God’s Plan for You!
Jeremiah 29.11. “For I know the Plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope”.
Few of us Christians live on the level that God expects and desires us to live on, simply because of a lack of knowledge and a lack of understanding of the plans and purposes on the heart of God for us. Naturally, I include myself in this observation, for I am increasingly aware that God has so much more for me, than I expect, or that I fully understand. I am at times plagued, like so many others with thoughts of inadequacy. Feeling like so many do, that the promises and statements of factual evidence both in the Old and New testaments, could well apply to others, but not to me. God might have used, Noah, Jonah, Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Dorcas, Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth, and in more recent times, those like Augustine, Martin Luther, Charles Wesley, Billy Graham, Gladys Aylward, Kathrine Khuleman, Corrie Ten-Boom, Catherine and William Booth, and so on …. but me, that’s a different matter altogether!
I come from a simple background, I have a basic education, albeit with a degree in Theology, but consider myself very much still a “student” of the Word of God, and in some areas of Systematic Theology – a mere novice! Yet as I have already pointed out, I feel increasingly aware of the fact, that like so many others around me, I live on a lower plain, a lover level, than I believe is Gods will for me. How to rise to higher ground is clear from Scripture, as I shall try to show you today, but although it may be obvious and obligatory, it is none the less never easy to complete the transition and move to higher things. Most of us fear Change, even Spiritual Change. I believe only those who really know the Word, and really know their God, and are willing to take that vital fresh leap of faith, can do it.
Hosea the Prophet points out that “Gods people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6
It is when we know the Word, or the “truth” that we are released into a new freedom to live and enjoy Gods best. As John 8:32 reminds us, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” So in the moments left to me today, I want us to consider
The Position We hold in Christ, The Plans We have in Christ, and The Purpose We may hope for, in Christ.
If I am ever to truly rise to the level that God wants for me, I must first of all understand that when I became a Christian, when I trusted in Christ Jesus as my Sin bearer and Saviour, I was granted a “position and a place of honour” in Christ. Jesus himself said:
“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29
In other words I was positioned permanently in the fathers hand, and nothing and no-one can sever that union!
Of course as a young Christian, without much knowledge and understanding in the Word, I thought, and indeed was taught, that my chief objective in life was to live a Holy life, and walk in Holiness before God. After all the Bible says, “Be ye Holy for I am Holy” – Leviticus 11:44
While there is honour in this great principle, it was a long time before I realized that such a command was impossible. You see you and I cannot be Holy, left to ourselves. We might try to live a Holy life, put sin behind us, put the cigarettes to the back of the fire, the alcohol down the kitchen sink, the pornography in the waste basket, the drugs down the toilet, the anger, resentment, pride and jealousy to the back of our mind, – yet having done all that, I can promise you that in a few days, you’ll be right back to where you started. If we could live a Holy life, without Jesus, then there would be no need for Jesus in our lives! God saw that it was impossible for man to keep the law, that is why he sent Jesus to fulfil the law, and to take the punishment for breaking the law, even though he himself never broke it, nevertheless he took the punishment for your lawlessness and for mine
– it was laid on him.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he (God) has made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”. What a wonderful truth, and what a wonderful blessing this is. Now that I have been placed in Jesus, planted in the true vine, Isaiah 5:2, I have confidence that when God looks on me, he does not see the sins of omission nor the sins of commission I may have committed already today. BUT he sees the sinless spotless life of his only begotten Son Jesus, and Divine Righteousness and Justice is satisfied!
I repeat, it is impossible for us to live without sin. Sin is present all around us, a sinful fallen nature still wars within the heart of every Christian, warring against the new God given nature, and that will persist as long as we are in this body of the flesh.
My falling into the temptations to Sin may have a negative effect on my “communion” with God, (my fellowship and friendship with him) but it cannot effect my “union” with Him, that remains in tact! Incidentally, there are those who would suggest that the believer can live without sin, indeed I have heard some “boast” of such a conquest, but I have discovered that the people they live with can usually tell a different story!
The Lord Jesus was and is the only person who ever lived on the face of this planet, without Sin! (that’s because he was born without it in his nature, conceived by the Holy Ghost, and full of that same Holy Ghost proved that it was possible not to Sin.) Of course all of this does not allow me licence to sin, nor to neglect striving after holiness, indeed on the contrary. In the light of all that Jesus has purchased for me on the Cross by the shedding of His precious blood, I am indebted to live to please and honour him, striving after holiness and resisting the temptations that may come my way. God already considers my sin “gone” and says “I will remember them no more.” Even though I may feel unworthy of all that He has for me, yet Jesus has made me worthy, and if and when we may accept and embrace that glorious truth, – all of Heaven opens up to us!
Now then let us get back to the Position we hold in Christ as believers. The apostle Peter, goes a step further in his second epistle. Here in 2 Peter 1,v4, he tells us that in Christ we have become “partakers of the Divine Nature” he writes:
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust“.
