Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

God has a plan for life?

As a Christian, how often do we here that “God has a plan for your life”? Especially if your in and around the evangelical circles, you will hear this pretty much weekly! The question though is, “Do I believe it?” Sometimes I can’t with all honesty answer yes. Other times, I can be as sure as day that this is in fact the reality of human existence.

There are quite a few scriptures throughout the Old and New Testament that would lend to confirm this belief. (Esther, Ps. 139:6, Proverbs 19:21, Is 14:21, Jer.1:5, 29:11, Romans 8:28, Eph 2:10) However, for me the trouble (doubt?) comes when learning to distinguish our “yous” from our “you”.

This is what I mean. Sometimes in scripture God is speaking to a specific individual and that promise or word is just for that person, it may or may not apply to others, but in the context we understand that it is meant for that person pretty much alone. (For example Jer. 1:5 is specific about a particular individual who God had planned prior to birth to be a prophet.) Now taking this verse, we can expand it a bit and assume that all prophets throughout the scriptures were also chosen beforehand for the plan/ purposes of God (John the baptist is a good example as well).

However, in other cases we see that the “you” was referring to a group not necessarily an individual though it was spoken to an individual at that time.(See Genesis 48:21-22 and 50:24-25) So we see in 48 that though this word was spoken specifically to Joseph on behalf of Jacob’s faith, it never actually happened to Joseph as Jacob had said to him. Likewise we see the same scenario in 50 with Joseph telling the same thing to his brothers, though we read in Exodus 1:1 that Joesph and all of his brothers died in Egypt and, clearly a long enough time had lapsed because there arose a King who did not know Joseph. So we see the word “you” in these examples to be a plural form for the group/nation of Israel and not actually to the “you” being spoken to directly.

Now, I come to my original question. Can we easily assume that when we are confronted with the statement that “God has a plan/purpose for your life” that we can stand firm on this, no matter how we feel. No matter what we see around us, no matter how much our current situation is looking more useless than fruitful?

I do not have the answer. But I will say YES! not because I am firmly convinced of this in my own life, but because of faith. I have to have faith that God is going to allow me to serve Him. That if I will make myself available He will have mercy and be moved by my desires and include me in His plans. I keep going, doing the best I can and learning to know Him more. What else am I going to do anyhow?

There are a few options here.  1) God has a plan and I don’t know it now but I will learn it as I go and I will ultimately fulfill it through His leading or 2)God doesn’t have a specific plan for me and I just go on my life looking for ways to serve Him in my own capacity at whatever whim I feel 3) God has a plan and I am too afraid to fulfill it, or it isn’t what I expected and so I keep looking and searching never finding fulfillment or completing my goal 4) God does not have a specific “call on my life”for me aside from the general purpose of salvation, doing good, helping others, spreading the word of the Gospel and taking care of my family which when I list the few scriptures that confirm these to be true of all Christians….sure does look like a life-long plan!

I have decided that it actually doesn’t matter! Whether I can confidently say and prove experientially that “this is exactly what I was created to be doing, I was born for such a time as this” or not. I have things I can be doing a)while I wait to confirm a plan or b) until I die! No sense in wasting time because I do not feel as “sure” as others about my specific job in this generation. I could wait and hope and pray and wish and wait some more until I have the confirmation I was hoping for. Or I could hope and pray and wait for the confirmation in the midst of pressing towards holiness, maturity and a deeper relationship with Christ.  I think that in this particular time of my life while in limbo between two counties, lives and futures God is much more bent on my serving him internally, and becoming more and more spotless, sinless and blameless than in putting me in a job I feel more useful at.

And wouldn’t you know, that no matter what specific call or job God may have planned for my life (if he has one in mind), it will absolutely require me to be less sinful, spotted, and blameable anyway. So I’m getting started on this plan for now, and we will see what God may do next.

God has every detail covered! He sure is smart!

Blessings to you,

-Bree

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Pride.

