Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
God has a plan for your life. It is a good one that is accompanied by hope and a future. There is no disaster in God’s Plan. So why do bad things happen to good people? Why do the godly still die young or at least before the seventy or so years that we have been promised? Why are the innocent abused? Why do believers still experience suffering? I don’t know. Really, I don’t. As I think about my friend now a widow in the course of a week, I think about the Lord and where He stands in all of this. Some would say that God had nothing to do with it, that it was the work of the enemy to cut short the life of a believer. I do not agree. Cancer is a nasty disease that came as a result of the sin of mankind. Jesus took the stripes so that His People would be healed of this horrible infirmity as well as every other sickness and disease. Why didn’t healing come? Or did it and we miss it in our mourning? The Will of God may seem elusive but we must come to understand that the Plan of God will seem like foolishness in this world sometimes but that does not change the fact that He is God, He is good and He loves us. You are the Lord’s most prized possession. The Father paid the highest price for your life with the Blood of His Son, Jesus. Could it be that we miss the Plan of God because we are still not seeking the Lord wholeheartedly? If Heaven would only become a real destination, then maybe we would plan our journey to get there rather than choosing to wander through life not sure if we will make it. In the uncertainty of life, I am certain of this. God has a plan for my life. It is a good plan. I have a future and a hope in Jesus Christ. Lord, teach me to listen while I pray. I want to seek you wholeheartedly each day so I will find you when I meet you face-to-face.
James 1:16-18 (NLT)
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
Whatever comes down to us from God our Father is good and perfect. It is complete lacking nothing. Are you convinced? The Lord does not change or cast shifting shadows by promising one thing and delivering another. If you have not received the Promise of God that you have been waiting for a swift examination of your heart may reveal the problem. The Lord has required us to look for Him “wholeheartedly”. He is a jealous God who will share our heart with no other lover. Just as in marriage, my decisions should not only be influenced by me but my spouse as well. Consideration is given in how I live according to marriage vows taken over a decade ago. Our marriage is strong because we have remained true to our covenant and paid close attention to our actions along the way to be sure that we have maintained our agreement in this partnership of love. We are the Bride of Jesus Christ. He has made us His Prized Possession. Whether we know it or not and live like it…or not is solely up to us! You will not experience the Bridegrooms Gifts until you live in His Company. The counterfeits and substitutes that we choose to fill our life leave no room for His Best therefore we wonder where the Lord is and in fact, He is probably wondering the very same thing.
Deuteronomy 31:20-21 (NLT)
“For I will bring them into the land I swore to give their ancestors—a land flowing with milk and honey. There they will become prosperous, eat all the food they want, and become fat. But they will begin to worship other gods; they will despise me and break my covenant. And when great disasters come down on them, this song will stand as evidence against them, for it will never be forgotten by their descendants. I know the intentions of these people, even now before they have entered the land I swore to give them.”
God’s Intentions for His People does not change even when He knows that they are rebellious in nature. Still God brought the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. God remains faithful to His Covenant even when we are unfaithful in our hearts. He says, “I know the intentions of these people.” God knows our intentions even when we do not. There are many times that we approach God not to do His Will but to have our own way. Immaturity makes us think that anything we could conceive is better than the Creator. Silly human beings that we are have constructed great monuments of pride that think if we can live on the fringe of grace that we can make a better life here on earth. Good luck with that, I mean this with all sincerity. When you get close enough to encounter the Lord, all pretenses fall away as His Eyes burn into our soul exposing our deepest secrets and motives of our heart and those who can remain in this proximity wholeheartedly will be changed. But those who cannot stand the fire of refinement will walk away. Ignorance will tell them that God does not love them, like them or care about them when the diagnosis of disaster comes no matter what words comprise the subject. A fickle heart will make a hasty retreat. Yet God remains faithful all the time and every time according to His Word, Will and Way. He cannot change! “But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.” (Psalm 33:11)
John 4:33-35 (NLT)
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”
Jesus came to do the Will of God. Think about that. He did not come as an addendum to the Covenant God made with humanity but rather to complete it. Jesus was not an afterthought of God when He finally realized people just couldn’t cut it. Jesus was God’s Plan all along to make a way for people who He knew would be unfaithful in their love. “I know the intentions of my people” is not just concerning the Children of Israel but every Child of God. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” (John 14:6-8) When we could not find God, He wrapped His Word in flesh and sent Him into the world to show us the Way back into the Plan of God according to His Will which remains whether we follow the Lord or not.
