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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Daily Devotional- A Perfect Plan
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. —Philippians 1:6
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. —Ephesians 2:10
I wonder how many times we’ve heard preachers say, “God has a plan for your life.” We nod, perhaps smile, and then go on our way. I’m not sure most of us truly believe that—at least, our lives don’t reflect that we believe it.
What does it mean to think that God has a perfect plan for us? Perhaps it’s the word perfect that troubles us. We’re fal¬lible and make so many mistakes. How could anything be perfect in our lives? We know ourselves too well. Immediately we think of our shortcomings and shake our heads.
That’s a trick of Satan! The plan isn’t perfect because we’re perfect; the plan is perfect because God is perfect. For now, let’s say it this way: God has a special plan for each of our lives.
Let’s think about that plan. In the previous verse, Paul told us that God saved us and started a good work in us. The Spirit is still with us, nudging us forward. Paul also wrote that we are God’s handiwork (or workmanship). The two verses before that tell us that we’re saved by God’s grace. We have nothing to do with the act of salvation—we haven’t earned it or deserved it. We are born into the kingdom of God as a gift. God does it, and we receive it. Yes, we believe, but that’s not doing anything to earn our salvation.
As we think about God at work in us, we remind ourselves that, imperfect as we are, God is perfection. Nothing we can ever do would be good enough to satisfy God’s perfection. Only Jesus, the Perfect One, is good enough. Nothing but our faith in Him makes us acceptable to God.
The apostle went on to say that we are saved through Jesus Christ so that we can do good works. God has prepared us for the kind of life He wants us to live. His Word makes it clear how that life works.
It’s not that we’re perfect or ever will be perfect while on earth. The point is that God is perfect and has a plan for us. The plan for our lives is perfect, because it comes from the Perfect Planner. God’s plan for us includes obedience and service to Him from a sincere heart.
God holds out directions for a full, satisfying life. Our role is to align ourselves with that plan. We are to keep our eyes on Jesus and His ability, not on ourselves and our disabilities.
As soon as we say, “But wait! I’m not perfect! I fail,” we have taken our attention off God and allowed Satan to distract us with wrong thinking. Our loving Lord pleads with us to turn our minds and hearts fully over to Him. The more fully we do that, the more completely we live by His good and perfect plan.
We are to be like Joshua, to whom God said, “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Perfect God, help me in this battle for my mind. Satan constantly reminds me of my imperfections and my weaknesses, but I ask You to remind me of Your perfection, Your love, and Your closeness so that I can always walk in victory. I ask these things through Jesus Christ. Amen.