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October 17, 2022 8:00 am
More open to change because God is the one who is directing our path. He is the one who is making our paths straight. How much can you actually plan for not even guaranteed tomorrow, much less many years as you learn from Pastor Don read today on the true pulpit. If you plan according to biblical precepts, you will be on a sure path hello there on Bill right and were so glad you're here done last time you began a message called a plan for life and today you will be wrapping it up so let's see if I have this right if we plan according to God's word.
We won't ultimately be disappointed. Beloved. Perspective is everything we have to expect sorrow and disappointment in this sinful world. Scripture says that man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upward and in my life. I've certainly known times of deep sorrow. If you're in one of those times as you hear our program today. I want you to know I sympathize with where you're coming from.
Just remember that your hope is in the future. Christ is preparing a place for those who know him. He will come again you can trust God's word that when you see Christ it'll be worth it all. Let that hope give you encouragement to move forward today. Thanks Don and Fran. Let's go back to Proverbs 16 as Don Greene continues in his ministry teaching God people.
God's word on the truthful. Romans 828 God causes all things work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
I want to say this gently but I want to say it directly to you believe that not you believe that or not. Do you believe that God is good to his people are not. If you belong to him. Then make application to your own life and your own life circumstances right now that says all God is always good to his people in every aspect of life. And though the future is uncertain whatever comes to me in the future is going to be a dispensation and sovereign control of God directing my circumstances in order to bring the blessing in the end that is the way every Christian should think about the future that is the way beloved that you should think about the future and if you are one that is prone to anxiety and wracked by doubts about what's going to happen in the future you need to bring your mind here in Anchorage there and keep it there until you start to see a turning of your heart in this matter is tie this back in with planning. There's a whole point of the whole point of this is what I'm about to say when we talk about planning. It's easy to plan with a sense from a defensive posture and a sense of fear that says I've got a plan things out so the bad things don't come II got a plan account for all of the contingencies and exclude them so that the bad things don't happen to me. But that's not why we planted all that is not Christian thinking at all. It's okay to account for things and protect yourself that you know what I'm talking about is the fundamental way that you think about the future and the way that you think about the uncertain nature of what will happen to you in the days to come. We plan not from the perspective of fear that if I don't bad things are going to happen to me. We plan because we understand the word of God.
We planned because we understand that God has promised blessing on those who take an intelligent approach to life. We planned because God has called for planning in his moral order. And so out of obedience to that out of a responsive trust that we say okay I'm going to plan my life. I'm going to plan this day. The best way that I can.
Not because I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't, because this is what God is calling for.
As I look to the future there something that all this is so very important. There is something other than my plans that I am resting in that produces confidence in me.
I'm not confident about what the future brings it all because of my plans. I'm confident, because my great and holy and good God controls the future down to the hairs on my head and he has promised to do good to me and that's why I'm confident that's why I trust that's why I am afraid it's because I know who God is, I believe what the Scripture says about his sovereign control over all things, I believe, and I trust that he intends good for me no matter what and so I rest and so I'm confident so I'm unafraid you say to yourself to see that changes everything and going back to hasty, impulsive responses, think with me here because it's really important for us to understand this hasty, impulsive decisions are made because people fear the future, in large part they want to escape the present and hopefully find a better way for the future, but they're trying to overly manipulate their present circumstances in order to account for what the happen. Look, we don't live life that way, not in hasty, impulsive way we don't have to be hasty, beloved, we don't have to be impulsive because we believe the sovereignty of God applies even to the individual circumstances of our life and we rest in that. See if you believe it changes life. It lets you call only put 1 foot in front of the others. You go forward. This changes everything. This changes the way that you make decisions about life and so as we look to the future were confident were confident and run afraid and therefore we live life from a position of courage and strength, not from fear and weakness. That's why Christians can be men. That's why Christians can look at over the course of history can look martyrdom in the face and be and be unafraid and be unflinching in the midst of it, confident, and it's better to live in confidence and in fear right. I mean just given a choice, would you rather live confidently rather than fearfully, what, why not just why don't we just do that together and individually…… Live this way and enjoy life together.
I'd like that. Now said that you should certainly plan as God's woven planning into the moral order, the universe, this is what he calls us to do were not were not in different were not careless about the future, we plan quickly and confidently because we know that God's going to direct everything to accomplish good for the for his people were not afraid.
