I was reading some things Paul wrote and they lead me to ponder how it is that our Father has a perfect plan for our lives. Let me explain that . . . read what stimulated my thinking:
“Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears —Philippians 1:3-6
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing —Ephesians 2:7-10
I wonder how many times we have heard preachers say, “God has a perfect plan for your life.” We nod, smile, and then go on our way. I’m not sure that most of us really believe that — at least, our lives don’t reflect that we believe it.
So what does it mean to think that God has a “perfect plan” for us? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the word perfect, that’s the problem. We are fallible and make so many mistakes. At least I do, I don’t know how you feel about it. But really, how could anything be perfect in our lives? We know ourselves too well. I’m sure we can think of our failures and weaknesses without even a pause. We just stand there and nod our heads.
That’s the problem! The plan isn’t perfect because we aren’t perfect; the plan is perfect because God is perfect. For now, let’s make it easier on us and just say it this way: God has a special plan for each of our lives.
Let’s think about that plan. In the previous verses, Paul told us that God saved us and began a good work in us. The Spirit is still with us, nudging us forward. Paul also wrote that we are God’s handiwork (or workmanship). The two verses before that tell us that we are saved by God’s grace. We have nothing to do with the act of salvation — we haven’t earned it or deserved it. We are born into the kingdom of God as a gift. God does it, and we receive it. Yes, we believe, but that’s not doing anything to earn our salvation.
As we think about God at work in our lives, we need to continually remind ourselves that, imperfect as we are, God is perfection. Nothing we can ever do would be good enough to satisfy God’s perfection. Only Jesus, the Perfect One, is good enough. Nothing but our faith in Him makes us acceptable to God.
The apostle went on to say that we are saved through Jesus Christ so that we can do good works. God has prepared us for the kind of life He wants us to live. His Word makes it clear how that life works.
It’s not that we are perfect or ever will be perfect while on earth. The point is that our Father is perfect and has a plan for us. The plan for our lives is perfect because it comes from the Perfect Planner. His plan for us includes obedience and service to Him from a sincere heart.
Our Father holds out directions for a full, satisfying life and our role is to align ourselves with that plan. We are to keep our eyes on Jesus and His ability, not on ourselves and our disabilities.
As soon as we say, “But wait! I’m not perfect!” We fail. We have taken our attention off of our Father and allowed Satan to distract us with wrong thinking. Our loving Lord pleads with us to turn our minds and hearts fully over to Him. The more fully we do that, the more completely we live by His good and perfect plan.
We are to be like Joshua, to whom the Lord said, “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Father, help me in this battle for my mind. Satan constantly reminds me of my imperfections and my weaknesses, but I ask You to remind me of Your perfect love, and Your closeness so that I can always walk in victory. I want above all else to walk with you, and to for you to be Glorified in my life. Amen.
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