Pastor’s pulpit with RL Calhoun
God’s personal will is where the rubber meets the road in the life of every believer. The question is: “Does God truly have a personal, individual plan for each person who belongs to Him?”
We could also ask: “Does the Lord lead believers step by step as they journey through life, or are we Christians the masters of our spiritual fate based on decisions that we make with no input from God?”
Or: “Has God commanded us to serve Him but then left the particulars of exactly how to do that up to us?”
There are those who contend that God doesn’t have a personal will and plan for those of us who know the Lord. A number of years ago, Garry Friesen wrote Decision Making And The Will Of God. In the book, he insists that God has no specific plan to govern the lives of his children. Friesen says that God has a sovereign will and a moral will and that He wants us to learn to make wise decisions according to general principles that are outlined in the Bible.
He argues that, if we really believe that God has a plan that covers every aspect of the lives of those of us who are Christians, then why don’t we seek his guidance for matters like what to have for breakfast or the identity of our future mate.
Believe it or not, when I was a senior in college, I went to the Lord in prayer regarding my future wife. He spoke these words to my heart: “You are going to marry a girl named Ruth.” Yes, Ruth and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary this December.
In his book, Hearing The Master’s Voice, Robert Jeffress, the current senior pastor of the First Baptist church of Dallas, refutes the thesis of Garry Friesen. He points out that there are two very good arguments to support the conviction that God does indeed have a personal plan for the lives of all of his children.
To begin with, he says there is the logical argument. His position is that it simply doesn’t make sense that a God who so intricately designed the universe down to the minutest detail has no particular plan for those of us who were created in his very image.
Jeffress’ second argument to support the truth of God’s personal plan for the life of each believer is what he calls the biblical argument. As we study the Word of God, we can clearly see the plan of God at work in the lives of people – not in a general way but in a specific way.
For example, God had a specific plan for Noah that involved building the ark. God had a specific plan for Joseph that led to him being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. God had a specific plan for Jonah that landed him in the belly of a whale because he didn’t want to do God’s will at first.
And, of course, God had a specific plan for his only begotten Son. That plan included Jesus dying the cruel death of crucifixion for your sins and mine.
The apostle Paul had no doubt that the Lord has a personal plan for each one of us who know and serve Him. Listen to his words in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Christian, your life is not to go floating along without rhyme or reason. Get excited! God has laid out a blueprint for the rest of your life. Don’t miss out on the great plan He has for you.
Next week, we will consider the how of knowing what that plan involves.
RL Calhoun is pastor of New Life Fellowship church in Texas City.