We’re at that time of the year again where it feels like summer has only just got going but it’s already nearly over. Hopefully you’ve still had a chance to abandon work for a while and caught some sun. This summer break may be my last big one for a while- I’m about to enter into my final year at uni so I’m trying to do as much as possible to make the most of it. I’ve done some travelling around Europe, been to a few BBQs and caught up with friends from home, although I must admit I’ve still managed to devote a large portion of my time towards binge-watching on Netflix.
As I approach my 3rd year at uni a large amount of the conversations I’ve had with people have taken on a familiar theme: what am I going to do when I finish? It can be great to know that there are people around us who want to encourage and equip us for the future, but for those of us who are unsure of the next step talking about it can send us into a bit of a cold sweat.
I grew up going to church and throughout my teenage years was told repeatedly that I was part of a generation that is going to change the world. I passionately believe that when we let God into our lives he will use us to change the world around us. But perhaps as time goes by we occasionally lose sight of this all-powerful God and only see the obstacles in the way of His kingdom. Changing the world begins to feel more like an impossible burden than an adventure.
As a young Christian I often place these big expectations on my life, and when the future is uncertain I forget to live for God in the here and now. I get wrapped up in the fine details of my ‘calling’ and miss out on the adventures He has for me every single day. I measure my worth by the things I do, rather than by the One who loves me as I am.
I get wrapped up in the fine details of my ‘calling’ and miss out on the adventures He has for me every single day.
I’m always really encouraged when I look at the story of Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors. He knew that God had big plans and just got on board with them. He didn’t allow himself to become burdened by the things God told him to do because he saw that he was a part of something bigger than himself. He was obedient God and went on an adventure with Him step-by-step (if you haven’t read his book ‘God’s Smuggler’ put it on your list!).
Psalm 33:11 says “the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” When we shift our perspective away from ourselves it frees us from those burdens of expectation. Instead of panicking about what to do next, we can press into the firmly standing plans of a God who holds the future in His hands.
When I look outside of myself my fear of the future fades. I read stories of my brothers and sisters all around the world who are literally putting their lives on the line for the sake of God’s kingdom and it blows my mind. I get to take part in something amazing. I get to join in with something so much larger than myself, with Jesus the king at the centre. When we remember this we realise just how exciting our lives are, and we don’t have to wait for the end of uni or whatever else before the adventure starts.
As my final year of uni draws closer, I want to choose God’s plans over my own. That’s not to say I’ll simply put thoughts of the future at bay. I’ll be proactive and practical as I think about the gifts God has given me and how I can best use them to glorify Him. But I refuse to become crippled by fear of the future. Instead I want to grasp everything he has for me here and now, taking one step of obedience after the other and taking part in His great adventure.
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