How to predict God’s plan for your life (1 Samuel 16)

One of my favorite things to do while watching one of my TV shows is to predict what will happen next. Sometimes I even make a game out of it. The easier it is, the harder I laugh.

But lately I’ve been noticing myself doing the same thing—to me.

I’ve started predicting my own life. When something not great happens, I try to spin it in my head as a lesson God wanted me to learn before X happens. When I get an opportunity or a bit of hope springs up, I paint a beautiful picture in my mind of how this is the start of all the wonderful things God is going to weave into my life.

Is this unhealthy? Sure. Am I 100% wrong about all of my predictions? Probably.

But what if I’m not?

Big plans

My predictions are all based off of, well, not much. But if there’s anyone in the Bible who could actually make some very strong predictions for their life, it was a man named David.

David seemed like an ordinary guy. He was a shepherd. He was an obedient and loyal son. He was healthy. These were all good things, but none of them were all that impressive. He seemed headed for a simple, calm life.

But then Prophet Samuel appeared on David’s father’s doorstep. And he was looking for a king.

At first he surveyed David’s older brothers. All strong, tall, warrior-like men, they seemed great candidates for the leadership of God’s chosen people.

But Eliab wasn’t chosen. Neither was Abinadab, or Shammah.

The man who was anointed the next king of Israel was David, the shepherd boy.

Wow! What a big deal. David’s head must have been spinning. Chosen by God for the biggest job in Israel!

He had to get ready. Maybe Saul was about to die, and Samuel would soon bring David in front of all the people and tell them he was the next king. Or maybe God wanted David to form an army to go and take the kingdom by force. Or Saul could do another army draft and David would catch his eye!

What actually happened next was none of the above. Saul did call David to the palace. But not as his successor. Not as his rival. Not as the next king.

As a harp player.

In fact, it would be several tumultuous, painful, sacrificial years before David would ever be king.

Why? What was God up to? What was the point of all this? If I was David, I would immediately begin analyzing, predicting, imagining the possibilities of what God was actually doing. And who knows, maybe he did!

But it would have been fruitless. Because we can’t predict what God is going to do with our lives.

We can only trust Him with them.

“Trust Me with your greatest possession—your future.”

I think the reason why I love to daydream my way through as many alternate life paths as I can is because I like control. I want control. I wish I could pick and choose what comes. At the very least, I wish I knew what was coming.

But being a member of the human race means that’s impossible. My goals and hopes and dreams are not guaranteed.

Being a follower of Christ takes it a step further. My goals and hopes and dreams belong to Someone else now. I’ve surrendered them to God and His plan for my life.

And if what God has for me is as rough as what’s coming next for David, that makes me a little nervous.

But then again, if God befriends me like He did David, if He keeps His promises the way He did for David, if He answers prayers and opens doors like how He did for David, then maybe He can be trusted.

Maybe I can stop predicting and imagining and performing mental gymnastics and simply follow Him, knowing that what comes next is what’s best.

Maybe I will. And maybe you can too.

What do you think? How does it feel to trust God with your life and goals and dreams?

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