their lives. Though such a promise may be exciting, it is definitely not in line with the teaching of theBible.
God does not give us a blueprint but a map and a compass. If there’s a blueprint there’s no room for choices. We will be simply dictated by the details of the blueprint rather than directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Life will become dimensionless. It’s the element of uncertainty that adds excitement to life and strengthens faith. Of Abraham, the father of those who believe, it is said, “He went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb 11:8). This is walking by faith. We don’t need to know “what” the future holds for us. It’s enough if we are assured “who” holds the future for us.
When Paul at the hour of his conversion asked God, “Lord, what do You want me to do?,” he was not given a blueprint for the rest of his life. Rather, God answered him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6). This must have been very humbling for an intellect like Paul. But this best illustrates how God leads us by one step at a time. John Henry Newman (1801-1890)sang,
Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom;
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on;
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene;
One step enough for me.
Getting influenced by the so-called “prophetic blueprints” from preachers is highly risky and it may ruin your life completely. Don’t go from preacher to preacher asking for predictions. Direct and simple leading of the Holy Spirit is the birthright of every child of God (Rom 8:14). There’s a fourfold discipline which guarantees God’s direction for your life—
- Be regular in daily prayer and Bible meditation. Prayer tunes us up to the mind of God. The Bible is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psa 119:105).
- Be active in your work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Eccl 9:10a). God does not waste His guidance on lazy people.
- Be enthusiastic in serving God. Those who serve God wholeheartedly do not normally miss His will. A commitment to do maximum for the Kingdom of God delights His heart.
- Be joyful in the company of God’s people. Learning from one another gives you fresh insights. It keeps your heart from getting hardened (Eph 5:17,19; Heb 3:13).
People go for blueprints because they are afraid of making mistakes. No child learns walking without falling. Trying to be cocksure about everything actually paralyses us. Keeping the general Biblical principles in mind, walk according to whatever light you have. If you deviate, God will correct you by a voice “from behind” (Is 30:21). Even if you make a mistake, you don’t need to be unnerved. We learn from mistakes. When our heart is steadfast towards God, He will turn everything into good. God did not tell the apostles in the first instance itself to go to Macedonia. When they went to Asia the Holy Spirit forbade them to preach there. They tried to go to Bithynia and they were stopped by the Spirit there also. It was at Bithynia, the Lord gave them a call to Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10).
God does allow periods of darkness in our lives. We must simply trust in Him and stay put (Isa 50:10). “Bread of adversity and water of affliction” must not scare us (Isa 30:20). Running here and there will get us nowhere (vv15,16,18). Alongwith David we can sing, “God is my strength and power; He makes my way perfect” (2 Sam 22:33).
We understand the ways of God better and better only when we grow and mature. No father will tell a child what only an adult can understand. Jesus did not tell everything to His disciples in their three year training period. He once said to them, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (Jn 16:12). It is against God’s own wisdom and kindness if He gives us a complete picture of our future at the beginning or any stage of our walk with Him.