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He Knows the Plans He Has For Us—a Pictograph Interpretation

Updated on November 2, 2020
Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo is an avid Bible Studier who loves nothing more than to seek out the treasures in God's Word and share them with others.


January 2011, our church held a women's conference that was themed "Dreams" Some of the focus was given to dreams, as in the plans and purposes God has for you.

Three questions were asked during our small group activity, which consisted of close to 20 women between two groups:

  • How many of you are sure of what God's plan and purpose are for your life, specifically?
  • How many of you have an idea of what God's plan and purpose for your life is?
  • How many of you have no idea what the plan is?

I imagined that most people would be in varying stages of discovering the plans and purposes for their lives. I expected that most people would raise their hands for the second question assuming that they might have an idea but hadn't quite grasped the details or how to work that out.

I was surprised to discover that no one raised their hand for the first question. Two people raised their hands for the second question, and everyone else raised their hand for the third.

I am not a mathematician by any means, but this tells me that about 80% of the people there, who were predominantly Christian, had absolutely no clue what God's purpose is for their lives. I began to consider the possibility that this might be an accurate statistic across the board.

These results meant that many of us are wandering around aimlessly and perhaps mundanely, just trying to get through it or survive. This lack of direction leaves us just skimming across the surface of life, being busy, just hoping it all works out with no real route or destination in mind. Our eternal thoughts end up amounting to nothing more than a vague elusive notion of heaven when all is said and done.

In this study, I hope that my presentation for the small groups I hosted will encourage some to seek the Lord and discover the hidden potentials given to each of us. We were created to do more than exist.

There is a goal in mind, and it isn't just about surviving life on the planet. There is a plan that is highly specific and full of significant meaning and purpose that is deep and wide and can only be realized in our gracious God and Savior. It is an eternal plan.

This lesson is written to address the varying stages of dream discovery. It will also include some Hebrew word study.


It's All Intentional

I want to begin by understanding that God has given each one of us a unique and precious purpose for our lives that will ultimately glorify Him. God knows what the plan is even if we don't, and it is a good plan with a future and hope.

Most of us are very familiar with this verse:

For I know the plans I have for you" (A) —[this is] the LORD's declaration—"plans for [your] welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

— Jeremiah 29:11 (HCSB)

The Hebrew word for plans in the above verse is "machshavah" מַחֲשָׁבָה and defines as a thought, plan, purpose, or intention according to Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon.

The root of this word is "chashav," meaning; to compute, compose, meditate, and reason.

if we read again in light of these definitions, Jeremiah 29:11 reads like this:

For I know the purposes and intentions (machshavah), I have composed and reasoned (choshev—root) for you. intentions and purposes (machshavah) of (Shalom—bonus word ) satisfaction and fulfillment, wholeness and well being, to give you a future and a hope.

God isn't glibly just trying to find something for us to do. He isn't surprised that we are here and wondering, "What shall I do with this one?". Nor was God thoughtless in what He planned. The definitions above indicate that He meditated thoughtfully and reasoned this out. He composed our purpose in the grand scheme of things more eloquently than a musician creating masterpiece compositions. Our life and mission are highly intentional from His perspective and most highly unique.

He planned this in Christ before time began. We were not an afterthought. He knew we would be here, and He planned on it. We are here for a purpose!

. . . who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

— II Timothy 1:9

Lord my God you have done great things. Your wonderful works and Your plans (Machshavah) for us; none can compare with You. If I were to report and speak [of them], they are more than can be told.

— Psalm 40:5 (HCSB)

Hebrew Word Study for Machshavah:

In studying the Hebrew word picture for machshavah we will first look at its root chashav and then add the prefix "mem" and suffix "hey" at the end. Its word picture confirms the meaning of the above verse.



"Chet" is the first letter of this Hebrew root word for "plan" and is a picture of a fence. It is symbolic of boundaries that protect. Our life plan is only genuinely realized within the protection of a committed covenant relationship with our Father through His Son Jesus.


"Sheen" is the second letter and is a picture of teeth and carries the concept of chewing, breaking down, and putting back together. The story of Joseph is an excellent example of this. Joseph had to be broken down and then put back together before fulfilling his dream.


"Bet," the last letter of this root, is a picture of a house. The ancient pictograph is actually a blueprint. God's plans for us are like a blueprint for our life.

When you build a house, you don't just start slapping things together, hoping it turns out alright. It is a very deliberate process that requires planning. This word picture shows us that God's plans are deliberate, intentional, and well thought out. They are also only realized in terms of a relationship with Him.


Receiving and Conceiving His Plan

The "mem" (prefix) at the beginning of the word and "hey" (suffix) at the end comes with an interesting concept as well. When "mem" is a prefix, it is thought to look like a uterus and a picture of water, like a baby in the womb. When "hey" is at the end of the word, it makes the word female conveying the idea of transforming a concept (conception) into reality (baby), according to Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

I think God is showing us in this word picture that He would like us to conceive His plans for us within the womb of our hearts that we might give birth to them and bear fruit in the earth through them for Him.

