The Great Planner

The Great Planner
From the January 1st reading
This week’s motivation is taken from Luke 1 where we see God’s hand planning out every detail from eternity past to ensure that His will comes to pass.
Luke 1:6 (NIV)
Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
  • Zechariah (the priest) and his wife were both upright in the sight of God – moral
  • They both observed the Law blamelessly – they pursued righteousness
  • Verse 7 – but they had no children!
  • They were both too old to have children.
  • This was a source of embarrassment for both of them.
  • But God had a plan!
Things don’t always go according to plan
  • Being “spiritual” is no guarantee that you will be wealthy, healthy and “blessed”
But God can do anything!
  • “For nothing is impossible with God.” – Vs. 37 Gabriel speaking
God is in control!
  • God has a plan and knows what He is doing
Zechariah was chosen by the casting of lots to be the priest who offered the incense. Because of the large number of priests this would be the only time in Zechariah’s life when he would be allowed to perform this task.
The choosing of someone by lot was a common practice in the Old Testament. The practice of casting lots is mentioned 70 times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament. We even see it in the New Testament when the Apostles were trying to determine who would be the one to replace Judas Iscariot. But, nothing is actually known about the actual lots themselves. The closest modern practice to casting lots is likely flipping a coin or the drawing of sticks to see who gets the shortest stick. Whichever method was used, the important thing to realize in this account is that God had a plan—even when things appear to be by chance, as in the casting of a lot.
I have come to the conclusion in life that things don’t merely happen by chance. There is no such thing as luck, good or bad. Accidents do happen, but there is very little, if any, randomness in life. We see this lack of randomness in the design and planning of God’s creation. When we look through the Old Testament prophecies and see their fulfillment, not just in the life of Jesus, but in the life of the nation Israel, we see God’s hand. When we look at history and study archeology, God’s sovereignty—His all-encompassing plan—becomes more and more evident.
So, if God’s plan can be seen in history, prophecy, and the life of a nation, then we can trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives as well. Choices that can seem so meaningless can have an enormous impact on what happens years down the road. A teenage boy decides that he is going to date a certain young lady in high school, but had no idea that this “chance encounter” will change the course of his life forever. Now, 34 years later this month, it is easy for me to see God’s hand in this “chance” encounter after a football game in the school parking lot.
What is important is to see God’s hand in our choices and in their outcome. That’s why it is so important to know and understand God’s will. The only way that I know to know and understand God’s will is to know His Word. The only way to know His Word is to read it, to study it, and to make it a part of who you are. We need to spend so much time in His Word that it renews our minds and transforms our lives (Romans 12). There is power in the gospel and there is more than enough power in His Word to change us. So much so, that in some ways, we begin to know and understand the mind of God. And after a while, we can even begin to know His will.
Knowing God’s will for our lives doesn’t have to be this huge mystery that we chase after hoping we made the right choice. Most of God’s will is found right in His Word. But there are no short cuts. It takes time and discipline.
What this means for all of us is that we can truly trust God! We can trust Him with our lives, and, yes, even the lives of our children. We don’t have to live in fear or be anxious for tomorrow. We can truly know that He is in control and that He even has a plan for me, and for you. There is no randomness. God is not surprised. If He had a plan for Zechariah to be in the temple on that particular day to receive a life changing message, then He definitely has a plan for you. After all – He is the Great Planner!
Take a minute to pray that God would show you His hand in your life. Reflect over the decisions or things in your life that may have seemed random at the time, but had an important impact later in life.
I would be curious to hear your story, and how God worked out or is continuing to work things out in your life. Share below in the comments or message me on Facebook.

One Response to “The Great Planner”

  1. Regina Shea says:

    I’m late with this reply but this is a good devotion. I’m still amazed at how God provided for us when we cam to AZ. Our friends in CA thought we were crazy for moving to “hot” AZ and also for moving not knowing where we were going to live. We trusted God to meet our needs. I’m always amazed to meet people who trust God for every area in their lives from trusting God for their family size to what career path to take. They are an inspiration for me.

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