John 10:1-5 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
We already have established that Jesus Christ is the Way, Truth and Life. He is our access point to God through His Precious Blood. Everyone tracking so far… When the Word of God in John 10 talks about “anyone” who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold must surely be a thief and a robber, the Lord was not just talking about “the” thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) Jesus was also referring to all of those so-called “Christians” who claim to be the Bride of Christ yet really love the enemy or “thief” because they want to use grace as an excuse to live their way and have God’s Best so they try to hop into the Presence of God grab their blessing and then run back into the darkness undetected. A thief is a thief. A robber is a robber. “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” (James 4:2-4)
Grace does not change who you are unless it changes your heart through repentance. If God’s Grace is a pardon, then you will use your freedom to do the Work of your Father and not to use His Favor for this life and your plans. Jesus is a Shepherd to His Sheep. If you are a sheep, then you will walk to the gate and wait for Him to open it. You will hear, recognize and obey His Voice when He calls you by name and leads you. You will follow Jesus because He is the Way, Truth and Life that will align your life with God’s Plan. The enemy, thief and life of sin will now become foreign and strange to you and you will flee from it. You cannot have all the provision, favor and blessing of God’s Plan for your life your way. Remember – we couldn’t keep ourselves from dying. Only Jesus can give us access to Eternal Life as He completes the Plan of God so we may do the Will of God His Way! Which way are you going? It will lead you to your home.
Proverbs 20:27-28 (NLT)
The LORD’s light penetrates the human spirit exposing every hidden motive. Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.
God did not stop by giving Jesus Christ to complete His Covenant with mankind but He then chose to release His Spirit to live in His Precious and Beloved Children. The Spirit of God is not a harsh disciplinarian used to convict and burden your soul but to lead you to the Everlasting and Eternal Promises that God has been keeping for you since you were created. His Love for you was not tainted by your wayward heart and sinful condition. Instead, God provided everything you would need to find the Way back to His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit is just exposing the truth of the human’s hearts motives concerning the Lord in order to establish and complete your covenant with the Lord. Salvation is to receive the grace you need for all the mistakes you have made and will make on your journey to Eternity. Repentance is when you turned away from darkness and sin to pursue God wholeheartedly. Some have made a trip or two to the altar then headed back in the same direction, the tug on your heart is the Holy Spirit reminding you that you have forgotten something. It’s a brand new life waiting for you on the other side of that barrier of sin so it is time to head back to God’s Altar and make it right again! The faithfulness and unfailing love of God for you does not ever change and the circumstances of your life are just a segment of a comprehensive plan too great for the human mind to ever comprehend outside of Glory. What we can know and believe is that God is good and always good to His People.
Psalm 26:1-2 (NLT)
Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. For I am always aware of your unfailing love and I have lived according to your truth.
To have God’s Will for your life will always require doing things His Way. Even Jesus came only to fulfill the Will of His Father – and He did it to the uttermost. You are a Child of God. You have a purpose and plan for your life. Every detail of your life is wrapped around that purpose and always ends up filled with His Goodness. (Romans 8:28) No matter what you are going through it is finished in the Name of Jesus because He overcame the world. There is nothing keeping you from living in the Blessing and Purpose of God if you will seek Him wholeheartedly. Examine your heart. Invite the Lord to do the same and reveal any wayward part. Then make the commitment to do something about it leaving any sin behind. Your past is not the future but God will use it to bless you as He continually works every fiber of your being for success and to see the goodness of God in the land of the living (that’s here and now in case you were wondering). (Psalm 27:13) God is examining your heart too. He is waiting to bless you with each new day as you bring more and more of its broken pieces to lay at His Feet. (Psalm 11:4-5) The enemy may be telling you otherwise and that God is mad at you and waiting to punish you. That is not what my Bible says at all. The Lord is watching every facet of your life to turn it around to experience all of His Blessing and Favor. He doesn’t miss a thing! (Psalm 139:1-6) His Spirit is a witness that works in partnership with God to help us align our life. (Psalm 139:7) Personal evaluation and alignment with God’s Way to the fulfillment of God’s Purpose is a lifelong endeavor and I believe that the enemy has no power over those who have chosen the Way, Truth and Life living in the Presence of God and following Jesus Christ. There is no time to judge others as we live in constant streamlining and realignment to have all that God has promised. (1 Corinthians 4:4-5) We are messengers approved by God whose sole purpose in life is to please God just as it was with Jesus Christ our example. (I Thessalonians 2:4-5) God has a plan for your life. Yes, it is a good one. All of it will be complete lacking nothing but it is a big plan with even greater potential encompassing every detail of your life lived and not yet lived. All you have to do is find the Way and follow Him wholeheartedly! For you, the best is yet to come!
Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.