So we plan with confidence to point number three is just as important as your thinking through biblical principles in life. There's when you get to these real foundational things when you start to see all there's a balancing consideration here. We start to see the principles of balance. You know you're on the right track. And here's the balance in what we've said.
That brings us to point number three. It's this is that you should plan dependently. You should plan dependently. Some of you look back on unfulfilled plans and disappointed dreams. Some of you look to the future and your plans are on track.
John and things are going right.
It's good late in life things can't be changed to Yonge and aspirations just on the horizon. No matter where you're at on that perspective you need to heed this passage carefully.
You need to take it to heart.
I'll try my best to help you do that little Proverbs 16 verse nine again. Proverbs 16 verse nine want you to have the actual text in front of you as we talk through these things. Proverbs 16 verse nine the mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 69 teaches us this, your plans for life are not the last word on what happens you plan it out to the greatest detail, but you can't guarantee the results you don't know what's going to happen.
Mark these words here all of your plans. Every last one of them are subject to change as the Lord takes them in a different direction. This is just an outworking of the overall principle of the sovereignty of God. You're not sovereign over the direction of your life.
You can't dictate with certainty the outcome.
All of our plans are subject to changes Lord takes them in a different direction the Lord. We plan on the front end we look back on the backhand and say all the Lord directed my steps this way is what I planned all you know what it was good anyway.
Proverbs chapter 19 verse 21 Proverbs 19 verse 21. Many plans are in a man's heart but the counsel of the Lord will stand with plan a lot of different things, but it's God working out his purposes. That is going to be established. It's God working out his purposes that will stand the test of time.
The most instructive biblical passage on this point is James chapter 4 verse 13 turning the New Testament of James chapter 4, just after the book of Hebrews James chapter 4 verse 13. Come now, you crusade today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in profit and make a profit. Okay go to Center City tomorrow to spend a year there and engage in business and were going to make a profit he's got it all planned verse 14.
Here's the caution here's the biblical counter to that mindset.
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away since how can you speak watch this. How can you speak with such certainty about the future when you don't know what your life is going to be like tomorrow. We see it on the news every day. We just think it will never happen to us. Sudden intervention of catastrophe of crisis of death.
It intervenes when you least expect it.
So he's rebuking this false sense of confidence that says here's what the outcome will be. Says it can't speak you little vapor you little puff of steam little puff of smoke and you're gone. Who are you to speak with such certainty about the future. Verse 15 instead, you ought to say if the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that of James is talking about something a lot more fundamental a lot more important than simply mouthing the words of the Lord wills he's talking about your whole attitude toward your approach to the future when you've made your plans. You step back and say I can't guarantee the outcome. I don't know for certain how all of this is going to come out if the Lord wills, there's the dependence if the Lord blesses what were talking about the new come out this way, but there's always this room in your mind, there's always this margin in your thinking, that God may directed in a different direction. If he does he see beloved through the force of his unseen Providence God determines the results of your plans in a realm that you cannot control when we lived in California. We used to go to beach a lot. We had to be careful because sometimes there were riptide's under the surface that would pull people out to see even though on the surface you can see what was happening. So you had to be carefully had to watch. You had that he had to be careful last you know the ocean would take you in a different direction on the surface things look fine, but there were unseen forces at work that's kind of a negative example of unseen forces, but you get the point. As we live out life and as we go through seeing what we see making our plans and living our life understand this beloved. There is a divine current in world history. There is a divine current in your personal history that is directing things were God wants it to go and that current is strong. It is powerful. It is good. It is certain, and that current is going to take you where God intends it to go and sometimes that current will take your plans are going this way come along and move them someplace else. God is so sovereign that he even rules are plans over rules or plans. He directs our plans to accomplish his purposes. Your planning is simply an instrument of divine problem. Now let's work out what this means for us.
That means that you plan with confidence because God promises to bless prudent planning.
You also plan with dependence, knowing that God has the final say. Here's what this means what it means is, is that as Christians as those who believe in the sovereign goodness of God. It means that we, you and I are open to change.
As life folds unpleasant change and pleasant change. Sad change and happy change were open to change because God is the one who is directing our path. Use the one who is making our paths straight.
