"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
As we ponder the wonders of God's great works in history, particularly those found in the Bible, we soon learn that all history has a purpose. We also learn that history does not unfold randomly, but according to a superior plan. God’s purposes do come to pass, often in ways we could not have predicted. Let’s look at the two components of God’s plan.
God’s revealed plan.
While we can learn much from the world around us, we can learn few things about God’s desires for us. For example, what is God’s will for my life? Paul addresses this matter:
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Here God reveals His general plan for all Christians: their holiness. Each Christian must take steps to grow in their relationship with God and become more Christ-like (1 John 2:6). We should not debate these commands as they form God’s revealed will; His plan for our life.
His revealed will includes wisdom for daily living. As we study God’s Word, we learn principles for growing in wise living. Consequently, we make much better life decisions. So God’s revealed will covers much helpful ground. We neglect it to our own hurt.
God’s sovereign plan.
We can call the other plan of God His sovereign plan. He keeps the details to Himself until He is ready to unfold them. We see many examples of this plan in the Bible. For example, in Daniel 2, 7, 8 and 11, God predicts the rise and fall of world kingdoms. Of course, God has a role in these kingdoms, since He raises up one ruler and puts down another:
“But it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another” (Psalm 75:7).
As we pray for things in this life, these two plans sort of converge. We study the Bible to know what God wants. Then we pray for His will for our lives to come to pass. In time we see more and more of God’s work in our life, and we thank Him for bringing to pass His will in our life. Tomorrow we will consider how to align God’s will with our own.
Posted on Mon, March 20, 2017
by Sam Petitfils