I hate that word, don’t you?  I hate it for a number of obvious reasons – most importantly being that God Himself hates it! (The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5)

But I can attest with most of you that likely pride has gotten us into some trouble…or a lot of trouble!

I have been studying about pride a LONG time. I mean years! Yes, I said years. You would think by now I could have moved on to something else? Ya, I expected the same. Sadly pride is so deeply woven into my being, it is taking much more than I anticipated to put an end to it. I figure I have been proud since at least kindergarten. (Though likely even early than that.) I was the only one in my class who could read and I [my pride] REMEMBERS that!  Were talking 25+ years of pride getting into every part of my being/soul/mind.

So what can it take to get it out? God! Of course the answer is always God, ’nuff said. We can pray and trust Him and be living lovely pride-free lives from here on out. Yay!

Except here is what we are facing: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 23:12, James 4:6,10,    1 Peter 5:6. This one little phrase has continued to cause me struggle after struggle. Humble YOURSELF. Oh man, what’s this? I thought God was going to do that for me?

Humility lesson #1 God responds to the humble.

I need to be humble enough to prostrate myself before His mighty hand and allow Him to drive out the pride from my life. He will do it in fact, but only for the humble heart that seeks His pruning, and acknowledges that I a) need pruning, and b) cannot drive out the pride in my own strength, power or trying. Turns out I may be studying a lot on the topic, but I am not actually pressing towards humility as a characteristic of my personality. I am still only reading, and praying (very hard!) that it will go away. I realized the discrepancy comes from my belief in the power of my prayer and not in the One to whom I am praying. I may very well be praying to and with myself. (Luke 18:11)

Humility lesson #2 God has given us the Holy Spirit. 

No I did not earn the Holy Spirit nor was God obligated to give Him to me for all that I have done/ not done.  But I have the Holy Spirit as a gift from God because He simply wanted to give Him to me, and wanted to invite me into His family. The result is that I can have conviction for prideful behaviour and numerous opportunities to practice humbling myself, repenting and asking forgiveness from God and others. Every opportunity to be prideful is an equal opportunity to learn humility.

Humility lesson #3 Humility is learned.

Jesus is our Teacher of humility. (Matthew 11:29) We are merely students – meaning we do not know anything on the topic and in fact need to be taught how and what being humble really means. Jesus invites us to learn from Him what He expects of us. I am so thankful that I do not need to wonder how to apply humility to my life. But, I do need to study and learn from the Teacher. (2 Timothy 2:15) Students are naturally humble. They take classes they need to learn and look to their teachers to instruct them in the topic. Likewise, the humble heart of a student will come to Jesus and learn of Him the more excellent way.

Humility lesson #4 Death alone will bring the ultimate end of pride in my life. 

As a Christian, I have hope for what is to come, a heavenly body and all things to be made new. I can expect to be free from sinful behaviour once I am permanently in the presence of My Lord. Thank You God!! But actually this is NOT what I am talking about. Death to self is the ultimate end of pride in our lives here on Earth (and it is possible!) Once we have practiced humbling ourselves, taken all the opportunities in our daily lives to allow others and circumstances to take a beating to our pride and repented sooner and quicker to our prideful behaviours we will begin to starve to death our self life along with it all the pride that is currently fueling and nourishing that part of “us”.

Pride fuels my self life right now. I am ever ready to defend myself (and God, as if He needs my protection). Ever ready to correct others around me (not in love but in puffing myself up) and to give others advice about lots of things that likely I am struggling with myself or have no idea about  – but I sure feel smart!

I am thankful to my God that He is able to deal with all of that within me and still love me, choose me, keep me and abide with me. Because of His steadfast love for me and hope for growth and holiness, I will keep pressing on to accomplish all of these lessons and make them a reality on my life.

Until then, I ask forgiveness. I pray (timidly) that God will continue to allow things to come against my flesh in order for me to have more and more practice at humbling myself. Every opportunity counts and though it really chafes I will make a point to embrace and welcome these in my life.

-Bree

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: