Thursday, 17 January 2019

God's Plans For Us

Scripture: Jeremiah 29 v 11:  "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

This word was spoken by God, through Jeremiah, to the Israelites, who were captured by the Babylonians, to encourage them in their 70 year captivity. Whenever the people of God were severely disobedient they would be punished by slavery followed by a time of blessing and revival.

As Christians we know that God loves us but the Lord says He chastens every son to see if they will obey Him.  Deuteronomy 8 v 2 - 6: "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
 3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
 4  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
 5  Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
 6  Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him."

To be chastened is to be disciplined by God so that His perfect plan for our lives can be rolled out.  We never know what we miss when we determine our own path in life.  It's when we let go and let God truly rule that we discover the hidden treasures of spiritual life.

The ultimate plan of God is to bless, comfort and give peace to His children. We are no different. We want the best for our children too, but sometimes they need firm discipline to correct rebellious behaviour.

Our Lord never thinks of doing evil to His people. Everything is measured according to what we need. If we are trapped on a mountain in a rockfall and our only escape is by amputating a limb, or dying, we will find a way to remove the trapped limb. So it is with Jesus. Sometimes in order to rescue us from a dire situation we have to lose something we are very attached to.

It will always hurt to give up something we crave but the alternative is unthinkable. We need to take responsibility and be mature and ready to relinquish something that is holding us back. We cannot serve God and Mammon. Mammon is the things of the world like parties, porn, drugs, alcohol, politics, power, love of money, free sex, false religions, idols, anything that controls us and distracts us from doing God's will. Anything that makes us say I can't serve God now because....!

The answer we give to that statement will be our stumbling block that will lead us into some form of captivity. Addictions are slavery. We are not free to be ourselves because every time God needs us, Satan yanks our chain. So then Jesus will allow that problem to become a crisis - financial; health; marriage; death so we will have an opportunity to repent and do His will so that His blessings will be poured out upon us. And Satan's chain will be broken. 

A good but scary chapter to read is Deuteronomy 28. The first 14 verses are the Blessings of Obedience; from 15 to 68 are the Curses for Disobedience. They apply to us today.  We all want those blessings but tend to forget the other side of the coin.

Prayer: Father God, You only want the best for us but sometimes You have to discipline us when we get out of hand. Please help me to trust and obey You in everything so I avoid Your displeasure and the captivity it brings.  I want to receive Your expectations. In Jesus' name. Amen.