Summary: God has a good plan for each life.
GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
1. God has a plan for His will for each life. “I plead with you to give your bodies to God . . . then you will know God’s will for you” (Rom. 12:1-2, NLT).
2. God has a good plan for each life. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11, NLT).
QUESTIONS AGAINST GOD’S PLAN
If God is almighty and has a pre-determined plan for individuals and the universe, how can the prayers of finite people override the eternal plan of the sovereign superintendent of the universe?
1. God will not change. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6, KJV).
2. Prayer does not change events or people because God has decreed all things that will come to pass.
3. “We believe that the decrees of God are His eternal purpose or purposes based on His most wise and holy council, whereby He freely and unchangeably, for His own glory, ordained, either efficaciously or permissively, all that comes to pass.” ~Henry Theissen
4. Obviously God does not decree sin. Since God is all wise, His decree is completely wise and perfect. No one can pray to change the future God has determined. Since God is eternal, His decree is without end, prayer will not make a difference. Since God is immutable, His decisions are irreversible and unchangeable.
5. The problem is God has plans. Plans are intentions.
1. God is powerful enough to create a plan for each person in the universe, yet incorporate each person’s free will and his prayer into His plan.
2. God’s eternal plan and purpose for each life and the individual’s free choice are not contradictions but blend perfectly in the nature and purpose of God.
a. Two rails of a train track.
b. Our limited mind is not perfect.
c. We think by the laws that we know, but God possesses laws that are beyond our ability to understand.
d. Both free choice and God’s predetermined choices are taught in scripture. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9, CSB).
e. Why can’t we understand? Because “the hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29, CSB).
3. Time does not limit God as it limits us. God stands at every moment in life. There is no yesterday, today or tomorrow with God (Rev. 1:4, 8, 11). God stands above time and looks down on all the choices as we make them.
4. A correct understanding of the chronological order of the decree of God.
a. God decided to create everything for His glory.
b. First, God decided to create a massive universe – including this planet earth – that was good and beautiful.
c. God decided to create man in His image.
d. God decided to give humans freedom to obey or reject His plan and laws for the universe.
e. God warned against disobedience.
f. God decided man would suffer the consequences of his sin and rebellion.
g. God decided to provide a Savior for all. The Savior had to come from without the universal system to save those within the system. “You were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ as that of a lamb . . . who was ordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:18-20, ELT version).
h. God’s plan is that all who believe and claim salvation shall be saved.
i. The fact that God allowed the existence of satan reveals that He did not decree to eradicate all opposition to His plan.
j. God could not and would not predestinate a man to hell, but gave him freedom to receive salvation.
k. The freedom to sin, and the freedom to receive or not receive salvation is the basis by which others have the freedom and ability to intercede for those facing that decision.
5. We are a chip off the old block. Because God is a free autonomous Person, He created man with a free autonomous nature. “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Gen. 1:26-27, CSB).
We cannot accept the conclusion that God has a pre-determined plan over which we have no control. Nor, can we accept the fact that we have no freedom of choice about doing God’s plan for our life.