The Bible is very interesting when it talks about God’s plans.
He has personal plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and even when it seems like things aren’t going according to plan, God tells us that he is still working behind the scenes for our good (Romans 8:28).
God is a personal God, so it makes sense that He has a personal plan. But we also know that God is sovereign over all things, and has one major plan for the universe that goes beyond his smaller plans for our lives.
That’s big. Too big for our comprehension, even. But despite the fact that we can’t know the intimate details of this plan, the question is, can we know what the plan is?
I am convinced that not only is the answer to this question “yes,” but also that we are a vital part of this plan and God intends us to get involved.
SO WHAT’S THE PLAN?
Well, the Bible says of God that:
“…In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved (Jesus). In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to his purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:4-10, emphasis mine)
The Bible also says of Jesus:
“For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20; emphasis mine)
The plan is that by the redeeming power of the Gospel, God is going to bring all things in creation back into the perfect order we read of in Genesis 1 and 2, in which everything is in perfect relationship with Him. Heaven and Earth in harmony as one.
That is the beauty of the future that Chrisians proclaim: everything gets fixed. God’s peace – His shalom – covers the earth. The lion lays down with the lamb. He wipes away all tears. Pain and suffering end. And evil is dealt with. Once again, the universe is in perfect harmony.
The thing is, you already knew that. That is the day we look forward to. The question is, did you know that God’s plan for achieving this future involves you today?
YOU’RE PART OF THE PLAN!
“…If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; emphasis mine)
As the church – the body of Christ on earth – we are the mouthpiece of God to call people back to relationship with Him. Not only that. When we become the hands and feet of God, we also see the miraculous restorative power of Jesus at work in loving people, serving the poor, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and blessing the world.
That is not something that is only for the spiritual elite. That is your priviledge (and responsibility) as a child of the King. We represent His Kingdom.
This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
This is not us asking God to bring heaven to earth in some distant place, away from ourselves. To obediently pray the prayer Jesus prayed means we are asking God that we will be a conduit through which the reality of Heaven will be realized on earth.
ARE YOU A CONDUIT FOR HEAVEN?
Do you realize what you get to be a part of? You are the representative of God’s Kingdom to the world.
It is this call as God’s ambassador that makes the way a Christian lives matter. Yes, God does want us to live holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), but there is forgiveness when we fail at that.
God cares how you live because we are His representation on earth. This why why there are so many commands on us like:
- Control your tongue; bless with your mouth instead of cursing (James 3:5-12)
- Work diligently as unto God, rather than lazy and idle (Colossians 3:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10)
- Beware of what you put into your mind, because it will come back out (Romans 12:2, Luke 6:45)
- Redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-17)
- Don’t worry about life – have faith in God to care for you (Matthew 6:25-34)
This list could go on and on, but what you must know is that Jesus’ statement in the great commission to “make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20) was not about keeping a new, revamped set of spiritual laws. Obedience to Christ’s commands lead to living a life-giving life. We are the ministers of reconciliation and with our manner of life we will either be the draw of the Kingdom or the curse of death to those who haven’t yet met the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
We get the joy of going into a lost world with the light of Christ!
“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received; freely give.”(Matthew 10:5-8)