by Pastor Tim Burt
One of the great controversial questions in the body of Christ is this: Does God make us walk out the plan that He wants for our lives or do we get to choose our own destiny? The answer is, we get to choose our own destiny. The love of God gives us the freedom to love and obey Him or reject and disobey Him even though that is contrary to His will for our life. We aren’t robots. We were created in His image and God created us with a built-in inward desire to know Him. That is what causes every human being to desire to seek, discover, and learn about their Creator. When a person seeks God with the sincere desire and open heart to know God, then God will lead them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and all that Jesus did for us, beginning with giving us forgiveness for our sin and the promise of eternal life.
As a Christian, it is critical for you to know and understand that God, from before the foundation of the world, has had a destiny that He wants you to walk in. It is a path that He will try to lead you to in, but it is not a destiny that He will make you live. That will be up to you. Before the foundation of the world, He knew every choice you would make. Whether you would obey Him or disobey Him. He used the choices of every human being that would ever live, to lay out His divine plan. Only God could do that and it's beyond our human comprehension though it is true. He also knew He would send His only Son Jesus to be the anchor of His plan, and Savior and redeemer of our life. And again, the Lord knew and decided all this before He created this world we live in. Look closely and you'll see what His desire and will has been for you and I from the beginning.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT) "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."
Now, this is what He wanted for us and what He will lead anyone to, who sincerely looks for the truth. God will work to draw a person to the knowledge of Jesus Christ with the intent and desire for that person to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. But, God draws that person out of love, not threat, fear, or intimidation. Contrary to false religions, He doesn't make anyone do anything.
One of the places in scripture where we can clearly see this is in the book of Exodus. You'll read the story about God desiring to raise up Moses as the sole leader of the children of Israel. Moses is suffering from self-doubt over the issue. The Lord tries to assure Moses that He can do it and the Lord will help him as we read and see in Exodus 3:10-11 NIV. “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" God ultimately gives Moses the freedom to turn Him down although it wasn’t God’s perfect will for Moses. He wanted Moses as the sole leader! Moses tried to convince God He that he was inadequately articulate for this role. God yielded to Moses excuses and let him have his way. We see this in Exodus 4:14 NIV. “Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and He said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.”
God finally accepted Moses’ choice (excuses) and went to plan B. He brought in Aaron. In this verse you can see that God says that Aaron is already on his way to become involved in this plan. God already had Aaron coming BEFORE Moses had given God his choice. How could that happen? God already knew the choice Moses would make, but He still gave Moses the opportunity to make the tight choice to obey or not obey Him.
God gives the opportunity to all of us to make right choices multiple times every day. Some times they aren't hard but other times they are very difficult and come with sacrifice and great effort. When temptation lurks to talk you out of right choices for your life, pause and ask God for the grace and strength to make the right choice. It's important to make right choices. Even when your choice is as small as forgiving someone for an offense, they are important to our destiny. I believe our spirit man almost always knows the right choice to make. It's just that sometimes the choice can feel torturous on our flesh, pride, or ego.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) "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."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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