Fundamentals Of Finding God’s Plan Part 41

I have found that it is possible to be busy with the “work” of ministry without unlocking the plan of God. This is a phenomenon that has led many people to turn away from their relationship with God. 

There are often people who faithfully show up at each service and volunteer to fill any need. They do not seem to have the ability to say no and have no depth to their Christian walk. Most have never been discipled and have no depth in their Christianity.

God is looking for people who will become living sacrifices and pay the price to renew their minds with His Word. This is much more important than making a name for ourselves or building worldwide ministries that make us household names. 

A wall full of awards won for service in our local church is not going to increase our standing before God. Man’s recognition will never mean as much as having our creator say, “well done” when we stand before Him at judgment!

Many people have accomplished great and mighty works for the Kingdom of God that have never been recognized in man’s eyes. These are the prayer warriors who spend hour after hour alone behind closed doors. They are also the pastors of small churches or leaders of Sunday Schools who may have been the ones to lead someone like Billy Graham to the Lord.

Over the years, I’ve seen people rise to positions of leadership in churches that were not spiritually ready. They were faithful in positions of service and rose as a result of either hard work or by having the right connections. Many are no longer seen in the church today as a result of being put in places that they were not spiritually ready to stand-in.

There is a natural desire to rise to the top and be recognized for our efforts. This is not the way of God’s kingdom. True success in the spiritual realm does not require anything more than the satisfaction that we are doing what God asks us to do. 

We present our bodies as living sacrifices and give ourselves to meditation in the Word of God as a reasonable sacrifice. This is how we will ensure we’re positioned to unlock and discover God’s plan for our lives. 

God does not want any of His children to fail in their Christian journeys. He knows that we will be exposed to Satan’s strategies and that failure is guaranteed if we try to overcome them with our strength or effort. 

There will be the temptation to think that we are much stronger than any of us are. Jesus’ disciples traveled with Him for three-plus years and probably felt this way. They were not though and so He told them to wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5) before launching out into their ministries.

We will find that the plan of God is revealed only in bite-size pieces. This is something that used to frustrate me. I’ve discovered that this is a part of God’s mercy in dealing with us. He allows the opportunity for us to mature and grow in spiritual things so that we will be ready before stepping into the next phase of His plan. 

Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them for following Him (John 15:18). They felt the same about Him and will persecute us just as they did His disciples in the book of Acts. This is a part of the price we have discussed that must be paid to unlock and pursue the plan of God.

Over time we will grow and it will become easier to be patient and wait for God’s timing. He will promote us when we are ready. Our part is to be faithful with what He has shown us and to maintain our focus on His Word. 

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.

Romans 12:1-2

We have spent some time examining these two verses. Paul was not encouraging his readers to just make a verbal commitment to present their bodies. Stepping into the plan of God will require much more than a simple commitment to follow Him.

The process of presenting our bodies as living sacrifices is the process of crucifying our flesh. It requires a total death to selfish desires. Many in the church used to call this process “dying to self” but this is largely a catchphrase that has lost popularity. 

It seems that our focus on comfort and acceptance has led the Church largely into a state of living without the power of God manifesting as we read about in the book of Acts. The concept of dying to our self-nature and crucifying the flesh is foreign to the majority of Christians. 

Please understand that I am not saying things are hopeless with where things are today. It seems that there is a remnant starting to wake up that is hungry to walk in the power of God. I believe that this will increase as the world around us continues to grow darker. 

Dr. E.W. Kenyon often talked about the differences between faith and mental assent in his writings. He defined the latter as being a mental agreement to what the Bible says. It is much different than revelation knowledge. Most Christians seem to give mental assent to God’s Word without being willing to make any deeper commitment.

We see the results of this in the powerlessness of our churches today. It is said that very few Christians would have answered an altar call for healing in the early 1900s because it was so rare to find a sick believer. The average call today in most churches would result in two-thirds or more of the Christians present responding with the hope to receive a healing touch.

Kenneth E. Hagin talked about the churches he pastored in the early 1930s. He said that there was a much higher level of consecration to the things of God. It was rare to find members in his churches with any form of sickness and this was reflected in memberships of other churches as well.

So what has happened to change these things? We attend church, we take notes, and we show up every time the church door is open. I believe the problem is that this is the extent of our commitment. How many of us look at the notes taken when we leave service or even open our Bibles between services?

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