“The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:10-11
It is a thrilling thing to be on the Winning Side! I have no doubt that God will do everything He said He would do. That should give every Christian tremendous confidence in their service to God and to the world.
I’m fascinated by how Christians know what to do in serving God. Some become pastors. Others work with young people. Some work with children. Some Christians serve God in their own countries. Some go to countries thousands of miles away. Some speak. Some listen. Some write. Some sing. Some pray. Some pay. That is all part of God’s marvelous PLAN for His Church, the Body of Christ.
Let’s look at some of the basic principles of God’s Plan for His people.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all … But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11
Principle #1: God Created the Plan and He works the Plan
God knows what needs to be done to meet the purposes and goals of His Plan and He does it through His people. Isn’t that the greatest thing? God gives us spiritual gifts, callings and power to fulfill His Plan. Now that’s something about which we can rejoice! When we participate with the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives we are serving the Almighty God in just the way He wants us to serve Him. That’s exciting and rewarding.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting … ” Ephesians 4:11-14
Principle #2: God uses people to help people do His Work
Christ gave His Body “Equipping Leaders” for the purpose of preparing members of the Body for their service to Christ – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. As those Equipping Leaders prepare God’s people for their service to Christ, the Body of Christ is built up. The Body of Christ becomes one in purpose and matures – “to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
When we attain to the “fullness of Christ,” we will no longer be children, tossed to and fro. What is it that can toss Christians around and keep them from fulfilling God’s Plan for their lives? What is it that can keep Christians unbalanced and unfocused on what’s right for them? “… every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”
Just as God has a Plan for His Body Church, so does Satan. Satan’s plan is to confuse Christians, push them off balance, keep them focused on what’s unimportant, keep them upset about trivial things, keep them divided. Satan does that thinking God’s Plan will fail. We know that Satan doesn’t have the ability to thwart God’s Ultimate Plan for His Church, but it is sad to see how successful Satan is with individual members of God’s Church. It doesn’t have to be that way. Each of us has a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.
Principle #3: God’s Plan is based on His Truth and His Love
” … but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
For too long I’ve heard arguments in the Church that Christians have to sacrifice Truth or Love in the way they serve Christ. Either we’re tough on sinners and sin or we’re soft on sinners and sin. Why is that? Why can’t we tell the Truth in Love? Isn’t that what Jesus did? What Paul did? Why can’t we? As we speak the Truth in Love, we will “grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” We can Love sinners and tell them the Truth about their sin. We can Love fellow believers and tell them the Truth about their sin. God’s Plan for the Church is based on His Truth and His Love. He has never sacrificed either for the other – and neither do we.
So, how does God’s plan work on a daily basis? What is God doing in His Church today that can effectively accomplish His Goals tomorrow? We’ll look at that next week. This week, meditate on the first three principles of God’s Plan, then we’ll meet together again for Principle #4.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”