- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about the plan He has seen for us?
A New Year, a new plan, a new beginning, or is it? Are we supposed to change our plan every year? Or, has God already seen the best plan for each of us? God and His plan never change, only our understandings of them change. Would it not be better to seek the plan God has seen and work on the process of daily transforming our lives to align with His plan than to try to create our own new plan each year?
God’s individual plan for each of us is part of the greater plan God chose to create His eternal family, which is the plan with the least amount of pain and suffering for all involved, Rom 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” and He has declared the end from the beginning, to show us He is God and there is none else, Is 46:10, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”
Jer 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” God sees the best plan for our lives before He even creates us, but He never forces us to live it. Instead, He calls us to reason with Him, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Only those who hear His voice will seek to follow His plan, Jn 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” And, we will not hear His voice if we do not believe He exists, Heb 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” He promises we will be able to find Him, to understand His way and His Truth, if we truly seek Him with all of our heart, Jer 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
He wants us to have the expected end He has seen for us, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He calls us to help Him create His eternal family, 2 Tim 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” His plan brings good pleasure to everyone who willingly chooses to be part of it, Phil 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Ps 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” When we commit to following His plan, He guides us to its completion, Prov 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” He will always lead us to the best path, Is 48:17, “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”
Prov 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” When we think our way is better, we go astray, as we all of us have at some point in our lives, Is 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Many of us have separated ourselves from God, His plan for us, and His sacrifice. However, God still calls us to first seek His kingdom and His righteousness, Matt 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” He knows we will be transformed when we put His kingdom first, and this is how we show Him our love, Rom 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We have a choice, we can choose to be reconciled to this world, or to God, 2 Cor 5:20, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Being reconciled to God leads us to complete our part in the plan God has chosen.
Jesus completed His part in God’s plan, Acts 2:22-24, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” Jesus came to be our example and to lead us to God’s plan for our lives. But, how can we be sure we are following God’s plan?
Following God’s plan for our lives leads us to His peace, Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” If we are stressed out, or in need of drugs to cope with this world, we are not following God’s plan for our lives. His work is light, not burdensome, Matt 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This world’s trials cannot break His peace. His peace is demonstrated by Paul and Silas when they are in prison waiting for their death sentence to be announced, Act 16:25, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Putting them in prison or sentencing them to death could not break the peace of Jesus, for they were not seeking their own kingdom, but rather the kingdom of God. This is how we know we are following God’s plan for our lives. When it is our plan, we get frustrated when we think things aren’t working out. However, when we are following God’s plan we can rest in His peace, no matter what is going on around us, for He has promised to complete what He starts, Phil 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
1 Pet 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Each of us has been given gifts to help us complete our part in God’s plan. If we patiently wait for the Lord’s timing, while living the truths He has taught us, we will see the good ending He has planned for us, Ps 37:34, “Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”
When we are following the plan God has seen for our lives, everything works out for the best, in this life and/or the next, Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Evil acts are the cause of all the pain and suffering of this life. This is the only explanation that makes any sense. How else can we explain a child born into abuse, leading to a life filled with addiction, pain, and then ending in death? Where is the good in this life? These poor children will find the good in the next life, when they embrace the truth, which God places into all of our hearts and minds, Heb 10:16, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;” Many of these children will feel the injustice in their lives, and they will call out to God to help them, Ps 145:18-19, “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.” We might not want to understand why some of us have to wait for the next life to experience the fruits of His glory. However, that is the price we have to pay for the freedoms God allows. He wants us to freely choose to follow Him; however, those who refuse His offer will cause great pain and suffering for the rest of us.
God has told us that all things are possible with Him, Matt 19:26, “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” and He will make all things new, after the judgment, Rev 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” It is impossible for us to understand His peace, when we do not believe He exists, Phil 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is our reward for returning His love, 1 Jn 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us” and it leads us to seek the plan He has seen for our lives, and this is why Jesus told us to love God, Matt 22:37, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
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