Thursday, 5 December 2019

God's Plan 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 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 in Deuteronomy 8 v 2 - 6, the Lord says He chastens every son to see if they will obey Him. 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. You 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 you and distracts you from doing God's will. Anything that makes you say I can't serve God now because....!

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

God's plan for us is to fulfil the individual mission He has designed specifically for each one of us.  As we grow in wisdom and understanding, being submitted to the changes He makes in us, our true purpose is revealed.  We may be way beyond the middle of it when we realise what He needs us to be and to do.  

When our individual plan is up and running we become aware that we are harmonizing with others so that God's plan can advance to bring truth out of lies, so that people can change their minds (repent of error) and then renew their minds according to God's Word.

To begin to renew your mind is to realise that in some fundamental way you are living a lie, believing some seemingly unchangeable condition is God-given and therefore acceptable.  You have to be willing to believe that if God's Word is contrary to that situation, lifestyle, habit, addiction or sin, then you need to reject it because He rejects it, and believe in your mind and heart that He can and will change you so that He can fulfil His plan.

Satan has but one agenda, complete destruction of God's creation, whether man, animal or vegetation.  He does everything he can to confuse our minds and turn us into any kind of sinner so that God rejects us.  He makes us do very inappropriate things so he can accuse us before the Throne of God.  His very name, Satan, means accuser of the brethren.

He tried to kill Moses, and later, Jesus, by having all the male babies killed at the time he knew that God would send strong Deliverers to rescue His people.  Moses was brought up as an Egyptian under Pharoah's nose in his palace by his daughter.  To become the Deliverer of the Jews out of Egypt he had to renew his mind which took forty years in the Midian desert.

Jesus' earthly parents were warned in a dream to flee from Nazareth to Egypt, only to return when Jesus was 12 years old.  He always knew what His mission was and immediately was found in the Temple teaching the people the truth.  He told His frantic parents that they should know the He must be about His Father's business.

If we are following Jesus we must be about our Father's business too.  Whatever it may be that He requires of us.  Many had to lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel, others to go to dangerous places to bring His light.  Make sure that you have adjusted your life to fit in with God's plan for you because He will not adjust His Word to make an exception for anyone.

He loves us and has only the best intentions for our lives.  We cannot even imagine the blessings He has in store for us here and in Heaven. 

1 Corinthians 2 v 9 - 11: "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

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. Help me to recognize Your plan for my life, and to do it to Your satisfaction.  In Jesus' name. Amen.