The Promise of God’s Plan
God is a promise-keeper. He makes His people promises and He does not forget about them. We, on the other hand, often get discouraged because of timing or whatever new fear gets in our way in the moment. That is why it is so important that we really dig in and examine God’s promises so that we can fulfill the plans and purposes that God has for us – and so that we can impact others around us the way we were meant to. Here is something we don’t always think about: We have a part in realizing God’s promises. God’s promises will never fade, but we cannot be passive – and we have to take our part seriously.
God gave His people four beautiful promises in Exodus 6:6-7 (NIV): “Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” When the Israelites were still in Egypt, He promised them that He would bring them out, but that is not all. He also promised them purpose and fulfilment – and those promises still apply to us today. Let’s examine the four declarations in this passage:
- I will bring you out (salvation).
- I will free you (freedom).
- I will redeem you (purpose).
- I will take you as my own people (fulfillment).
Notice something about these promises? The first three are about you as an individual, but the fourth one involves being part of a community. Once we allow God to give us salvation, freedom, and purpose, He wants us to be able to share all of that with others in our community and church, and in that we find fulfilment that only God can offer.
Do you know what is sad? Many Christians never get past the second promise because they get caught up in trying to find personal freedom – and they never make it to purpose or fulfilment. We don’t want that to happen in our lives, so ensuring that we find freedom and then take the next step is so important. Understanding God’s plan for our lives enables us to pursue our purpose and fulfill everything that God has for us, and that is a meaningful blessing for you as well as everyone your life touches.
God’s Plan For Our Lives:
- Know God. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) declares: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” We cannot earn our salvation; it is a gift from our Father. We don’t have to be in a perfect place to know God – in fact, that’s an impossible scenario. He saves us from our sins; we can’t save ourselves or make ourselves worthy to be in a relationship with Him. We cannot take credit for our salvation, and that is a liberating truth.
- Find freedom. James 5:16 (NIV) directs us: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” God wants you to be free from issues from your past, from hurts and temptations in your life, and confessing to one another frees us from past shame and the chains that hold us down. God is the one who gives us forgiveness, but sharing with other believers unbinds us. That’s why being in small groups and fellowshiping inside and outside of church is a life-changer. Finding the freedom God has for us is not something to put on the backburner, because not only does it allow us to live the life God intends us to have, it also empowers us to help others find freedom. Living in freedom enables you to walk into the next steps, and that is immeasurably valuable.
- Discover purpose. Romans 12:6 (NIV) says: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” We all have important and invaluable gifts, gifts that make a huge difference in the kingdom and in the lives of those around us. Twain famously said there are two great days in our lives: the day we were born…and the day we find out why. God has given us all different gifts, things that we were made to use to bless others. Don’t ever underestimate the value of your purpose – it impacts more than just you. Your purpose is far too life-changing to ignore or downplay.
- Make a difference. In John 15:8, 11 (NIV), it says: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Making an impact is something we all desire to do, but acting on that desire is what makes the lasting difference. At the end of our lives, we are not going to care about how much money we made or how well people thought of us; we will care about the people who matter, the lives we impacted and made a difference in.
Our goal should be for all of us to move forward in our spiritual journey and live out the promises that God has for us. God has plans to prosper us and to lift us up so that we can flourish and thrive, so why wouldn’t we walk in that? Psalm 92:13 (NKJV) declares: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.” We want to be planted in the house of the Lord and enjoy all the plans He has for us every day of our lives. In this new year, our prayer for you is that you are planted in God’s house like never before and that you will flourish in the promises God has for you.