God has a plan for me…
What does it mean when you say “God has a plan for me”? This could go many ways. The typical thing is to say whatever happens has to be God’s will. This would allow a lie though; because God is not the author of evil. He is the author of life (Acts 3:15), the author of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10), and the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
God is the author of all that is good. In Genesis 1 He created all that was created and He saw that “it was good”. God also gave us freewill and the ability to love. God gave Adam and Eve one command not to do. “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:17 . By disobeying God the world became broken and we became broken. We have all since inherited a broken nature and live in a broken world. Eve was deceived by Satan to eat of the fruit of that tree. And she ate because she “saw that the tree was good for food, … pleasant to the eyes, … desirable to make one wise” – Genesis 3:6 .
Here we can already see things at work against what is right. The temptations came from both the flesh and the devil. When Satan tempted Eve through natural desires to do what was wrong, sin entered the world. Since then the world, being broken, is now listed as one of the things that tempt us… e.g. the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world generally being referred to as that which is fallen and leads that way.
Now lets look at the children of Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel.
‘And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.’ – Genesis 4:3-8
Now here is God Himself teaching about sin. The most remarkable thing is the last statement: “but you should rule over it.” This says a lot about what God has done in designing us as people. It poses the fact that sin can be ruled over, and we don’t have to be ruled by it. I definitely want to get into talking about that, but I digress, I will stick to the topic at hand. Soon though, soon I will write about it.
Alright so the topic at hand is “God has a plan for me”. And the context we’re addressing is that cliche ‘everything happens for a reason’. Let me ask you something. What do you think Abel believed? Do you think he believed “God has a plan for me”, as in a specific plan? What about during the moment when his brother was murdering him? What do you think his thought process was at the moment… was it “Oh I’m about to be killed, this must be God’s plan for me?”. Of course not! That’s ridiculous. God just before hand was encouraging Cain to do what was right. What happened was obviously not Cain’s obedience towards God, but disobedience.
If you want the real answer to why “Everything happens for a reason.” It’s one of two reasons… yes, only two. Either it’s because it’s good and within the purpose God created it for. Or because we’re broken, we’re fallen, the whole world is broken and fallen and things happen as a natural consequence of the world being broken. That’s it, that’s the reason why things happen. Now if you want to get into why God allows things to happen that’s a whole other topic I would love to get into soon. But now, I digress, lets stick to the topic at hand.
So what is God’s will, and how can you know it? Simple. What do the scriptures say. If you don’t know that, then you won’t know His will. I’ll give you some hints at his will. First of all you can see what God was saying to Cain was He does desire us to rule over sin. Here are some other passages showing His will for us:
‘…“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. …” …’ – Mark 16:15,16
… “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” – Luke 10:27
‘But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.’ – James 1:22
‘But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.’ – James 1:25
‘We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.’ – I John 5:18-20
So it is very important to consider your path and do not take everything that comes along as God’s will. But even knowing that this world is broken and bad things will happen, even so God will work in our lives as we surrender to Him and draw near to Him. Cling to what is good, hate that which is evil: Romans 12:9 . ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.’ – Proverbs 3:5,6 . God does not temp you: James 1:13-15
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. – II Thessalonians 3:3
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Galatians 1:3-5
What I want you to draw from this is that there are many things God has clearly indicated for us as His will for us through scriptures. What I want to caution you in is when you believe, or claim, things that aren’t written about in scripture as God’s will you may very well be taking a dangerous liberty. Dangerous in the sense that if it is false then it could both damage your personal belief when it doesn’t go as planned. And onlookers will associate what you claimed with the God of the Bible and when they see a claim of yours be exposed as false they will portray that onto the God of the Bible. So weigh your decisions carefully, and do not be quick to say everything is of God because then you do Him an injustice.
Now I do believe there are cases where God will use people with specific direction, but not a micromanaged one. From what I see in scripture, the path being ‘straight’ is walking in righteousness through Christ where ever you may be. And there can be more then one path to take, as long as they conform to the will of God. As is in walking in righteousness, seeking Him in all things, praying without ceasing, practicing righteousness, etc.
In cases where God does give specific direction unique to you, he often will allow a request of a fleece such as in the case where He called Gideon to lead in a battle, or he will even provide an evidence, such as when Jeremiah was in prison and his relative came to sell him land as God had foretold, or even doubting Thomas who said he had to see and touch the wholes in Jesus to believe, and Jesus offered the proof. In any case knowing God’s will is not a blind path, nor is it a stab in the dark. You don’t necessarily have to understand the why, you only need to know for certain that it is of God.
I’d like to use the book of Thessalonians as an example of God’s specific will for you. ‘…just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;’ – I Thessalonians 4:1 . ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification: …’ – I Thessalonians 4:3 . ‘For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. – I Thessalonians 4:7 . ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.’ – I Thessalonians 5:16-22
Be careful to consider what it means when scripture refers to God’s plan and God’s will. And what does it mean when it says that. For example ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ – John 3:16 In this passage it’s clear to see God’s will is for all to attain everlasting life by believing in the Son, and it’s through the act of His love that paid this ultimate gift. Yet even though we see what His will for us all is, we also see clearly the “whoever believes”. Which leads back into the freewill and capability of love God gave us.
Please verify these things for yourself. Search the scriptures and know what the word of God says. It is very important that you see for yourself what scripture says in the context of what it is written.
For example I can say the Bible says to “curse God and die”, and I would actually be quoting what Job’s wife said to him. This is not a command for us, but without the context you wouldn’t understand the quote and it could be quite misleading. Or even the quote in the Bible that says “Eat, drink, and be merry: For tomorrow we die”. If you don’t know the context of that you may take it as a command to enjoy life in this way. But in context right before that the scripture says “You have heard it said”. And after the quotations we’re given; different words of wisdom follow. So it is very important to check things out for yourself.
As with how I started this, to accept all things as God’s will, and to not verify by scripture, is foolish, blind, and not God’s will. ‘Test all things; hold fast what is good.’ – I Thessalonians 5:21
Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 & Philippians 4:7
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5,6
The reason I felt the need to write you this is because I see people living in confusion, blind leadings, and ignorant cop-outs. What I mean by ignorant cop-outs is when tragedy happens in your life and inevitably you’ll hear some one try and comfort you with, “Don’t worry, God has a plan for you”, or “Everything happens for a reason”. As if Fate or God created every circumstance and we no longer need to take responsibility for any situation. This doesn’t allow for proper healing, or even for us to be strengthened against what may come. What ends up happening is we’re a victim of a circumstance by one beyond our understanding and we are to be afraid that it may happen again. Like an abused animal expecting to get kicked again. This is wrong, this is wicked, this is not scriptural.
One last eye opener. You should even test and verify the words of godly men and women. In 1 Kings 13 you will see a prophet of God lied, and it led to death.
Be encouraged, God is our strength in times of weakness ~ Isaiah 40:29,31. He comforts us ~ Matthew 5:4, Psalms 94:14, 2 Corinthians 1:4, 7:6. And He answers those who call upon Him sincerely and in humility (which is not the same as humiliation, know the difference).
‘Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.’ – I Thessalonians 5:23,24
– Daniel P. Clark