Tuesday, August 02, 2016

God's Plan. God's Will. My Purpose. - Part I - What is God's Will?

I know God works in mysterious ways, but sometimes I wish He'd let us in on His thinking a little more. 

Like why are we having to go through what we're going through right now?

It sure can't be explained by our human-sized logic. 

I know He has a master plan, and I know that good can come out of what we see as bad, but still...

Many of us are hurting and my heart hurts for all of you. So, I want you to know I'm praying for you and asking God to nurture you and hold you in His hands. 

We'll all get through this. 

I believe it.

I really do.

Most people ask, “Who am I?” and “Why do I exist?” Some even ask, “Does my life have a special purpose?” All valid questions. To seek the answers, we must go back to the beginning.

Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea an the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

We were created by a loving God. We have great value. God loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us.

We are not accidents of nature. We did not begin as ooze in a pond, evolve from apes and then into humans. The Bible tells us that we ARE NOT accidents. We were created by a loving God who knew about us before we were born. We are here for a purpose, and we can find ultimate fulfillment by finding a relationship with Him. 

God created You. We were made in God’s Image.

This refers to our spirituality.  Aspects such as the conscience, personality and will of God, as well as other characteristics that we have in common with God such as righteousness and holiness.

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. - Psalm 139:13-16

God knew you before you were born - even while you were in your mother's womb. He knew all about your family and your life until now. He wants to give you a brand new start and a new way of living. He can do that when you give Him your life. 

God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, perfectly good, holy and loving.  

Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared: The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation. In accordance with Your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.  The Lord replied, I have forgiven them, as you asked.

- Numbers 14:17-20

In the scripture above, Moses pleads with God, asking Him to forgive His people. His plea reveals several characteristics of God:

  1. God is immensely patient
  2. God's love is one promise we can always count on
  3. God forgives again and again
  4. God is merciful, listening to and answering our requests
Like Moses, we can rely on God's love, patience, forgiveness and mercy.

However, the people of Israel at that time, had a clearer view of God than any other people before them, for they had both His laws and His physical presence. Their refusal to follow God after witnessing His miraculous deeds and listening to His words made the judgment against them more severe. Increased opportunity brings increased responsibility.

As Jesus said, From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded - Luke 12:46

How much greater is our responsibility to obey and serve God -- we have the whole Bible, and we know God's Son, Jesus Christ.

God obviously did not create us exactly like Himself because God has no physical body. Instead, we are reflections of God's glory. Some feel that our reason, creativity, speech, or self-determination is the image of God. More likely, it is our entire self that reflects the image of God. We will never be totally like God because He is our supreme Creator. But we do have the ability to reflect His character in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness and faithfulness.

Knowing that we are made in God's image and thus share many of his characteristics provides a solid basis for self-worth. Human worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness or public acclaim. Instead it is based on being made in God's image. Because we bear God's image, we can feel positive about ourselves. Criticizing or downgrading ourselves is criticizing what God has made and the abilities He has given us. Knowing that we are people of worth helps us love God, know Him personally, and make a valuable contribution to those around us.

God has some pretty amazing characteristics, right? 

However, we don't.  

But, like God, we are: spiritual, rational, emotional, communicative and moral beings. We have dignity, purpose, and meaning.

We exist because of God’s will. He specially created us, and those living in heaven praise Him for that. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. – Revelation 4:11

What is God’s Will?

The best answers are found in God’s Word.

Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him. - Exodus 40:16

God told Moses how to build the tabernacle, and Moses delegated jobs in order to do it. God allows people to participate with Him in carrying out His Will. Your task is not just to sit and watch God work, but to give your best effort when work meds to be done.

God’s Word is a Lamp to our feet and a Light to our Path. – Psalm 119:05

God’s Will is for HIS glory rather than our personal satisfaction, success, or pleasure.

He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will. – Ephesians 1:5

God’s purpose  - The Bible states that He has His own purpose.

And He made known to us the mystery of His Will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ. – Ephesians 1:9

The Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

When you buy a new gadget, you usually get an instruction manual. With your new life in Christ, you need God's instruction manual, the Bible. In fact, the communication you "hear" from God will often come as you read His Word.

God wants to have a personal relationship with us.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, they only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. - John 17:3

God is not some "force," an unspeaking or unseeing idol, or merely another name for your own self-esteem. Instead, God is a person, your Creator, who created you to be in relationship with Him. 



God loves you. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

You can turn your life over to God's control because He loves you and wants the very best for you. In fact, He loves you so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you. 

God Suffers With Us 
God has a sympathetic concern for us in our trials. He knows every heartache we've felt, every tear we have shed. 

During hard times, it can be difficult to understand what God is doing. God is at work during our suffering. In every individual trial, God probably has multiple purposes which He may or may not reveal to us this side of Heaven. 

You have a great friend in Jesus, so get to know Him!
As you're reading the book of Mark, you've learned more about Jesus. In essence, Jesus is God put into focus for human eyes. Jesus came in order to show us God and then to take the punishment for our sins. 

Only because of Jesus, do you have a personal relationship with God.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things on Earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. - Colossians 1:19, 20

When you trust God, you are actually trusting the One who created you. When you turn your life over to Him, you are giving your life to the One who knows you inside out. Isn't that a great place to put your trust?

You can trust God's Word.

All Scriptures is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, re-buking, correcting and training in righteousness. - 2 Timothy 3:16

God never contradicts Himself. His Spirit directed the human authors in the writing of Scripture. God would never lead people in ways contrary to His written Word. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to guide us.

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever - Psalm 33:11

Are you frustrated by inconsistencies you see in others, or even in yourself? God is completely trustworthy - His intentions never change. The Bible promises that good and perfect gifts come to us from the Creator who never changes. When you wonder if there is anyone in whom you can trust, remember that God is completely consistent. Let Him counsel you, and trust in His plans for your life.

Suffering inspired a Song.
Horatio Spafford planned a family trip to Europe, but a business emergency occurred so he sent his wife, Anna, and their four daughters ahead with plans to follow them across the Atlantic as soon as possible. On November 22, 1873, in the middle of the sea, the women's ship collided with another and 226 people, including the four Spafford girls, drowned. Upon her arrival in Wales, Anna sent her husband a heartbreaking telegram: "Saved alone." Horatio immediately sailed for England to join his grief-stricken wife, and as his ship passed the approximate location where his daughters had drowned, he felt the comfort of God that enabled him to write these beloved hymn lyrics: 

When peace like a river
attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast
taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

All believers can expect God's leading: Direct my steps by Your Word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me - Psalm 119:133

However, if your decisions and actions are contrary to scripture, you will face God's opposition. Or, as found in Hebrews 12:5-11 chastening. It's another indication of genuine sonship. 

To make this VERY CLEAR, If people are disobeying God's Word, they are NOT being led by God. 

It is by the Spirit that we put to death the deeds of the flesh.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  - Romans 8:13

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. - Romans 8:23

God, Himself, produces the first fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

We will be resurrected with glorified bodies like the body of Christ now has in Heaven. We have the "first fruits," the first installment or down payment of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our resurrection life.

God's character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God's Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. We should has as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us.

Please continue this series by reading Part II next.



Unknown said...

Nice work!
The truth about God and what we are in him needs to be told.
May God continue to bless you as you continue in his word.
Steve Bedgood

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Thank you, Steve. Spreading God's Word and helping others understand their Creator gives me joy.