This extraverted middle child has suffered from a significant case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) for most of my life. As a teen and young adult my FOMO primarily obsessed over social events and finding the right husband. In my thirties, missing a great business opportunity occupied much of my FOMO real estate. At forty when I began seeking and praying for God’s plan for my life, my FOMO morphed into fearing I would miss out on His perfect plan. Fear of missing God’s plan sounds very spiritual but it still misses the mark.
Setting sail on a journey to hear God’s voice and know His plan for your life is the start of a great adventure. But, like so many of God’s wonderful gifts, our flesh turns it from a delight to a chore in no time flat. If we view seeking God’s plan as our latest project to mark off the list, then we will quickly become frustrated. God doesn’t think the way we do and certainly doesn’t work on our timetable.
“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9
Seeking God’s plan should be a journey that helps you get to know Him and yourself better. It should be a time of worship and awe as you trace His hand on your past, giving you confidence and clarity to walk in your future. Searching for your purpose is a time to celebrate your personality and gifts and smile at the future.
If instead you find yourself desperately trying to figure out the next step, worried you will miss God’s secret clues, then check out the new FOMO – FREEDOM OPENS MY OPPORTUNITY.
When we relax and trust that God to reveal His plan to us in His time, we receive a new found freedom. In this life of freedom, we can drop comparison and guilt which helps open our eyes to His customized plan for each of us.
Freedom from Comparison
Have you ever experienced an unexpected and disturbing jolt of jealousy at the news of another’s success? You are celebrating on the outside but grieving on the inside. If we are not resting fully in God’s perfect plan for us, then it is only natural to worry that we are missing out. Actually, missing out on someone else’s opportunity is a good thing. Next time you hear that someone else got the promotion or the new job, then rejoice! You have just missed the wrong opportunity! What He has planned is even better, for you. Trusting God’s plan gives you freedom from comparison which allows you to celebrate others’ successes.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before-hand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10, ESV
Freedom to Enjoy the Present
Trusting God to speak in His time and His way, frees you to enjoy the present.
“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:3-5, ESV
The above three verses tell us to trust God, then “dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” We trust God even when we are not where we want to be that He is using our current circumstance for our good. Maybe we are learning new skills or meeting new contacts or learning to lean into God more closely. If God has not told you to take a step, then your job is to relax, enjoy the present, and do your best where He has planted you. He also promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts. As we delight ourselves in God, He will either increase our hearts’ desires or change them during the waiting period. As we recognize these passions He gives us, He simply asks us to commit them to Him and He will act. Now that is good news!
As I tell you how the new FOMO (Freedom Opens My Opportunity) looks in my own life, remember that the process and results may vary since we have such a personal God!
Frustrated and exhausted from trying to figure out my next step, I give up and tell God that He is in charge of my life. In the meantime, I spend time with God who plants new desires in my heart. After these desires grow for weeks, months, or even years, a new opportunity pops up suddenly that fulfills those desires. Since I have spent so much time praying for this opportunity, I can’t possibly miss this unique gift when it comes along. It is so perfectly suited to my God-given desires that I would never have found it if I had searched for a hundred years. The result is a fresh reminder that my loving Father is constantly working in my life and I praise Him for doing what I could never have done myself. The best part is that this experience is repeated over and over in the Christian life because He is never through revealing Himself and blessing us with His presence and provision!
Even though your new FOMO may look a little different than mine, it is perfect for you, because God customizes it just for you. He shows no partiality (Romans 2:11), so if He will do it for me, then He will do it for you, as you draw near to Him through Christ. So, relax and enjoy your redeemed FOMO!
Podcast Version: Welcome to the New FOMO
For further reading, check out Visioneering by Andy Stanley.