I can't help but think of Mary when the angel visits her and tells her that she will have a son. She receives the plan and purpose that is spoken to her when she says:

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”

— Luke 1:38

She then gives birth to the Savior of the world.

Purposes must be revealed, conceived, and incubated before they come to birth.

Having a sense of purpose is an innate need we all have

A quote from a book titled Buried Treasure by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

"built right into us is a human need to dedicate everything we do to a higher purpose"

The Bible tells us:

Where there is no revelation (vision in some translations), the people cast off restraint . . .

— Psalm 29:18

Without a revelation of our purpose, we can become aimless and or careless.

Our purposes in Him won't always meet up to worldly criteria and may come with few accolades. But to know we are doing what God has called and empowered us to do will be most gratifying.

When Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well, His disciples returned with food thinking to satisfy His hunger.

His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, I have food to eat of which you do not know.”Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

— John 4:31-34

© 2011 Tamarajo


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    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Glad this was useful Ithabise. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S 

      9 years ago from Danville, VA

      Needing to hear this. Thank you.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Isin 82 Glad you were encouraged. I agree nothing more satisfying than hearing His voice and knowing we are walking in His purpose. I am with you the waiting and preparation is a struggle along with stretching of our faith as He reveals and works in and through us.

      So blessed to have you stop by. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • lsin82 profile image


      9 years ago from Houston

      God is good and He always gives me what I need to hear exactly when I need to hear. Walking in God's purpose is what I desire beyond anything else. My biggest fear is to live this life and miss out on doing what He created me for. I know He has a plan for me, but this waiting and prepartion period can get rough at times. Thank you for encouraging me....Be Blessed

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Jen, I agree the comments are insightful and uplifting and they add much to the message. I am blessed by each one of them His Word and truth is inspirational in itself and seems to stimulate the lively exchanges.

      I do appreciate the Hubpages community for that reason. I have learned so much from them as well not only with their comments but with their material as well

      Thanks for stopping by Jen and commenting : )

    • profile image

      Cousin Jen 

      9 years ago

      These comments are almost as interesting and uplifting to read as the commentary itself! You have quite a following Tamarajo. : )

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Nobody I would love to read about the attributes of God especially the characteristic you mention.

      His name will be glorified in spite of us weather we take the time to discover the plan and do it or not. But what a great priviledge to be made part of that grand plan by his forethought and invitation.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      9 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Sometime I will have to write that article or book on the attributes of God. His OmniSapience is the thing that amazes me most about Him. We can be clueless of what He wants us to do. We can resist and drag our feet and somehow God will be glorified by it anyway. "All things work to His glory for those who are in Christ Jesus." It is wonderful to know His will for us and it is wonderful to serve Him but He is greater than our service and He will be glorified.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      toknowinfo, I am glad that you were uplifted by the article and that you were able to glean something useful and understandable from it. that is my joy that God and His purposes would be understood.

      Thank you for your vote, visit, and encouragement.

    • toknowinfo profile image


      9 years ago

      Well done hub and very uplifting. I love the way you explain things, and I know whenever I read your articles I am sure to learn new things. Thank you for teaching me.

      All the best to you. Rated up and beautiful.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      James, I'm glad you know the plan. There really isn't anything more satisfying than knowing we are doing His will. I agree that the development of the details isn't always clear but that's what makes us lean on Him to make it come to pass.

      Thank you for your affirmation and thoughtful comment James

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      A beautiful Hub! I am pretty sure of God's overarching plan for my life. But then the details only come to me as they develop. In this phase, I think God plans for me to write HubPages and a couple of books. I do not know what might be next. If there is a next—in this world.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hello DeBorrah, So many of us have wandered so long just existing.

      "We must daily seek Him above all else to experience and accomplish all He has in store for us!"...Well said and that is the very topic of part 2

      So blessed by your visit and encouragement.


    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Tamarjo, So insightful! Very Nice! There is much to ponder here! God has created each one of us with a purpose in mind... We must daily seek Him above all else to experience and accomplish all He has in store for us!

      Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy Peace & Blessings!

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Betty, I think your comment is an excellent summary of the hub. It really captures the concept I believe His truth suggests.

      Blessed by your visit, and encouraging comment

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 

      9 years ago

      Oh my goodness, Tamarajo, the heart as a womb where dreams are conceived and birthed! What a powerful word picture! It takes my breath away almost as much as that picture at the top of this page.

      A beautiful, thought-provoking hub.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Lady E. I am glad you were inspired. Bless you for stopping by and commenting.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you drpastorcarlotta I appreciate your visit comment and vote.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      9 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Tamarajo, YOU ARE A BLESSING!!!!!! I Voted-Up!

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks this is inspiring. We really need to know what our purpose is in life and that includes people of all religions. How can we travel through life with no Blue Print?

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I'm glad you were inspired Michael. I so much agree with you that listening to what God has to say is essential. The purpose might be simply to obey what you know He is directing you to do that day.

