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I wanted to share one from the archives today. It was from the middle of my series on the Lord's prayer. It goes all the way back to August 9, 2012 when i was a brand new blogger, but the message is still strong in my heart.

Enjoy:

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As the 3rd installment in my look at “Thy will be done” (Matt 6:10) I wanted to run one more idea past you. Many time I hear Christians talk as though the fact that you are in a circumstance means that what is going on is God’s will for your life.

This is actually a form of fatalism that can completely disable your ability to get out of your current situation. How so you ask?

Think about this for a minute. If you think you are in your current place because God has fore-ordained it, you are much less likely to fight for a way out.

We have to stop getting our theology from Doris Day! [Tweet This]
[Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) – more accurately Ray Evans who wrote the lyrics to this song Doris Day was famous for singing in the late 50’s.]

Christianity is not a system of fatalism, where God orchestrates every detail. Everything that ever happens does not happen for a reason, and is not necessarily intended for your long-term benefit. That is not what Romans 8:28 says, nor does 1 Thessalonians say be thankful for everything. Let’s look at what these verses actually say:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

The promise above has to do with God’s ability to take everything that life throws at you and mold those crazy ingredients into an amazing package. (like an amazing cosmic episode of “Chopped”)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

Here again, the exhortation is not to be thankful for everything, but in everything.

I heard a preacher say once (I don’t know the name of the preacher, but what he said helped me a lot understanding God’s foreknowledge) that God knows the outcome of every possible choice you could ever make. This is why nothing ever takes Him by surprise, and yet you still have choice, and still have the ability to get outside of God’s will.

It is clear in scripture that not everything that happens is the will of God. Adam and Eve sinned – not God’s will – in fact it was exactly the opposite of God’s will. God had a plan in place, and solved the sin problem brilliantly. In fact, the outcome of the New Covenant is a better life for us than what Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden. [Tweet This]

Let that sink in for a minute. Do you realize that God’s intention for a born again, blood bought child of God is actually better than that of Adam and Eve. God is no longer meeting us in the cool of the day, He is living inside! This new covenant ROCKS!!!!!

I am starting to ramble – Back to the point.

Don’t live and pray like the crappy circumstances you are in are God’s plan for your life. Here are 3 steps to a better life for you.

  1. Get up close to God through His word, Prayer and Worship.
  2. Let Him set fresh desires in your heart.
  3. Start doing everything in your power to coöperate with what God shows you.

That’s it. Don’t just live with the circumstance you are in. Cooperate with God and connect with His will for your life. You may not find your circumstances change, but it sure will be better with God engaged.

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

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3

The Prophecy of Agabus by Louis Cheron

Yesterday, I posed a question. Here are a few verses we were considering:

After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. ...

As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:4, 10-12 NASB

The Question:

The ponderable on the table here is whether the disciples were right and Paul should have stayed out of Jerusalem. Or was Paul hearing perfectly, and the disciples were missing the point of what the Spirit was saying. They came pretty close (but not perfect - that’s a conversation for another day) as to what would happen when He got there. But did they mis-read God’s intention for Paul.

What if I told you Paul  could have stayed or gone and never missed God’s best for him?

Many Christians are stuck because they find themselves unable to make a decision. They are afraid they will miss God’s best in their life, if they make one wrong move.

I’m not talking about sin here.

Trust me on this, if among your choices is a clear violation of who God is and what He has commanded, there may be some consequences in your natural and spiritual life.

But let’s get back to Paul’s situation. He had what he believed was the voice of God (I’m not saying it wasn’t) and the council of men and women of faith.

Agabus was not some fly by night, hot and cold saint. He had a solid record of good prophecy. This is from about ten years earlier:

One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. - Acts 11:28 NASB

So who missed God?

What if?

What if the Father gave Paul the choice?

What if he could have picked either one and ended up in God’s perfect will?

What if God was able to work in and through Paul even if he chose not to go to Jerusalem?

