By Angel Quiroz
A man’s sense of personal responsibility is one of his defining characteristics. I would argue it’s one of his most admirable qualities. His ability to cope with complex situations and be decisive, his ability to strategize and delegate is a characteristic known throughout history to have brought us great achievements. As we roll into this modern age, do we as men take our faith as a humble excuse to set aside this responsibility? Or do we bear the God of the universe as our Great Delegator? The One who shows us how and when to make our next move. I would hope for the latter.
As manhood has “progressed” in today’s society and church culture has fought to keep up, I’ve noticed a shift in the mindsets of young people. Where “God has a plan for you, son.” Has somehow become “God will do everything for you, kid.” And “God loves you too much to leave you this way.” Has become “God is soooo judgemental! He wants to change me. I was born this way.”
To many, this seems like I’m making a mountain out of a mustard seed (see what I did there) but there are certain principles I truly believe are will never change when it comes to manhood as scripture shows us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
One of the verses told to many, as we begin our walk, for some reason I’ve seen this verse told a lot to young men. Yet in the context of life and God, this seems to confuse the heck out of these youngins. It’s like they were going about life thinking one of two things.
All of a sudden someone comes along and tells them, no no no! God has a plan for you! And it’s almost a relief! Like now, they don’t have to work hard. Now, God will handle it. And although that may be true to an extent, we have our part to play as children. He has His part to play as Father (abba).
The point of this verse is not to show someone that God will do things for them, but that God has already thought and established something for them. The missing part of the puzzle is our involvement, our effort and hard work in finding our purpose and plan.
But we still have the ability to choose. And when we choose, we still have the ability to fail.
But God will be there to turn those failing consequences around for our good, if we so choose. I know it’s a lot less catchy than “God has a plan for you.” But it’s all right there in any story you read in scripture.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity
There’s a “then YOU”
Which means the “plans” (or “thoughts” in Hebrew) that God has for us requires action from us to come to pass. This is vital to our mindset. This is essential because as we develop an American consumer culture that expects an even trade off, where we receive in order to give; God says just the opposite. He says first you have to give, and then you receive.
Gods established a future for us already. It is only in the seeking that we will know what that is. I can tell you personally, that it’s particularly hard on men to do this. The simple truth is that although there is a huge amount of responsibility on us, God delights in giving us choices. He is a perfect Father. He wants us to win, so he sets us up with wisdom, gives us every right to choose, and allows us to pick, but ultimately; He wants us to win! He is pulling for our success, and helping us along the journey.
We must be results driven, action oriented, facts or bust! How can we seek God with all of our hearts, mind, and soul if we don’t see results? Therein lies the answer. We tend to think of seeking God as an inherently factless pursuit. Where we throw inhibition to the whim and chase feelings and Holy Spirit highs all day long (maybe that’s just me) but that’s not what Jeremiah, nor any of the scripture writers meant.
When Luke wrote about loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind you must remember that he was a man who never met Jesus. This takes a great amount of faith and dedication, even hard work to chronicle all of the things he did. Luke was a disciple of Paul and to boot…he was a Doctor.
My point is that chasing God means in no way to be anti-intellectual. God is truth and where you find truth you will find Him. So chase truth and I assure you that as you seek God with His scriptures you will unlock the secrets of the universe you’ve been looking for.
You’re Not Them
Simply saying that God has a plan for us undervalues our great callings. Where each and every one of us is totally unique and destined to Gods great plan, we must never forget that God requires us to seek him, to love him and without that we will never see His plan in our lives. His plan may look totally different in each one of us, but that’s what makes Him so incredible. He is a creator, you are His creation. Don’t think for a second that you were ever made similar to anyone else. With a similar plan. You weren’t.