“I Love It When a Plan Comes Together”
The A-Team- Hannibal is the leader and his plans always come together. But there’s always a part in the plot when someone is going to mess it up. It’s either Murdock’s craziness, BA’s stubbornness to get on a plane and they have to trick him and knock him out, or Face’s arrogance.
But aren’t we like one of those characters?
God has a perfect plan and because of our own fleshly desires and unwillingness to trust the Lord, we can easily muck it up
Jesus is telling His disciples that He is going to die, but He will rise on the third day and they, like with most things, do not understand.
1. God has a plan.
- From the beginning of the world, God planned to send Jesus as humankind’s Savior.
1 Peter 1:18-20New King James Version (NKJV)
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
- The blood of Jesus was shed for us before the creation of the world, but was only revealed to us when Jesus was crucified on the cross, died and rose again.
Not even Satan knew about the shed blood until then.
- He had a plan for Jesus, Adam, Abraham, Joseph, Israel, Jeremiah, Paul and He has a plan for you
- However, His plan is NOT your plan-
- The disciples thought that Messiah would and should set up His kingdom here on earth and that they and the rest of Israel would be rulers over all the nations.
- BUT this was not His plan. Death and resurrection was His plan.
Psalm 25:12 Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He[a] teach in the way He[b] chooses.
- WE LIKE to say God is in control, HOWEVER
- If God was really in control, we would be a limo passenger, sitting in the back, not seeing where we are going, get out when the door opens and then get in when the limo comes to pick you up and opens the door for you.
- GOD IS MY CO-PILOT. we like to say God is in control, but typically He is our passenger, just going along for our ride
- OR we say He is in control and we become a side-seat driver like my husband-
EX: driving up to Seattle on Monday, Matt hates to drive, but he likes to tell me how to.
- EX: My plan was so much different than God’s plan.
If you would have told me in high school that I would marry a pastor and be teaching God’s Word, I would have laughed in your face. My life was centered around partying, drugs and alcohol- I overdosed and called out to the Lord and He began to pursue me because He had a plan for me, He changed everything.
- God has a plan.
2. God’s plan is usually not understood.
- The disciples would not understand the plan until they saw Jesus rise from the grave- even while He was hanging on the cross, they still didn’t understand.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
- There are a few reasons for this:
- #1-we have finite, limited thinking- we can only think and move within certain limits, we are bound by space and time. It is hard to think outside of our limitations
YET God is LIMITLESS.
Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
- #2-we cannot see the whole picture, we can only see a few feet in front of us- and God sees everything before, during and after.
Ex: think about a car head light at night
- Hind sight is always 20/20. I can look back and see God’s plan was in tact
- Because His plan is not understood, we need to TRUST that God knows what He is doing.
- Our whole relationship with the Lord is predicated on our TRUST in Him, TRUST that He knows what He is doing, TRUST that HE is working on our behalf. TRUST is the essence of our salvation.
Hebrews 11:6 [Full Chapter]
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- Let me ask you this- if you really trust that He has saved you from your sins and that you are not going to hell, why would you not trust His plan for your life on this side of heaven?
- EX: I have had heart rhythm problems and circulation problems for at least 15 years. I have been to doctors and specialists, I have been on and off meds, and I keep getting worse. I get dizzy and have trouble breathing and they still do not know what is wrong. When I pray, all I get from the Lord is TRSUT ME WITH YOUR HEALTH.
- I am a very black and white person-
In my mind, either God as me, or He doesn’t. I either trust Him, or I don’t.
He either has a plan, or He doesn’t.
3. God’s plan may be missed if we ignore His Word.
- Jesus came not to do His will, but the will of the Father. He was obedient to the Word of God.
- God has a good plan for our lives, but it may miss it if we ignore His Word or make decisions contrary to His will.
- ****If the basic convictions, attitudes and teachings found in the Bible are not deeply embedded in our lives, we can miss God’s plan for us and worse, possibly go astray.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Psalm 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me
Psalm 119:35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
- How do we know God is in it? I am glad you asked.
- He always guides us in the path of righteousness- it is at the root of God’s guidance
Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
- Any plan that does not lead into righteousness, is not of God.
- EX: friend who moved to Vegas to be a stripper saying it was God’s plan
- The Prodigal Son (found in Luke 15:11-32) do not need scripture- I will elaborate.
There are a few things that stick out-
It was not God’s plan for the son to leave.
The Bible does not record how long he was gone- how many years did he waste not living according to God’s plan?
The Father did not go out to find him, HE let the son go and longed for his return
The son comes to his senses, returns to the Father and repents, but how much time and blessings ha he missed out on by living according to his own way??
4. God’s plan will always comes together and succeed.
- God’s eternal plans have a 100% success rate, but His individual plan for your life necessitates you coming into agreement with His plan.
- Even Jesus had a choice- “Let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, THY will be done”
- You have a choice- will you come into agreement with God’s plan or will you reject His plan and go your own way?
- God is a gentleman, He will not force His plan on you or anyone else.
- He wants what is best for you and His way is best, but will you be obedient to what He’s asking of you?
- How do I know what He is asking of me? I am glad you asked.
- His plans can be communicated to us by extraordinary means, such as dreams, visions and prophecy;
- However the usual way is through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer.
- Ex: I had vision of Matt and I building a church brick by brick
- It may not always look pretty or be easy, but He never said His path was easy.
Matthew 7:13-14New King James Version (NKJV)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
- This word “narrow” in the Greek literally means afflict, suffer tribulation and trouble
- My friend said this- the way of the Christ follower is the high road, and on that high road the air gets thin and it is difficult to breathe; but it’s the only road we should ever take.
- EX:I was thinking about Christian giving up his kidney, 50% have a fast an easy recovery, 50% don’t.
You would think he of all people would be in that 50% that have an easy recovery, but no.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
- Can we recognize that the plan of the cross was pain and suffering?
- Even those awesome words to Joshua were an encouragement to help him through the battles that he would be taking on in the Promised land- there were giants up ahead and I am not talking about the NY football team
- Even when it looks bleak, stay the course! Even when you are tired and weary, stay the course.
- Even when it LOOKS like all will fail, STAY THE COURSE.
- God’s plan will succeed!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask God.
- The disciples were afraid to ask what Jesus meant. Maybe He would not have explained it to them, but they never even asked to see!
James 4:1-3 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
- Are you asking God for His plan? Or are you asking Him to bless your plan?
- Are you asking according to His will? or are you asking out of selfish ambition?
- Are you asking Him for anything at all? Or are you doing it all on your own strength and ability?
Matthew 7:7-11New King James Version (NKJV)
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
- If you are not asking the Lord for things, you are missing out on some of His greatest blessings!
- How about instead of trying to do and get it all on your own strength, you begin to put your petitions before the Lord?
- This is not about God being your spiritual bell hop- the big Santa in the sky- “I want, I want, I want”, but the realization that He is a wonderfully good Father that WANTS to take care of you.
- He wants to meet your needs, let Him.
- He wants to bless you, let Him.
- HE wants to show Himself strong on your behalf, let HIM!
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
- He also has the ability to say NO. In fact, He is good at it, let Him.
- The moral of the story is that God has a plan. In fact, it was in His plan that you heard this sermon today!
- Will you respond?