Wouldn't it be nice if our plans worked out perfectly? Fortunately, life doesn't work out in such a way. It is more complex than we think, and God's plans are always more than we could ever imagine, (1 Corinthians 2:9). Sometimes we wait days, months, or even years for a particular outcome in our life. Other times, a final outcome is altogether different than we hoped it would be.
When life doesn't go as we plan, we often may try and take control. We may run to the next best place or idea we think would be better for our life. We may ignore God’s voice and logically reason our way out, or we may wait until God answers our “why” questions. The underlying theme in each of these tendencies is we are trying to take control. What is God’s response to these? In Proverbs 19:21 (NIV) it says, “Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.”
Instead of looking for an escape from what God clearly ordains, we must fight against our fleshly tendencies and suffer as Christ did to live for the will of God, (1 Peter 4:1-2). How are we supposed to obediently embrace God's will? 1 Peter 4:11b provides an answer. There it says, “If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”
God promises his strength when we serve, and serving God by relinquishing our plans is one way we serve him. We just need to ask him for strength. God also promises to “work out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11, NIV). We only need to trust him. We need to trust his plans are better than our own.
We should no longer run, reason, or wait. We should seek God for strength and reassurance, and by faith, accept what is before us. God’s purpose for our life will ultimately prevail over our plans, (Proverbs 19:21) whether we realize it or not. Wouldn’t you rather surrender control instead of fight God for it?
This week we will be studying about God's sovereignty. Please click here for the reading guide. Let's begin by reading Monday's passage.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2, NIV
As you read these verses, consider the following questions:
What kind of attitude are we supposed to arm ourselves with?
If we live for the will of God, what will we ultimately experience?
Photo: Redd Angelo