God has a plan that he will accomplish, and he wants to use us. He’s led us through struggles and has given us experience and gifts to use in partnership with him, but his plan is not dependent on us! Many Christians are frozen in fear about tomorrow. They are afraid to move, make decisions, or take a step in any direction for fear of doing the wrong thing. They mistakenly think God’s will is a perfectly scripted life that can’t be varied from by a single step!
This is a self-centered view of God’s will. It assumes that God’s plan is about me. It’s not! It’s about him. The question isn’t whether God’s plan for me will work, but whether or not we will partner with him in his plan. He’s already equipped and invited us to do the work – will you accept his invitation?
We see this clearly illustrated in the life of Esther. The Jewish people are under attack; their future looks bleak. Esther’s cousin Mordeccai comes to her and asks her to use her unique position to intervene and save their people. He understands that she could be the one God uses, but he knows that God will save his people – with or without Esther. He says in Esther 4:14:, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
The fact that God’s divine plan will work, with or without us is not very popular today because many grew up hearing, “You can be anything – you can do anything!” We have a false belief we’ll all be superstars, rock stars, or star apostles like Paul. We won’t. I’ll never be an Olympic swimmer. I like swimming and would like to look as good as Michael Phelps in a skin tight swimsuit, but it’s not going to happen. This morning I woke up early and typed. He went to the pool. Even if today I decided to do it I can’t, I’m past my prime (for an Olympian). I can’t be everything, I can’t do everything. I’m learning to be content with who I am and what I do. I’m content because I was never promised wealth or fame or to be a viral YouTube sensation (but is that a bad thing?).
What if God’s will wasn’t for you, but for him? What is God’s plan was to save the world, not to give you success? God doesn’t pick people to glorify; he picks people to glorify him. This means wherever we find ourselves we must live in obedience to God’s already revealed will and show his love to our neighbors, regardless of the temporary, earthly rewards or accolades we receive. I’m not valued on a global scale, but I am valued by my family, my friends, and my church. I’m the only one who can be faithful to my wife. I’m the only one who can be my children’s father. I’m content and happy with this because I know I can follow God’s will here in simple obedience to him.
God’s grace is everywhere, and his plan is unstoppable. At any time (even now) you can be a part of God’s plan or you can reject it. Each day gives us new opportunities to be a part of God’s will. God’s will is a choice we can make every day, every minute. When we choose God we experience the fullness of life in Christ; when we don’t we miss out.