Paul taught us in Romans 8:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28 NASB

And the writer of Hebrews tells us:

… for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. - Hebrews 11:6 NASB

Paul was a called and diligent seeker after God’s heart. The fact that He would again face chains did not persuade him to fade back from where He believed the Lord was leading.

This was not like his canceled stop in Bithynia:

and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; - Acts 16:7 NASB

Applied:

So - let’s bring the question closer to home. Can you miss God’s best for your life?

Again, let’s put blatant sin out of the picture. If that godly woman in your church makes you think you should divorce your wife, and marry her, think again (or stop thinking altogether because your brain needs a break—or brakes.)

But what if you find yourself, in diligent pursuit of the Father’s will, with two or more really good options? What if your oikos (the circle of fellowship and love the Lord has placed in your life) is not giving counsel that resonates or clarifies.

Just go for it.

When He said He would work all thing for your good, He really meant all things. God has seen the potential outcome of every choice you have ever made, or ever will, and has a plan ready to go.

Have you ever gotten a video, with an alternate ending. God’s got racks and racks of alternate endings with your name on them. Each one ends well, not only for you, but for all of His vast family.

It’s a little mind-blowing when you start to take all the choices made by all those called by His name and mix up all the possibilities. Factor in the chance circumstances that get sprinkled liberally into our lives. Now ponder how the infinite mind of God has fashioned our destiny from all that.

I can’t find words immense enough to even describe the mind and heart of God.

So be encouraged. Don’t be afraid to act. As long as you’re not violating love—aka God’s law—follow God’s leading as best you can and believe He will take care of the rest.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by today.

You’re a blessing. Keep shining.

Ben

As the 3rd installment in my look at “Thy will be done” (Matt 6:10) I wanted to run one more idea past you. Many time I hear Christians talk as though the fact that you are in a circumstance means that it is God’s will for your life.

This is actually a form of fatalism that can actually disable your ability to get out of your current situation. How so you ask?

Well, think about this for a minute. If you think you are in your current place because God has for-ordained it, you are much less likely to fight for a way out.

We have to stop getting our theology from Doris Day! [Tweet This]
[Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) – more accurately Ray Evans who wrote the lyrics to this song Doris Day was famous for singing in the late 50’s.]

Christianity is not a system of fatalism, where God orchestrates every detail, and everything that ever happens, happens for a reason, and is intended for your long-term benefit. That is not what Romans 8:28 says, nor does 1 Thessalonians say be thankful for everything. Let’s look at what these verses actually say:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

The promise above has to do with God’s ability to take every thing that life throws at you and mold those crazy ingredients into an amazing package. (like an amazing cosmic episode of “Chopped”)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

Here again, the exhortation is not to be thankful for everything, but in everything.

I heard a preacher say once (I don’t know the name of the preacher, but what he said helped me a lot understanding God’s foreknowledge) that God knows the outcome of every possible choice you could ever make. This is why nothing ever takes Him by surprise, and yet you still have choice, and still have the ability to get outside of God’s will.

It is clear in scripture that not everything that happens is the will of God. Adam and Eve sinned – not God’s will – in fact it was exactly the opposite of God’s will. God had a plan in place, and solved the sin problem brilliantly. In fact, the outcome of the New Covenant is a better life for us than what Adam and Eve had in the Garden of Eden. [Tweet This]

Let that sink in for a minute. Do you realize that God’s intention for a born again, blood bought child of God is actually better than that of Adam and Eve. God is no longer meeting us in the cool of the day, He is living inside! This new covenant ROCKS!!!!!

I am starting to ramble – Back to the point.

Don’t live and pray like the crappy circumstances you are in are God’s plan for your life. Here are 3 steps to a better life for you.

  1. Get up close to God through His word, Prayer and Worship
  2. Let Him set fresh desires in your heart
  3. Start doing everything in your power to coöperate with what God shows you.

That’s it. Don’t just live with the circumstance you are in. Cooperate with God and connect with His will for your life. You may not find your circumstances change, but it sure will be better with God engaged.

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

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