rebelling against low expectations

How do I balance having goals and listening to God’s direction?


JASON WRITES: For a while, pretty recently actually, I had plans for how I thought my life was going to go. And I still have hopes and dreams. The problem is that I’m the kind of person who likes to work toward things and have plans for the future. Sometimes that makes me incapable or unwilling to listen to God’s leading for me. Even when I am praying, I can assume that my plans are ‘right’ and not be okay with no being an answer. What should I do? Is it wrong to make plans that I haven’t prayed a lot about? And how can I be better about listening to God and not just thinking my own ideas for my future are the best?

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • Hey Jason,

    It’s good you are dreaming and making plans for your future. Setting goals is a way to avoid laziness. However, the Bible gives specific instructions on how to go about you planning. When making plans, we should use wisdom and humility. This is what the Bible says in James 4:13-15:

    “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit—”
    “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
    Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

    Planning is good, but it should be done with humility. After all, “God’s ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) If you feel that God is telling you something that you don’t exactly want to hear, than consider the advice of Solomon in Proverbs 3:5 and 6:

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
    In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

    We should trust God because He is all powerful and all knowing. If you are seeking the Lord’s direction when making a plan, and He says no, then be humble, listen, and trust Him. He knows what He’s doing.

    And I would advice you to pray about your plans. Seek God’s direction when making goals. And don’t worry about how your life is going to turn out. Don’t worry about planning for your future too much.

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. ” – Philippians 4:6

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33-34

    Remember Jason, we can plan, but in the end, God’s ultimate will (His plans and His desires) will be done.

    “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

    So trust the Lord. Keep planning, and bring your plans before the Lord. Continue to seek the Lord’s direction, and be humble and be willing to listen.

  • I think it is very important to have plans, goals, and dreams. It is more important however to be absolutely sure that those plans dreams and goals align with Gods. We have to seek him. Another thing is that we have to b open to follow him when his plan is different. That only comes through the a close relationship with th Christ.

  • Dreams are great as long as they don’t get in the way of God. What’s more important to you? Following your dream or following God’s path for your life? I had to ask my self that question last fall. My life long dream was to go to the military. Then through a series of circumstances God told me to not go to the military. It was a harsh reality. I had set so much on that dream that when I had give it up it hurt me a lot. I think I was letting my dream get in the way of God. And that changed the way I now think.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying dreaming is bad. Dreaming and Planning are very good things. My advice is that you create a plan that is God honoring and if it’s not the path God will let you know. Plan and dream, but be ready to drop everything to answer the calling God might send you.

  • All your dreams, goals, plans, ambitions, desires, everything you are and ever will be, must be surrendered to Christ. You’ve been bought with a price, so your life isn’t your own anymore.

    What ever Jesus says goes, he is Lord and you cannot disobey him. So, with that as the overarching goal of your life, the lesser things will fall to obeying Jesus.

    But, you can’t obey Him unless you know what he calls you to do. That’s where you need the Bible, and the church to explain it.

  • I am trying to help a friend to stop drinking because I told her that it can ruin her life what should I do and I have been trying to tell her about the lord

    • Hey Tim,

      I will be praying for you. I don’t know that I have any advice right off the bat here, but I would encourage you to maybe try to submit a discussion question to [email protected] that editorial team could post on here. You could do it anonomysouly or with your name, but I think you might get helpful feedback if you do that. Just a thought.

      Stay strong Tim!

  • Man I feel you!! There’s so many things I’m motivated to do for God, but get so distracted by what I’m doing I basically forget why I’m doing it all together. If that makes any sense. Or to have a big goal but I’m not sure how to go about it… I pray but its so hard to hear God’s voice. I usually seek advice from godly people I trust or from the Bible and pray that God would give me insparition from there.

  • Remember that God’s plan for your life is far more that you can ever comprehend. Though your dreams and desires may seem more tangible and fulfilling, know that nothing compares to living the God-constructed life that was created especially for you by the one that created you.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →