Each one of us has missed the plan of God and we will do so again. He is merciful and will work with us to get us back on track if we will look to Him.
We examined the lives of Saul and David earlier in this study. Saul sinned by offering a burnt sacrifice which should only have been offered by a priest. This cost him his kingdom and the prophet announced that God had found a man who would replace him. The man was David and this announcement was made eight years before his birth!
David played a pivotal role in Israel’s history but probably would never have been king if Saul had not sinned. We will never know what the story would have been had Saul patiently waited for the prophet or if he had repented when confronted with his sin.
The devil has fooled many people into thinking that they have made too many mistakes for God to use them. I was one of these people. My life went through a series of unplanned events when I was younger and he tricked me into thinking my opportunity to be used in ministry was gone as a result.
The Lord led me to a pastor in Destin, Florida. Pastor Phil asked me to serve with him as an assistant pastor. I thanked him but declined as my mistakes had disqualified me from ministry. He invited me to attend a Sunday night service and so I agreed.
God had spoken to the pastor about me serving in his church and was not concerned about the mistakes I had made because they were placed under the blood. Pastor Phil stood before the congregation at the end of worship and introduced me as the new associate! I sat in shock as he announced that I would now be teaching on Sunday nights starting with that service!
He stepped off of the platform, walked over to me, and sat down. We sat looking at each other and then he whispered in my ear, “They are waiting.” I grudgingly got up and stumbled through a message that probably blessed no one present!
That service was the start of a five-year journey. God used Pastor Phil to show me his grace and mercy. Our mistakes and sins were forgiven before any of us were born by the shed blood of Jesus Christ!
The Holy Spirit was sent to help us in this journey called life. He will help us pick up the pieces when we make a wrong turn or if we make a mess of things. The key is to retain a humble heart and to be quick to repent when we make a mistake.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
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.
We have previously discussed the need to present our bodies as living sacrifices. This is our first step on the road to unlocking the plan of God. The next is renewing our minds with the Word of God.
Renewing our minds is conditional on our giving time to meditating on the truths of God’s Word. This is such an important piece of our walking in the plan of God that Paul even tells us that it is the only way for us to “prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God” in our lives.
Unlocking the price of God will require us to first pay a price. It will mean spending time out of the spotlight without recognition or accolades to be given. This is time spent alone with the Holy Spirit and the Word which will end in the death of our selfish desires. I pray that the things we have discussed to this point have helped you to understand how important this time of preparation is to our success in being able to unlock the plan of God.
In my experience, people seem to be much more focused on being active in church than on putting in the effort needed to transform their minds with the Word of God. This seems to be a result of a focus in most churches on making converts when we should be focused on making disciples.
Converts fill seats and can be put to work immediately. They require much less commitment than we must put into a person being discipled. Our modern “seeker-friendly” churches focus on numerical versus spiritual growth which has moved us towards this focus on natural things that have robbed us of God’s power.
Churches that are focused on discipleship will not necessarily have the rapid growth typical with those on numerical growth. They will also not have the turnover commonly seen in the congregations of churches built on numerical growth.
Disciple-making will require a commitment from us. It will mean spending time with people and pouring ourselves into them. This is the commitment that Jesus requires from all of His followers. It is largely missing today and the main reason so many seem to be struggling with being able to unlock the plan of God in their lives.
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