And that changes the way that you receive a bad report from the doctor. It changes the way that you receive a bad phone call at night it deepens your gladness and joy when unexpected blessing falls into your lap. You look at all and step back and say this is the direction of God in my life. Christians know that they're supposed to say I trust God, you know that if you been around all that the mere environment being in a church, week by week, would make it unthinkable for someone to openly say I don't trust God so is verbalized in different ways, but I want to help you on this on this very specific point here when we say we trust God so very often people are saying that they've made plans and you know I'm I'm trusting God that my plan will come out the way that I wanted to do. I'm trusting God that my child will come to Christ or I'm I'm trusting God will be financial blessing here or whatever the case may be, and that's okay as far as it goes but that's really not what it means to trust God at all. That's, that's no different than somebody saying I want wife to go my way. I wanted to come out like I do. I'm sure God will work that out. But that's not really trusting God.
That's just an expression of say I want wife to go what I want to. Here's what trusting God means. Here's what it means to be dependent on the Lord as you plan you trust God, not that your specific plans will come out the way that you want them to may or may not happen.
That's the whole point of James and may not come out the way that you plan to be, and those of you that have some gray hairs on your head like I do understand and you got a track record of experience like that is a life teaches you not to talk that way. Sooner or later. If you think about it know you're not trusting God your specific goals will come to pass. Here's what you trusting God for your trusting God that whatever comes to pass will be coming to you filtered through his good hand and intended for your blessing. Whatever comes to pass will be from his good hand and even if it differs dramatically from what you had planned or wanted. See that's really trusting God that saying all let go of the future I will grasp and cling to what I want so much that when God brings something differently. I turn into a defiant Saul and depressed individual. In contrast, change came and say well this is what the Bible told me to expect. Made my plans. The Lord took them a different direction and you go one step further and say I'm okay with that because I know that God is directing my steps. I know even though I can't see it even though I don't understand it, even though I would've chosen this even though right now I don't really like glass. I know that a wise sovereign good father brings into my life exactly what is good for me at exactly the right time, and I trust him for that and therefore I submit that in the midst of this change. You say to yourself, say your loved ones. I trust him. I'm confident I don't understand. I didn't see this coming, but I trust him. And these spiritual realities have far-reaching consequences for how you react to life if you're in a position of life where substantially what you have planned this come to pass in your happy about that. Humble yourself under the hand of God and realize that it was not your wisdom that made that happen. It was the blessing of God. He took your planning and he blessed it, and you are enjoying the fruit of his blessing and your plans were just an instrument in the hand of God to bless you and you humble yourself. Your you bow before him. You say, dear God, you've given me what I asked for dear God, I thank you for that. Not everybody gets to experience a blessing like this Lord. Not everybody gets to have like go the way they wanted to do, but you've given that to me even though I'm no better than the man sitting next to me you've given that to me. God I thought I I thank you for that. I'm so grateful because this is been an expression of your will and your goodness in my life. Success is not come from my strength of God. Our family hasn't come out well.
My career hasn't come out well because of me. It's because you've been good and I thank you for that and I disclaim any credit for that. So this lead you to humility in the midst of blessing Mark. This changed circumstances are not an indication that God's grace has failed you changed circumstances do not necessarily mean that you done anything wrong.
Understand this, when God changes your circumstances all mark this write this down and inscribe it in the tablet of your heart. Changed circumstances are the means of God's grace to you. Not that he's withdrawn his grace from you.
That is the only way that it could ever be because God is good to his people all the time no matter what so mindful of these things we make room in our thinking for tragedy to occur. We make room in our thinking for profound sadness to occur were living in a fallen world.
This is not the life that were living for, and we understand that although these things can happen in general and they could happen to me and the wife disappointment that you feel is a test to prove whether you will trust him or not, were never without hope we never have legitimate grounds for fear great God great plan. Certain that's going green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio with part two of a message called a plan for life here on the truth pulpit will done as you reminded us today, God is always directing everything to accomplish his purpose for Christians that purpose always works together for our good and his glory. So when someone asks you what you do differently if you had all to do over again, that's really kind of a trick question is it is a challenging thought Bill, my friend. As we closed for the week.
I just want to ask you to listen closely to what I'm about to say God's hand has been silently at work in everything that has ever happened to you. I understand you send.
I know that people have sinned against you. You know what they sinned against Jesus to a locale that came out. He's now exalted to heaven and glory. So I encourage you forget the human activity and realize that God has given this present life that you have. You live in response to if you know Christ, you can rest assured that he'll work it all together for good.
Go in peace text on friend just before we go. Let me remind you to visit the truth.
Pulpit.com. There you can hear today's program again at your convenience. That's the truth.
Pulpit.com by Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time when Don Greene continues teaching God's people. God's word from the truth. Pulpit