Friday, January 31, 2020
God's plans will never fail
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Acts 26:19 God does everything for a reason. God met Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road for a purpose (Acts 9:1–9).
Saul had planned to persecute Christians, but his encounter with Christ changed him forever. God did more in that encounter than save Saul from his sin. God began to reveal His will for Paul's life. God's assignment for Paul was clear: “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake” (Acts 9:15–16). God's plan for Paul, revealed through a vision, involved both testifying before kings and suffering persecution. Paul was to enjoy the thrill of performing miracles, preaching to large crowds, and starting churches. But Paul was also to be stoned, shipwrecked, whipped, mocked, conspired against, and imprisoned (2 Cor. 11:23–28). Would we accept this part of his assignment as readily as the first? We never hear of Paul complaining about his commission from God. He never asked that he be given a role like Peter's, or James's, or John's (Gal. 2:9–10). It was enough for Paul that he be given any task in the kingdom of God. As he neared the end of his ministry, Paul could boldly state to King Agrippa, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” Oh, to have Paul's tenacity and devotion to the Father's will! What joy there is not only to begin well in our Christian faith, but also to end faithfully! It is God's desire that each of us could say at the end of our lives, “I was not disobedient.” - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
It's both a wonderous thing and a potentially frightening thing to know what's going to happen.
In many a video these days you can experience that 'slow motion train wreck' through the visual tricks software can do.
We know the outcome yet we still sit on the edge of our seats. God indeed has plans. But step back a little, consider the greater truth, He has plans for every single human being AND animal on this planet.
If you have ever seen or tried to play chess you know it's a complex game within a game. Pieces have a purpose. A specific purpose. They simply are meant to do what they alone are meant to do.
My friend we live in a world of 7 plus billion chess pieces...and that's just the human beings. Look for the photos and videos you will find even animals doing extraordinary things in helping other animals and people. It's not instinct.
When compassion arises God's fingers are all over it.
There's a Plan and a Purpose to our lives. Look at Paul's life. He was fueled for the life in front of him by everything he was shown in the vision on that road to Damascus. Yes the wonders he would show the world from God, but also the wonders he would show the world through his suffering for Christ.
I agree with Blackaby in his comment that we never hear of Paul complaining. Look to the grand champion of Biblical sufferers, Job. He was goaded by his 'friends' to complain and take the punishment of death to get through his woes. You haven't been stretched as thin in life as Job was. May seem like it but he was through it all...and never knew why until he really did die. He wasn't shown what Paul was shown.
Then there's the kind of pains we never let others see that we carry with us. Oh we are very good at hiding behind words or humor. Distracting with a comment or joke.
Then there's the times when the attacks come like waterboarding. One drop at a time and the longer it happens the more our disposition sours. Lord when will this end? Is our cry. Why am I going through this? We say through tears. Or, as the New Testament says...there's the times when the agony is so profound we cannot find words and the Spirit intercedes.
Whatever we go through look at how Paul reacted. We, well at least I know that I do, are quick to remind God that it hurts and we just want it to stop.
In the real story book of "90 Minutes in Heaven" the reconstruction surgeries that the pastor went through broke down many areas of his life on the inside that never would have been touched if the car accident hadn't happened.
In my own life there was an accident where a semi truck ran a red light and hit me. To my left was a car, couldn't go there to escape. To my right, a white minivan, no escape there. I looked straight ahead and was about to face the inevitable when a hand drew my eyes closed and I heard "I don't want you to see this".
The fact that I had a totalled truck wasn't alarming me. The fact that I wasn't getting to work wasn't alarming me. The peace at the moment was profound. God provided for my safety. Someone was nearby as who had a phone that I could borrow to let my Wife know what happened. Still no troubles to be had. We eventually get to a hospital. I have to be checked out. An x-ray revealed a broken arm. I have never had a broken bone until then. They set it and put my arm in a cast. Things are just happening and nothing seems stressful. Work understands and I go home.
Then things began to happen.
I was in the cast for many weeks. God used my discomfort and change in life to change me. I never would have had area's of my life touched as they were if it wasn't for God's Plan for me in those moments.
Stress can drive you to your knees. It can blind you to what's true rather than your perception of truth. Had God let me down in not keeping me 100% safe that day?
There was a Plan and a Purpose. When I came to Christ, part of that adoption included 'thy will be done'. Meaning that I agreed to the plans He has for me whatever they may be.
It would certainly be a lie if I told you that was the only time. A Disciple of Christ forfeits his desires in life for those to whom he or she is a Disciple of. God has used many joys and pains to shape my life. Look at the experiences of the 12 who were with Jesus.
Have mentioned this example before. A tree only obtains strong roots by going through the storm. Not bu avoiding it.
It only grows up stronger because of what it's been through not by not experiencing life in the elements. Growth rings we see in wood tell of its survival through the storm.
Look at your life differently. If you are indeed in Christ you are not your own. You were bought with a price. You agreed to 'thy will be done'. You agreed to be His workmanship. To be the clay in the hands of the Master potter.
If you aren't saved think about why you are not. What's keeping you back? My friend life is only but a moment in eternity but what you decide now will determine your eternity. Jesus came to seek and save you. To give you a hope you will never find anywhere else. I cannot fathom a life apart from God. I look at this world and the reality is if it weren't for Jesus in my life I would be scared to death of it.
My friend today could be the day you finally find hope for living. Today you could find your real purpose and God's plan for you. He loved you enough to leave all that was perfect and good to live a sinless life, die on the cross taking your place on it. So that you might live.
Search online for Roman's Road. My friend the hope you seek is only found at the place you have been avoiding.
Jesus said come to Me you who are weary and I will give you rest.