While attending a friend’s high school graduation, the commencement speaker gave an excellent speech, one that Christian graduates don’t often hear. While telling the graduates that God doesn’t care which college or career path they choose, he also balanced it out by encouraging them to seek God in fellowship and prayer, to use the wisdom God has given in His Word, and to pursue godliness. He said if Jesus were to give a commencement speech, He might simply say, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Preachers and teachers have often said, “God has a wonderful plan for your life,” as if each step is mapped out, which has led to a lot of confusion, not only in trying to find the elusive plan but in dealing with the subject of evil. Although I understand that some will say His plan starts after a person accepts Christ, which may answer someone’s question, “Was it part of God’s plan for me to be abused as a child?”, making the answer, “No,” it still falls short. And some would say, “Yes, it was a part of God’s plan for your life.” Sure God can turn what was meant for evil into something good, as in the case of Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, but how does it make sense to anyone, much less a child to imply that his or her suffering under the hands of abusive parents was all a part of a good God’s plan? That’s where the long debated subject of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility comes in.
“It’s interesting that while many of us will reject Calvinist theology in matters of salvation, we embrace the idea of a predestined personal life.” —Jennifer Taylor in “God Does Not Have a Plan for Your Life”
Does God have a plan for our lives? Yes. He has provided a plan of salvation and reconciliation, and that plan includes the plan of conforming us into the image of His Son. He is not a puppet master pulling all the strings. He has given us a Book of wisdom and the responsibility to study it, apply it, and seek Him and His counsel… or the freedom to not. Just as He had an overall plan for the Israelites and gave them promises with conditions to choose or reject them, although He was very patient, He did allow them to suffer the consequences when they continually rejected His commandments and wisdom. Both the promises and the consequences were a part of His plan, but He gave them the freedom to choose. He also gives us the freedom to choose. That was His plan all along.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” —Psalm 119:105
If you liked this, you might also like… “Just Do Something” and Wisdom Wednesday: Use Some Common Sense
June 19th, 2014 at 6:30 pm
What God desires and what we choose can be 2 diametrically opposed points and the Lord will allow us to experience the consequences of those choices. Too many folks today forget the Fall in Genesis involved our thinking process also and, when added to the desires of the flesh in Galatians 6, we tend towards pretty ill-advised decisions.
So the Lord will lay out very specific goals but will, ofttimes just provide general principles for us to follow to achieve those goals.
Maybe He expects us to study His Word for wisdom and follow ‘Wisdom Wednesday’ for insight…
June 19th, 2014 at 10:11 pm
[chuckle] Well, I don’t know about following ‘Wisdom Wednesday’, but yes to the rest! I appreciate that you used the word ‘desires’, because the Bible says that God desires that all would be saved, but not all are or will be. He leaves that choice up to us. Of course, we would never choose Him had He not chosen to be merciful and reveal Himself to us in the first place, but He has given us the ability to respond to His reaching out in love. Thank you, Scott! 🙂
June 19th, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Yes He does have a wonderful plan for us through His mercy and grace and as heirs to His many blessings, but it requires faith and sometimes courage to claim all He has for us. Thanks for the train of thought.
June 19th, 2014 at 10:16 pm
Yes, and sometimes that all includes things that may not seem so wonderful. Jesus told His disciples that they would be persecuted and rejected of men, and although many received them and the Good News of salvation, many did not and even sought to kill them. So yes, He does have a wonderful plan for us through His mercy and grace and as heirs to His many blessings, but some of those things will not be fully realized this side of heaven. Thank you, Randell! 🙂
June 19th, 2014 at 6:56 pm
God has a plan. I have choices. Other people have choices both good and bad and we live in the same world. I hope my choices lead me as close as possible to His best plan for my life ❤
June 19th, 2014 at 10:17 pm
Me, too, Cammy, me too! ❤
June 20th, 2014 at 12:12 am
June 20th, 2014 at 6:03 am
Rene 🙂 thank you for touching this topic
June 20th, 2014 at 7:49 am
You’re welcome, Tienny. I cannot say for certain that God ‘called’ me to touch on it, but I do feel a burden to share some of the things I am learning in hopes of helping others become less confused and set free from things that cause feelings of guilt, condemnation and despair. Thank you for being so encouraging. 🙂
June 20th, 2014 at 11:25 am
Rene, you are welcome. And thank you also to touch this topic to clear some confusion 🙂 occurring in my head
June 20th, 2014 at 11:40 am
Excellent post, Rene. We were just discussing this subject with our youngest daughter last week. I like that quote, “If you want to make God Laugh, tell Him you’re plans.” 🙂
June 20th, 2014 at 2:45 pm
[chuckle] Yes! I like that quote, too! Thank you, Bill! 😀
July 9th, 2014 at 12:02 am
[…] If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Breaking & Making Habits and God’s Plan for Your Life May Not Be What You Think It Is […]