Peter is in essence telling us that as Gods Children we have been given the Divine Nature, or the nature of God. (notice the past tense) We sometimes refer to this as the “new nature in Christ Jesus” without really understanding what we say. I am increasingly aware, that there is something of the “Divine” -something of God in me. I have within me, and so do you my Christian Brother and Sister, something of the “Excellency” of Divinity, something of the “Power”
of Divinity, something of the “Love” of Divinity, something of the “Royalty and Dominion” of the Divinity, in short – something of the “Greatness”
In every believer God has placed something of himself, so that we might be a reflection of God, and
of Jesus Christ, in our daily lives and living! Understanding this fact, would, in my opinion revolutionize our Living, our Ministry and our Churches. Right now, as heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, the Believer is already seated in Heavenly Places. We read nowhere that Angels sit in the presence of God, but as Sons and Daughters of the King, every Christian may sit comfortably in his company and presence. We are a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood!
Sometimes I get a little glimpse or insight into the “perfection” that is of God, when I see what God has enabled me to do. I marvel at times when I see his enabling in my life, and conclude that it can only be God that has worked through me! You see there should be elements of the “wonderful” the “amazing” the “marvellous” and the “Royal” in all of our lives, so that the world will take notice of us.
One old Baptist Minister used to say to me “David, if the people in the street knew who we really were, they would take their hats off to us!” He was of course speaking of the “Royalty” that is in our blood. We are not merely citizens of this country, but citizens of a Heavenly Country, and Royalty of a Heavenly Order. Moreover, I believe, that if Christ is in you, and His life is evident in you, you will have some impact on things wherever you go, and wherever you are present, you will be making a difference in the world, whether you see it or not! You carry something of the Glory of God and that cannot be hidden! Its easy for me to tell the Christian from the rest – a true Christian has the life of God in them – the pretentious, do not!
Now if I am convinced of the Position we hold in Christ, then that assurance will enable me to understand the Plans we have in Christ.
Our text today reads,
“For I know the Plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for
good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29.11.
To discover that God has a plan, a blueprint for my life, will enable me to rely and depend more that ever on God to perform that which he has planned for me. God is the Divine Architect, he has drawn up and written a plan for my life, indeed he drew it long before I was placed in my Mothers womb. Listen to what David writes in
Psalm 139, 13-14. “Thou didst knit me together in my mothers womb” “Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance in thy book were written every one of them the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them”
What an amazing truth this is. “In Thy Book” refers to the record that no eye of men or angels has yet seen. Many of you will remember the popular television show “This Is Your Life” where the unsuspecting personality was usually pleasantly surprised by the television Stations, who had put together an interesting and amusing record of their lives both public and private. God has His own “This is your Life” book; – and in it He wrote the story of your life, and mine before you were born, and mapped the path for every soul who was to walk the road of life. What happens here, tallies exactly with what is written there. Although you have been given a “free will” and the ability to make your own choice and mistakes, God who is all knowing (omniscient) and predestined all things according to his foreknowledge, foresaw your choices, your mistakes and even your sin, and when his purposes were woven into your life’s story, and when your destiny was settled, God said “GO AND LIVE THIS” and he placed the seed of you in your Mothers womb!
An acorn looks nothing like an oak tree, but all of the tree is in the nut. All of your life was woven into your DNA long before a living eye had seen you.
I reckon that many of you listening today will think this is pure “codswallop” simply “unbelievable speculation” – but I can assure you that I have seen that Plan work its way out through my entire life, in my work and in my ministry and in my past, present and future. Yes, I said my future, for I know from what is already past, the things that shape my future and my destiny – I was a preacher long before I was a preacher; and it takes a preacher to grasp that!
Satan of course will try his utmost to thwart the plan of God, He cannot know it exactly, but he does appear to have some indication of what God is doing in the lives of his children. Not all things that beset us are “good” but God has promised that …“all things work together for good, to them that love Him”
You will remember that …
Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus….. but Gods plans succeeded
Daniel was thrown in the Lions den, … but Gods plans succeeded
Joseph was thrown down a Well ……. but Gods plans succeeded
Moses was thrown into a River …. . .. but Gods plans succeeded
Peter & Paul were thrown into Jail … but Gods plans succeeded
Jesus was nailed to a Cross at Calvary, but Gods plans succeeded
There is nothing bigger than God, and nothing beats God.
(if you remember me for nothing more – remember me for that statement)
In the discovery that God has a plan for your life, you will also discover that God is a perfectionist, in other words that His plan is a Perfect Plan, and that God does nothing by half measures?
God does not want to give you second place, or second best, but God has the very best for you. Don’t sell yourself short of his best.
There are many exits off the Motorway, but not all of them will take you to where you want to go. The Good can often be the enemy of the Best in Church life! The Psalmist says: “Commit your way to God and your plans will be established” …Psalm 37:5
Don’t settle for anything less that the wonderful life God has for you. The Devil will argue with you, and make you to believe you are not worthy of Gods best, but none of us are worthy of anything God could or would do for us, all of his mercies and all of his gifts are “by his Grace” – his unmerited favour.
