God Has A Plan
(Finding The Will Of God)
We have now seen that God has a plan for our lives if we will receive it. Our refuge in God is in being in that plan. In a previous writing, How Big Is Your God, in Building The Child Of God, we considered how immense and powerful God was to create the heavens and earth, and all the physical things that we see and know. We discussed that God could see the end from the beginning; now let us consider that He not only knows what will happen, but He is ordering those events, through the few servants who will obey Him, to bring His purpose or plan to pass;
Isaiah 14:24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
If we understand that God could speak the order of creation, why do we limit His ability to bless us by not understanding the spiritual purpose and control He has? What He has spoken and purposed will come to pass with or without us;
Isaiah 46:9 – 11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
God will use whoever or whatever is necessary to fulfill his plan, including the heathen and ungodly; let us review several Biblical examples. First let us review some examples of armies fulfilling the will and plan of God;
Jeremiah 37:6 – 10 Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to inquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
Through Jeremiah the people were told that the Chaldeans would take the city Jerusalem and burn it, no matter how much they fought, or how apparently defeated and wounded the Chaldeans were. The plan of God occurs no matter how dire the conditions seem!
Read I Kings 20:1 – 30. This is a similar occurrence where the prophet told wicked king Ahab that God would deliver a great multitude into his hand, although Israel had only 7,000 men! Verse 13 tells us this was done so that … thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
Let us also look at some individuals used in the plan of God. In The Anointing Calls You we discussed Cyrus, king of Persia. We read Isaiah 45, and saw that God anointed him and ordered everything in his life so he was in place to send the Jews back to build Jerusalem and the temple. We were looking at the anointing then, and did not consider the sovereignty of God at the end of Chapter 44;
Isaiah 44:24 – 28 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up the rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
God tells us of His omnipotence in both the physical and spiritual things, and tells us he confirms and performs the things spoken by His servants and messengers (they are speaking His will and plan!). God, through His messenger Isaiah, literally foretold of Cyrus, naming him, and telling what Cyrus would do in God’s plan. God foretold of Cyrus and used him so that all will know that he is the Lord, and there is no other!
Even if we do not understand it, receive it, or prepare to walk in it, God has a plan for our life. Consider Queen Esther; she did not see or realize her calling, or why she was in the position she was. Mordecai had faith to know God would in some way deliver the Jews, and could see the possible plan of God in Esther’s life;
Esther 4:13, 14 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Look further at Mordecai, who went in sackcloth with ashes and fasted, mourned, and cried out over the commandment to destroy the Jews. Mordecai had a heart for the children of God, and faith to know God would provide the deliverance, but did not know how God would deliver them. But God had already been at work in his life. By allowing Mordecai to have previously secured the life of the king, God had prepared the blessing and direction for the plan for his life in fulfilling God’s purpose! Mordecai could see the possibilities of the Queen fulfilling the plan of God, but did not recognize his own part in that plan. While Queen Esther was obeying and preparing to petition the king, God had already worked in Mordecai’s behalf in reminding the king of what Mordecai had done. By stepping out in faith Esther changed the fate of the Jews and finished opening the door of the blessing God had prepared to fulfill His will in the life of Mordecai, and His purpose and plan in delivering the Jews!
Next let us look at Saul (the apostle Paul) who was walking in his own knowledge of life and religion, persecuting the church, as Jesus foretold in John 16:2 … whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. Jesus met him on the road to Damascus, and Paul was immediately brought to consider the plan and will of God;
Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
By his words Paul made a choice, and became a captive to the will and plan of God. Even Ananias questioned the will of God, but Jesus told him Paul was chosen;
Acts 9:15, 16 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Paul gives us an excellent example, it is not important how many; God works with the one, or the few, who will answer the call;
Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Paul travelled, evangelized, and taught and established the church throughout much of the known world. Then, from captivity, he wrote epistles that have strengthened, taught, and established many in the generations to come. These epistles Paul wrote did not come from the man Paul; … but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:21) The will and plan of God was performed in His humble, yielded servant.
At each trial, or suffering, or imprisonment such as Paul faced, how many of you would be looking for the eternal purpose of God in the occurrence? When Paul was praying and singing praises to God, beaten, bleeding, and in stocks in the jail at Philippi, do you think Paul knew the earthquake was coming? But he knew that … all things work together for good to them who love God … (Romans 8:28), and was looking for what God would do! Most of us would have to admit we would be grumbling and complaining, and miss the spiritual plan of God.