      Part 2 will deal with the issue of trying to create your own purpose for the wrong reasons.

      I thank you for your encouraging comment and am blessed by your visit.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      So glad! you make me happy. The link thing is handy indeed.


    • Michael Adams1959 profile image

      Isaiah Michael 

      9 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

      Truly an inspiring hub, glad I read it. our purpose can be defined so many times by just stopping and listening to what God has to say to us. So many times though we try to create that purpose, I love the verses you have used and the way you broke this down. After all that all I can really say is~~~ AMEN!~~~

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Brother Yochanan, I chose to break up the lesson into 3 parts. The last series I did I think got too lengthy. I thought this would make it easier to follow

      I did follow your advice in the previous series by linking them but I am only on part 1 on this one.

      Thank you for reading and glad you liked the Hebrew word studies. I love the revelations and confirmations they provide.

      Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      CIW thank you for your gracious comments. Iam glad you enjoyed the writing. I hope that someone will be inspired to believe that there is a plan and to seek the Lord for it

      Blessed by your visit

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      that was very short. Did you have somewhere else to be? Provocative reading; i would like to have continued further. You seldom group or link your essays... frustrating indeed. i always enjoy when you get into the pictograph perspective, very cool.

    • profile image

      VOICE CIW 

      9 years ago

      Sister Tamarajo, I just love this hub. It is so beautiful, and the way you wrote it, I believe you were inspired by God. Sister Tamarajo, first I want to say that a lot of christians, as you say, don't know what God's plan is for them. Some do not study the Bible like they should, some don't pray like they should. A lot of preachers preach sermons, but they don't teach in a way that people can get in touch with themselves from God's point of view. The world is moving away from God, a lot of people do not accept scripture, and they don't realize that they have to apply themselves to the Word of God and Prayer. That is why Sister Tamarajo, you are so special, God is using you in a special way to touch those that need an understanding of their purpose and God's purpose for them. I told you before that the way you write and what you write, you are guided by God. God Bless You! I love you in the Lord.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Agreed cristina there really is no purpose apart from Him. Part 2 will address the correct motives for living out a purpose and a gift.

      Blessed by your visit and commentary.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      FriendofTruth I am glad you liked it and encouraged by it

      Thank you for your visit encouraging comment

    • cristina327 profile image

      Cristine Santander 

      9 years ago from Manila

      Great hub with great thoughts to ponder about. Truly without living out God's purpose for our lives, life is futile. Our life will be significant only once we pursue God's purposes and will for our lives. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts here in Hubpages.Remain blessed always. Best regards.

    • FriendofTruth profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series - we do all have a purpose in the Lord and He has plans for each one of us. I do believe that if we seek Him and trust in Him He can lead us into that direction...

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Jeanie, breaking the words down really helps me understand His truth better too. Sometimes we just read and the words become familiar and sometimes lose even a bit of their depth in translations. The meanings don't change at all it is just a fresh perspective on them.

      Thank you for visiting and was blessed by your comment.

    • JeanieR profile image


      9 years ago from Sequoia National Forest, CA

      Tamarajo, superb work! You are working with two of my favorite Scriptures here: Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 29:18, but never have I seen them so well broken down for understanding. Thank you, thank you. Looking forward to your part 2!

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Lifegate I agree it really does apply to everyone it just so happened to be a womens conference I was asked to gather the material for.

      It is my hope that some will read this and be inspired to enter into His purpose for them.

      The purpose may include the very thing one is doing but to not know its the purpose can feel futile and aimless.

      Thanks for your encouraging comment and visit. Lifegate

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      9 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


      So you shared this with women in your group! I Think men struggle with purpose as well. Bookmarked this one! Thanks for putting this all together.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Dian,

      It really has taken me a long time to figure that out too. And I hope many will begin that journey of discovering God's awesome plan for them too as they learn that God really has something specific in mind for them.

      It is exciting and fulfilling to do His will and to be pointed in a direction as you say it helps us to focus and serve Him without being distracted.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and your thoughtful comment

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi Dave, I think that's great that Gods plan for you is as it is. I think however for this group it was more of really no idea of purpose. In the latter case it causes one to feel aimless.

      It also really helps me to have a direction to be pointed in.

      Thanks for your visit and comment Dave

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you chemist part will be on Monday

      Bless you for stopping by

    • Dian'swords4u profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      It has taken me some time to really understand wht God has for me to do. I really enjoyed your hub and the video. This has really made me focus more on what I am to be doing. Thanks for the great hub.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      9 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      God's plan for me in my life is revealed by God on a day by day notice, and since I can only live one day at a time that's good enough for me.

    • ImChemist profile image


      9 years ago

      Very helpful hub , im exciting to the next part.

    • Tamarajo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you so much tinamarie9884 I am blessed by your visit and encouraging comment. I'm glad you stopped by too.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Tamarajo, truly an inspirational hub, very well put together. Glad I stopped by to read!!


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