"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11I've been putting my heart, soul and mind into believing God's promise. That He's said it and it's done, as I wait for the details to unfold. This is a moment by moment, minute by minute battle of choice.
At this minute, I believe but Jesus, help me with my unbelief (Mark 9:23-25). Not long ago, a cherished friend shared with me the Message paraphrase of Romans 4. It really bears merit for all to stop and read it! This is when I realized, that I can't do the work of the next step in my life. It truly needs to be God's doing, His work, a God-story. Not a SeekingTheMaker-story.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the humble donkey and its colt, the crowds were caught up in a moment of belief that God had sent this man, their Messiah, to save them from the oppression and tyranny of the Romans. They sang, "Hosanna!" Which in Greek literally means, "Save, we pray." They thought they knew God's plan of sending a big hot shot to overthrow the Romans. God had an even bigger plan in mind. Israel thought they needed saving in their external circumstance. God knew they needed spiritual provision and saving, through the perfect, once for all sacrifice for their sins in Jesus' perfect body slain.
I'm just like that. How many times do I shout, "God, save me, give me Your power and guide me out of my external circumstance (a broken down car, an unpleasant moment with the golden heads, disconnect with the engineer, conflict, a decision...)!" But all I really need has already been provided for me: I am in right standing with God through what I believe Jesus did for me on the cross. His sacrifice saved me from eternal torture and death and the grasp of daily sins and sin habits. These are the things from which I really need saving.
But that's not to say God isn't doing something in the midst of my external circumstances. He allows me to experience these so I can practice reaching up to Him and admit that only He can work to make this His story, not mine.
When God promised Abraham he'd have as many descendants as the stars in the sky, it was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for Abraham. The fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way and then simply embracing Him and what He does.
When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”Have you believed in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus' life in place of yours? If so, in what area do you need to quit striving, quit working long and hard and let God do the work to fulfill His promise in your life: good plans, prosperous plans that build a hopeful future.
Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God. Romans 4:18-25, Message