What does God purpose for you? If we will believe, receive, and obey Him, the promise of His will is that we become sons of God;
John 1:12, 13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
It is never about exalting you, but about exalting Him and fulfilling His will. God does not share glory to exalt another, as Satan has thought/sought to do:
Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Give up your pride for His promises; love Him and walk spiritually in His will and purpose, and He will richly bless and keep you.
Romans 8:27 – 31 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Are you living according to your purposes? Verse 26 says … we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us … The Spirit is in perfect unity with the Father, and intercedes for us according to the will of God. Verse 28 then says … called according to his purpose. If, as we have seen above, everything God purposes will come to pass, our faith should stand strong in If God be for us, who can be against us? It is only “in” His will that this promise is ours: Our purpose must die, and we must seek and accept His calling, purpose, and grace for our lives. We are called with an holy calling;
II Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Timothy is told that the holy calling is according to God’s purpose, and that it was … given us in Christ Jesus before the world began ... We must know then that it was ordained as part of the plan of God. Accept the calling, and His purpose and grace for you, and you begin to find His will and His plan. Do not be conformed to the world ( … be conformed to the image of His Son … ) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to find His perfect will;
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Let us now consider what we know by scripture to be the general will of God. God wants all to come to Him, repent, and live;
II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
It is only in the enduring mercy of God that men are given repeated opportunity to know and turn to Him, but there is a day coming when that will end. In Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 we read of Jesus telling his disciples of things to come (the fulfillment of the plan of God). He also tells them even He does not know the exact time;
Mark 13:31, 32 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Here we see the difference between the will of God and the plan of God. It is His will that you repent, are saved, accept His holy calling, and are part of His plan; but He does not force you. But His plan must, and will, be accomplished in His timing with or without you! We do not know the depth or details of His plan, so how do we walk?
II Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
If we walk in faith, totally yielded and obedient to Him, and seeking His will in all things, we will always be in the plan of God. We can find this in the example of Jesus walk;
John 6:38 – 40 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
This scripture shows that the will of God is that those that have belief, or faith, “in” Him will be kept and receive eternal life. Jesus was always about the will of the Father;
John 8:28, 29 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
If we have a true, actionable faith in the plan and will of God we will be about pleasing Him, and only doing His will. We then can, and will, receive the promises if we diligently walk in this faith. The knowledge of His will, and abiding faith to accomplish His will, puts the believer on the path of being … conformed to the image of his Son.
In Jesus prayer in the garden we see the frailty of His body in asking for the cup to pass from Him. Yet He … for the joy that was set before him endured the cross … (Hebrews 12:2); which joy was our salvation. He looked beyond the affliction and completely fulfilled the will, and thus the plan, of God in His walk here. We need to overcome affliction and walk for, and with, Him in seeking the things that are eternal;
II Corinthians 4:16 – 18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Allow God to work in you a vision or faith for the eternal. Submit and walk humbly with Him. It is only that true, spiritual, sight that can receive the plan of God for your life. While the plan for each person will be different and specific, the general plan of God is shown in what man calls the great commission. Let us look at it in Matthew, Mark, and Luke;
Matthew 28:18 – 20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:15 – 18 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Luke 24:45 – 49 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
We grasp in the physical, and in our minds, the call here, but we often miss it in the spiritual; the command is to … tarry … until ye be endued with power from on high. If we do … these signs shall follow them that believe …Do you see the signs following? It is only in obedience, in hearing and doing, that we can fulfill the will and plan of God. To understand the difference here we only need to consider the prior example of Saul (the apostle Paul). Scripture tells us he had some of the best of man’s education and theology;
Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
For all of this fleshly knowledge Paul was working absolutely contrary to the purpose of God;
Acts 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
Paul already had a mind and desire for the things of God; the scripture says he was zealous, but due to the lack of seeing or hearing, or the leading of the Spirit, he could not accomplish anything for God, and rather worked against the plan of God. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus and changed his direction, giving him seeing eyes, and hearing ears, and the leading of the Spirit. Where is your zeal? It is often the lack of desire and purpose that leaves us languishing in complacency and failure. We cannot see or hear spiritually due to our being unprepared, and our walk in the flesh. Pray, fast, and ask God to give you a hunger and desire for Him. If you can desire it, God will bring you past the things of your flesh, and bless you in His calling, and in fulfilling your part in His will and plan.
As we know from Isaiah 55:8 – 11, Gods ways and thoughts are as high as the heavens are above the earth than ours, and His word will prosper in that which He sends it to. We cannot even begin to grasp the depth or fulness of His plan. Our part and calling in His eternal plan is to walk in faith, yielded, hearing, and doing when He calls unto us. Find this place of faith, that He may use you as He purposes in His high and holy calling!