Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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Straying From the Plan

Posted by Luther D. Powell on April 19, 2012

I’ve recently had a very intriguing conversation with a friend, and I feel the need to express my scatterbrained feelings on the topic. Being one of my closest friends and a brother in Christ, this friend wanted to tell me about a potential call from God he had been feeling, and whether I thought he should act on it or not.

Out of respect for this friend, I won’t elaborate on the call itself on a public site, but he said something specific that really made my braingears turn. Something along the lines of, “I’m afraid that if I act too soon, I’ll turn out to be wrong and be disappointed, but I’m afraid that if I act too late or not at all, I’ll be deviating from God’s plan for my life and I won’t get where I should be in the long run.”

Brace yourselves, because this is about to get deep… maybe…

This is a very real concern for my friend, and with good reason, but after contemplating on this for a while, a pretty hefty question came to mind: Is it actually possible for us as Christians to stray from God’s ultimate plan for our lives?

I may be preaching to the choir throughout this whole post, so bear with me, I’m still a young’un.

Broken down to its simplest form, sin is deviating from God’s righteous plan; it’s doing something that pulls us away from Him. But we as Christians have the mind-explodingly-great gift of forgiveness through Christ’s death and resurrection, and when we come to the cross with our burnt toast, Jesus takes it from us and says, “That’s alright, I love you, here’s another slice of bread, try again.”

That said, sin itself can’t necessarily pull us off the celestial blueprint of God’s plan, because as long as we’re forgiven, we can always start right where we left off when we fell. The Bible says the only unforgiveable sin is “blasphemy against the Spirit,” in other words, rejecting God (see Matthew 12:31). So obviously, only those who don’t have Christ in their lives unknowingly deviate from His plan, right?

Here’s the thing, God uses everyone to fulfill His eternal will, so like Pharaoh of the book of Exodus, even those who don’t call themselves Christ followers are still part of the plan. Not by choice, but God always leaves the option open for them to choose Him anyway. Even if they don’t choose Him, He still made the grass and stones they tread upon.

My friend was basically afraid of his life falling apart if he didn’t act on what he felt might be a calling. If God uses even the unbelievers, can He not also use the believers who don’t directly react to His call? Yes, God will allow bad things to happen for the sake of strengthening His children, hammering us to perfection, if you will, so if we don’t react, problems can always occur. But even in our trials, He can use us for the better of humanity.

We as humans simply cannot fathom the hugenormous vastronomicality of the definition behind what we call “God’s plan.” We see it too often from a limited perspective, expecting God only to be capable of leading us down one solid road when in truth, God exists in and outside every possible and impossible plane of reality. The fabric of space and time is merely a sheet of paper in His notebook of forever, on which he writes out the cosmos. He knows where our lives will end and every possible pathway we can take to get there, but He Himself allows us to decide where to walk.

I keep two things in mind whenever I question my current location in life: 1. I’m probably not where God really wants me to be, and 2. If I am where I am, I’m there for a reason, and God might want me there.

Confused? Me too. To clarify, God wants us to be perfect in the long run, hence His crucifixion to give us free access to Him, but He doesn’t expect us to be perfect in our Earthly lifetime… also hence the crucifixion. So it’s easy to say, “I’m not where God wants me to be,” because He’s made it clear that He wants us in Heaven. But we can’t deny that God has reason behind everything and we can’t know for sure if God does or doesn’t WANT us where we’re at in life to fulfill a certain purpose. So, I always tell myself both: “This is not where God wants me exactly, but it might be where He wants me now.”

Key word being “might,” because I’m a pea-brained human being who can’t grasp omniscience.

If you’re wondering how I responded to my friend, I tried to sum up all of the above, and encouraged him to ask someone smarter than me for advice. :)

I’m used to posting a picture of some sort, so here’s a drawing I’m currently working on entitled, “Gift.” Thanks for reading, cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

One Response to “Straying From the Plan”

  1. Yes…very deep. Sounds like a honking conversation. And sensible, really. Both of my boys felt called to the ministry. My oldest was so shy he’d scream and cry for a long time if left with unfamiliar people. He wouldn’t talk on the phone to anyone but grandma. He felt the call. His dad and I went “huh?” Now he’s nearly through seminary, leads large groups of people, teaches large groups of people, developed training programs, etc. Amazing. Son number dos wondered if he’d been called to the ministry. Entered and was accepted in seminary. Backed out, as he was called to minister-just in a different way. When things weren’t going so well with writing, I told God He’d have to find me the perfect job if I was to stop writing. He did. Sort of. I applied, interviewed, got accepted and went to work the first day. Where not so good things happened. I started crying in the parking lot on the way home and never went back. Trusting instincts, guts, Calling, and the voice of Christ in our friends and family is an earthly bond we need in the here and now; in the “to come” what a joy it will be to know, even as we are fully known.

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