May 25, 2009
Adjusting to the Lord’s Plan
I have been a Christian for many years, and not once has God asked me, “Charles, what do you want to do?” The Lord doesn’t change His plans to suit my purposes or yours. Instead, He asks us to adjust our lives to align with His will.
One change He often requires has to do with lifestyle. Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen before they became Jesus’ disciples. Their lives revolved around the details of their occupation—weather conditions, equipment repair, catching fish, and turning a profit. But when Jesus called them to become fishers of men, they willingly and suddenly made a dramatic change.
In contrast, the rich young ruler walked away sad when he realized what he’d have to give up to follow Christ (Matt. 19:21-22). An invitation from the Lord usually means modifying our way of living. Whether this involves switching jobs or altering habits, God expects us to adapt to His plan.
At times the Lord may call for a shift in our relationships. Before being invited to travel in Jesus’ company, James and John worked in the family business with their father. Saying yes to God meant seeing friends and relatives less frequently. Pursuing His plan may mean the same thing for us. But Christ promises a great return on any sacrifice we make (Matt. 19:29).
Our heavenly Father’s plans are based upon His goodness, justice, and mercy. Because of His perfect character, we can trust the direction He gives us. Adjusting to God’s design—accepting His will and making the needed changes in our circumstances and relationships—is always the wisest action we can take (Prov. 3:5-6).
A hymn about following God’s plan
Trust and Obey
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt nor a fear, not a sigh nor a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief nor a loss, not a frown nor a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows and the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, Where He sends we will go—
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Words: John H. Sammis, 1887.
Music: Daniel B. Towner
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.