There are a number of ways to answer this question. First, he absolutely does have a plan for you and everyone else on this earth. A plan for us that is so important that it is the cause for every page of the Bible. God designed a plan for man to live with Him eternally. God first wants man to hear about His plan. This is accomplished through the revelation of His plan documented in the pages of the Bible (Romans 16:25). Then, it is through the spreading of His revelation by His disciples that this is fully accomplished (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 10:14-15). Without this step of the plan, man is not able to live by faith in Jesus (Romans 10:17). The revelation of God’s plan is purposed to convince man of their sinful state and the condemnation to come and explain the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that can provide them with forgiveness of sins. If one’s heart is sincere, then the words of the gospel will provoke them to believe in Jesus as the Son of God who came to this earth 2,000 years ago to take away their sins. This belief and a confession of this belief are the next two steps found in the plan of God for you (Romans 10:9-10). Following this, the natural conclusion would first be to stop our ways of sin (Acts 3:19). Once this initial foundation of faith, truth, and commitment is laid, then it is time for the work of God to forgive sins. This is accomplished through immersion in water (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:18; Colossians 2:11-13; 1 Peter 3:21). Coming up from the water, we are a new person, clean, pure, and holy; having put to death the man of sin to be resurrected out of the water as the man of godliness (Romans 6). This is the plan of God, as revealed in the scriptures.
Secondly, God does have a plan for you in your everyday life. Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God purposed in His plan beforehand that the man of godliness (which resulted from hearing, believing, confessing, repenting, and being immersed) would be created in Christ Jesus. Yes, it was God’s plan from the beginning that salvation would be possible only through His son. The Christian is “His workmanship,” that was created again (born again) a new man, free of sin. The purpose of this new creation according to the text is “for good works.” God’s plan for our everyday life is that we’d be committed to good works. Not works that we think are good works, but the text is clear that it is God who defines the good works that we are to do. Notice again that these good works were “prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has taught us in His word what good works He expects out of us every day (some examples of these can be found here: Colossians 3:18-25). God does have a plan for every day of our lives.
Thirdly, although we just answered whether God has a spiritual plan for us, I know that this question is usually asked in reference to whether God has a plan for your physical life on this earth (such as marriage, children, careers, health/illness, where to live, prosperity, etc.). There are so many aspects to consider in order to properly answer this. One piece of the answer is the freedom of choice for every person. This complicates things; for example, would God have us choose to sin? Certainly not, but against the counsel of God individuals choose to sin. Sometimes these sins have drastic consequences that change the course of both the life of the person who committed the sin and the people involved.
There is another uneasy side to the answer that chapter nine of Ecclesiastes does a good job of addressing. In verse two he says: “All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.” And later, in verse eleven he says: “I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.” In these verses, the bible brings up hard truths that many have found difficult to accept today. Nevertheless, the truth is that “one thing happens to all” (v.3), whether it be the good, pure and true worshipper of God, or the wicked who brings no honor to God. Even the fastest runner loses a race and the strongest army is conquered. The idea that “time and chance happen to them all” is a painful truth sometimes when we fall on the wrong side of time and chance. Bad timing is a real thing, and it has an effect on the question of whether God has a plan for our earthly circumstances.
Another thing that changes the course of our lives is the effect of prayer. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16). Through the requests of the righteous, God provides for their wants and needs. Many examples can be seen in the scriptures of changing circumstances due to prayer. One simple example is Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10, who asked for blessings and a larger portion of territory. The Lord granted what he asked. For the righteous, prayer will always be an important aspect of their condition of life, both spiritually and materially.
Many other things can be added to the equation as well, such as making wise and godly choices; such will have a dramatic impact on the quality of one’s life on earth. 1 Peter 3:10-11 says, “he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
Ultimately, God can work in our lives, causing good things to come our way, and allowing trials to fall upon us in order to help us to grow stronger. Mary’s words are fitting here, not just for her life but for all the righteous: Luke 1:49 “He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” God is our Creator and He remains in control over His creation. We cannot limit His abilities or willingness to help us, do good to us, and answer the prayers of His children. Limitations can only be placed on God in the areas in which He Himself has limited Himself in accordance with His righteous justice.
So then, we have considered both the spiritual and material side of the question “does God have a plan for me?” However, I am compelled to make one last point. Did you notice in this article how direct I was able to be about God’s spiritual plan for us to follow in our lives? Did you also observe the somewhat vagueness in an attempt to answer whether God has a plan for our physical life? This is because we are limited to what has been revealed to us in God’s Word. It becomes clear then what is most important to God and should be most important to us. The focus of the Bible is not about improving the state of our earthly life, it is about doing that which is necessary for our eternal salvation; to live for Christ in the purity of holiness, in anticipation of an eternity with Him. That is the plan that needs to be our priority. Whether God has a specific plan for our individual physical lives is unimportant in light of eternity; nevertheless, as was discussed in this article, one thing we can be certain of is that God most certainly does work in our lives and on this earth. So, maybe this life will be a little easier for us, or maybe not, but that’s no matter, let us follow the plan of God that will lead us to an everlasting home. Yes, God does have a plan for us, and yes, it is very special.
A common verse that people often use concerning God’s plan for our lives is Jeremiah 29:11, which says “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I can see how this statement brings people a lot of joy and encouragement, but I did not use this scripture in this article. A closer look at the surrounding context of this verse will reveal that the plans mentioned in this verse are not God’s plans for our lives, but God’s plans for the remnant of Judah. His plans are for their return from captivity in Babylon and for the Savior to come from this remnant of people. Thus, it is a text that should not be applied to our personal lives.
Article by Tanner Campbell.