Do you ever feel like you’re never quite good enough? Does it feel like your own or someone else’s expectations for you can’t quite be reached no matter how hard you try? Unattainable expectations are not peaceful so why do we keep trying to attain them? If we are doing God’s will for our life then we will have peace. We know what Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, it’s a popular text: “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.” The KJV says God has thoughts of peace towards us.
Peace. Most of us would like to live a more peaceful life. But it seems as if something always comes along to disturb our peace; coworkers, family, random people we don’t know and personal ‘beat myself up’ thoughts as well as worried thoughts.
When was peace first interrupted? When Satan decided his wisdom was greater than Gods. He wanted to be set free from “the rules”. He wanted to “do his own thing”. He wanted everyone to think he was the greatest. Now think about it for a moment, could this be why we have so little peace? We like to think all the rules don’t apply to us, we want to break free and do our own thing and secretly we want others to think we are the greatest…at least the greatest at something. So we set about living life with unrealistic expectations about how people should treat us. And when it doesn’t happen that way? Our peace is disturbed.
Let’s go back to never being quite good enough. When I was a kid and the teacher sent home a report card I usually felt pretty good about it. Then my mom would look at it. It didn’t matter if I had all “A’s” I could have done better somehow. Then there were the expectations from my dad, there was just no way I would ever be as good as my sister.
So we try to live up to others expectations and we try to live up to our expectations. But what about the plans (expectations) God has for us? The same pride Satan had that led to his downfall leads to our downfall as well. We think we don’t have pride because we beat ourselves up over how awful we are. Awful, because we can’t meet our own expectations, but if we truly believe the promises of God, then Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that Gods plans for us will bring us peace.
God does have a plan for us. And since He has a plan for us He will also make sure we have everything we need to complete that plan.
God’s plan for us includes hope, but how much hope do we have when we feel like we can never reach the mark?
Let’s take a look at Moses. God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In Exodus 4:10-12 Moses told God he couldn’t speak well. And God told him, I will go with you and teach you what to say.
Who led the Israelites through the desert? If you said Moses, you are right. But who led Moses through the desert? When the people needed food, Moses didn’t pick up the phone and make a call to Pizza Hut. No. God sent them manna to eat every day. When they needed water God provided it. When they needed to cross the Red Sea, Moses didn’t call up his skills as an engineer and build a bridge or try to teach the people how to swim. God sent a mighty wind and created a dry path across the sea and to top it off he destroyed the enemy following them with one mighty swoosh of water.
Moses did what God called him to do, but God gave him the power to do it. What would it look like if you decided to follow the plans God has for you? He is able to do far more than we can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20). Moses didn’t know how to get the people across the Red Sea so he asked God. What was impossible for Moses was possible for God. The only way to have God’s peace in our lives is to give up desiring our own will and seeking God’s will first, in all things. We need to humbly give up everything to God. Everything. Not just everything except this one tiny little thing over here, because that one tiny little thing over there is the thing that disrupts your peace the most.