If I make one mistake or if others do things to me, then can God's plan for my life be stopped?
Is this true?
I suppose I am like so many people where what I thought would happen did not turn out as I had planned (or I thought were God's plans?). I had thought marriage would be for life and even when things did not work out if I prayed hard enough God would turn things around and then …....... (happy ever after ending?)
So if things do not turn out how I think it should, does this mean God cannot work in my life so I can walk in the destiny God has made me for. Am I now out of God's will and blessings He had planned for my life? Quite deep questions! What is the answer?
I was encouraged when reading a book by Sheila Walsh titled "It's Okay Not To Be Okay". In the fifth chapter, she looks at letting go of what we cannot control. The Bible verse she based her thinking on came from Romans 8:28.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
In life, no matter if it looks like we are successful or not, we are not in control. In one sense, we are to have self-control.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Proverbs 25:28.
Galatians 5:23 reminds us that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Self-control is essential for every follower of Christ.
In the other sense, we do not want to be a control freak or a controlling person. Even worse, if we have experienced trauma due to someone taking away our control by unfairly exerting theirs, it can be harmful both then but right through our life if not dealt with.
Now we have established what control is for us, what do you think when you hear the phrase "God is in control"? Can you agree with this or are you unsure?
Song: God is in control. God is in Control by Twila Paris with Lyrics
The hard thing is that life or our circumstances sometimes feel like they do not match this truth. Life can quickly feel out of control and God appears to have left. This is harder when we feel we have heard what God wants to do in our lives but nothing falls into place. What we do when this is the case?
One of the most important things for us to do is to go back to the unshakable belief that God is on the throne and is in control. Things may not fall into place as we believe they should and the timing may not be what we want, but if we always go back to our belief that God is in control no matter what it looks or feels like, then we can get through anything God places in front of us.
Some examples in the Bible include:-
Stephen – Acts 7
Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit and had just been put in a place of leadership. He was accused of things and was dragged in front of the High Priest to give an account of what he believed. He actually gave one of the best accounts of the history of the Jewish people. In the end, he was stoned and his time in leadership was cut short. Was this God's plan? Some say, his martyrdom was the catalyst for Saul's conversion. We will actually know when we get to heaven.
Joseph – Genesis 37-50
Joseph was the favoured son, but this led to hatred and even all but one of his brothers wanted to kill him after he shared a dream where all his family would bow to him. Instead of being killed, his brothers sold him to slave traders and became a member of Potipher's household where he rose to be in charge of the whole household. Things were going well until Potipher's wife tried to have an affair with him and because he refused and ran away, he was sent to jail. After many years in jail, he would have been wondering if his dream (From God) would work out and God's plan would eventuate? From this side of history, we know God's plans for Joseph had him save Egypt and his family and be re-united to his family.
We read in Acts that Saul is the most feared man for Christians in the known world. He was actively tracking down Christians and sending them to jail. There is no way this man would be part of God's plans for the new church? This is except through the miraculous work of God. Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Through this encounter, he became one of the greatest writers of our New Testament.
So what do you do when life is out of control? What do you do when you have a desire to be in a marriage for life and your spouse says they want out? You may fight it, pray, but in the end you do not have any control over the situation and they leave. What if you have lived a life with integrity and people start speaking rumours about you which are not true and they are believed. Not only does this appear to destroy your life, has this actually messed up God's plan for your life?
When I understand God and who He is, then I know He is good and His plans will happen. I love a passage from Job 42.
“I know that thou canst do all things and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted. Job 42;2 RSV
Don't you love that word, 'thwarted!" We get to a point in our life when we can no longer cope with the way others talk about us or how we are treated and feel that our life is spiralling out of control. When we feel like this, then reading Psalm 91 is essential!
When you abide under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. 2 He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. 3 He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. 4 His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm. Psalm 91:1-4
In the moments you cannot control what is happening in your life, find you hiding place in the shadow of Shaddai. In other versions is says under His wings of protection where HIs feathers cover you. What a great place to be when there is nothing else to do.
When other people want to hurt you or harm you, God is still in control. God will bring good from any work of others that intends to harm. God will bring all things together for good for those who love God and are called to his purposes. Trust HIm!
There are good times ahead and I will live to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. As you trust God and walk in HIs ways you will too.