So then if we can accept the Position we hold in Christ, and the
Plans we have in Christ, we will more readily understand
the Purpose we may hope for in Christ.
What is it that you are hoping for before life ends? Is it success, is it wealth, is it happiness, is it contentment, is it maturity, is it luxury, is it fame, is it ambition, is it good health? What is it that you dream about, that your heart desires most? The Bible reminds us that God knows the desires of the Heart, and I believe that his plan and purpose for us may well mirror those desires, especially if those desires are born of God in the first place!
Don’t allow yourself to be distracted from the destiny of Gods Plan. Don’t be afraid to think BIG and to dream BIG. Someone has said we should “attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God.” (I like that) The world hates dreamers, the world will try to sit on you, to hold you down and keep you back from the destiny God has for you, but if you can catch a vision of what you could be in the Hand of God, then I believe that all things are possible to him that believes.
Again the Psalmist writes in Psalm 138.v8.
“The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me”
However, there is a “path” or “route” to our destiny, and we cannot reach that destination unless we first make the journey. The first step on this journey is to lose your own self will and ambition!
You must give up your plans if you are going to enjoy Gods purpose. The selfish will never inherit Gods way. For Jesus to fulfil his destiny he said, “not my will but Thine be done” At that moment, and not before it, God led him to the Cross of Destiny.
The second step along the road to destiny, is difficulty.
Going to the Cross was not easy, even for the Son of God, there would be suffering, pain and death, cruelty, anger and resentment, desertion, loneliness and separation. Taking and travelling the road of Gods appointment will never be an easy task. Greatness is not born out of ease, but rather out of hardship and testing. Many of Gods bravest and finest servants have come through the waters of testing and the storms of shipwreck, before reaching the shores of success. But when Christ is the Captain of the Vessel on the Stormiest Seas, He will always bring his children safely to their Harbour of Hope. You see Destiny is your Destination, it is the place of your arrival, the place that life’s journey will bring you to, the place where life’s schooling will have prepared you for, and the place where your gifts talents and experience will make you most suitably fitted.
Another step necessary on the road to ones destiny, and maybe the most important, is the step of faith. God may want you to do something you will not want to do. The purpose may not be something you have dreamed about, rather, something you may fear? When God asked Noah to build an ARK for the salvation of his household, and to preserve the animal life of the planet, Noah must have feared the reaction of others, his family, friends and neighbours. But God had put Noah on this earth and written in His book that Noah (not another) would be the one who would build the Ark, rescue the animals and repopulate the planet! It was his destiny! Noah
may not have liked the idea, may have argued with God, may have argued with others, but build the Ark he did, because “faith” motivated and moved his hands to its construction.
There was no water around, not even a small lake, but God had said … There was no rain; Nor gathering clouds, but God had said, …. There was no help or support from his neighbours, but God had said, …. There was no enthusiasm from his family or his sons, but God had said …. There was no one to launch the boat, even if the rains did come, but God had said …. And when God says, Real “FAITH” accepts it as done, and acts accordingly.
Faith will take you where no others can take you, where no University degree can take you, where no Parish can take you, where no Pastor or Priest can take you, where no Experience or
Expertise can take you, where no Monarch or Millionaire can take you, FAITH alone, can take you to the place where God wants you.
Sometimes, it will demand everything, the cost of pursuing Christ and following wherever He leads, may cost you your family and friends, your home and security, your health and your wealth. But for the true believer, there is no other and no better way. God cannot bring greatness from a Man or Woman who thinks they already possess it. God cannot give wealth to a Man or Woman who is not absolutely dependant upon Him, God wants to take your “nothing” and make “something” out of it. That’s how he began at Creation, and that’s how he always continues. When you lie broken and empty, and helpless at His feet, then he can lift you up, mend you, fill you, and make you what He purposed you to be.
Now this final Word
Today’s Broadcast of the Sanctuary marks the end of a seven and a half year Chapter in my life. In all of those years, apart from two Sundays, (one when I didn’t catch a flight, and one when I could not speak without coughing) Out of the 390 weeks since I began, God has allowed me to Preach for 388 Sundays behind this microphone into your homes and into your hearts. What a privilege to have sown the seed of the “Word” that will not return void but will accomplish all of its purpose. I know from your letters, that God has transformed many of your lives, and touched many of your hearts with a tenderness and affection that was not mine but His.
For everything I have today, everything I am today, and everything I hope to be – I owe to Jesus. Like a vessel in the Potters hands, at this hour – I am broken, empty and helpless until He lift me up again, and grant me a fresh usefulness in his house.
If for the moment, God has placed me “out of sight” I know without doubt that I am not “out of mind” – and one of these days this Preacher David Greer will resurface, with a Better Message and a Bigger Ministry. Make no Mistake. Until then,
May God Bless and keep you all.