God’s Plans for Us

Within the church today, at least here in America, we have people who are preaching “feel good” messages to the people, telling them that they can “believe” in Jesus, that nothing is required of them, and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die, and that nothing bad will happen to them, and even that they will not have to suffer in this life. And, some of them use today’s passage of scripture, out of context, to make their case, too.

But, in context, God’s people were under his judgment because they had rebelled against him, they had refused to listen to his prophets, and they had refused to repent of their evil ways and to follow the Lord in obedience. They were listening to “feel good” messages, too, from prophets who were feeding them lies which were not from the Lord, telling them that they will not have to suffer what God had declared they would have to suffer. But, these lying prophets were filling the minds of the people with false hopes.

The people of God were living in idolatry against God. They were going their own way, disregarding God’s commands to them. They were involving themselves in hedonistic ways, doing things what ought not to be done. They were stubborn and unrepentant. Their hearts were hardened towards God and his holiness. They may have been circumcised in the flesh, but not in the heart. So, they were allowing their itching ears to be tickled with these “feel good” messages which were filling their minds with false hope.

So, God sent Jeremiah to the people to speak to them His Words. God had brought this disaster upon them because of their idolatry and their refusal to repent time and time again. And, he would not lift it from them until the time was complete. So, they were not to listen to the false prophets who were telling them otherwise.

Jeremiah was a servant of the Lord, a prophet of the Most High God. He loved God with all his heart, mind and strength, and so he did as the Lord commanded him to do in speaking God’s messages to the people. But, since they were not messages the people wanted to hear, the people often came against Jeremiah, complained about him, rebuked him, mocked him, and otherwise ignored him and his messages. But, Jeremiah loved God’s people, too, and so he continued to give them God’s messages, because he knew that was what the people needed to hear.

Over and over again Jeremiah addressed the people of God and he confronted them with their sinful ways. He warned them of divine judgment, and he called them to repentance, i.e. to leaving their sinful lifestyles behind them and to following their Lord in obedience. Yet, he promised them healing and restoration if they would but turn from their wicked ways.

Today’s Church

And, I believe this is where we are in America today. So much of today’s church has turned away from following the Lord in obedience to his ways, and they are living in idolatry and in spiritual adultery against their Lord. Some of them, though, are not truly children of God, because they never did repent of their sins, for they were told they didn’t have to. And, so they have made a false profession of faith in Jesus Christ based on a lie.

And, there are false teachers of the people today, as there were lying prophets in Jeremiah’s time, who are filling the people’s minds with false hopes, promising them heaven when they die, but telling them they don’t have to turn from their wicked ways, and that they don’t have to obey the Lord. They are also telling them that God will not bring on them any judgments of any kind and that they will not have to suffer in this life.

These liars and deceivers, thus, are giving people who profess faith in Jesus Christ carte blanche to continue living in their sinful lifestyles, telling them that God’s grace covers it all, so it doesn’t matter how much they sin against God. And, they are convincing them that no harm will come to them no matter how they live their lives from this moment forward. And, they are convincing them that God will not judge them for their sins.

And, so God has people today whom he has called specifically to speak to his people, and to those who profess to be his people, and to confront them with their sins, to call them to repentance and to obedience to Christ, to warn of divine judgment, but to promise renewal and healing to the repentant. He is also sending them out to dispel the lies of darkness, which are filling people’s minds with false hope, and to proclaim the truths of his word regarding sin, righteousness, salvation and judgment.

Jeremiah 29:10-14 ESV

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

So, when God told the people here that he had plans that were for their good and not for evil (or not to harm them), he was not promising them that they would not have to suffer. They were already suffering his judgments and the time was not yet up for those to be past. For, what he had said he would do he would bring to pass. So, they were not to listen to those who told them something different from that.

And, when he told them his plans for them, they were his plans, not the plans created in the minds of humans who want to continue in their sinful practices and who want to promise themselves they will not be judged for them. He was not promising them an easy life. For, his plans for them then are the same as they are now. His plan has always been, and always will be, that we are to die to sin and live to righteousness in his power and strength.

For, this is for our welfare (our good) that we leave our lives of sin behind us and that we follow our Lord in obedience. For, he also does not want evil to reign in our lives, which is why he died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin. And, the future he promises to those who love him, who walk in obedience to his commands, and who leave their sinful lifestyles behind, is not just the promise of heaven when we die. It is a promise of freedom from our bondage to sin and empowerment to walk righteously and to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to our Lord.

God brought these difficulties into the lives of his people because it was for their good that they should have to suffer in this way in order that they might be brought back to repentance and to renewed faith in their God. And, God allows us to suffer, too, in order to bring his wayward ones back, in order to show his ways to those still walking in darkness, and in order to purify the hearts of all his people and to make them holy as he is holy.

And, when going through suffering, and we learn holiness and righteousness, which is the intention of the suffering, we will turn from evil, and we will seek God with all our hearts, and we will desire him above all else, and we will want to walk in obedience to his commands, not come up with ways to avoid obedience. And, he will restore, renew, strengthen and mature us in our walks of faith. For, this is the goal of our suffering.

But, we must know this also. If we refuse to listen to this truth, and we choose to remain in slavery to sin, doing what our evil hearts desire, we do not have the hope of heaven when we die, but a fearful expectation of the raging fires of hell. For, if we walk (in lifestyle, in practice) according to our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins. But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 6:7-8).

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

*copyright status is public domain

10 thoughts on “God’s Plans for Us

  1. Those whom keep themselves within the sins of the old Covenant will be judged by the old Covenant all judgement under the Law (every Word of God) is death. The new Covenant is about life eternal.
    No Law, no Sin, no Sin, no Repentance, no Repentance, no Salvation.
    And we have Revelation to back His Word. The Seven Seals, the Seven Woes, and the Seven Trumpets.

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  2. I agree with your post in its concept, but the bringing in of the new Covenant is/was about loosing the chains of darkness which the scribes, Pharisee’s, and sadducee’s had the populous bound under through deception and ‘ceremonial laws’ i.e. living in the flesh.
    His teaching and crucifixion was about giving sight to the ‘spiritually blind, exposing and destroying the deception and works of the flesh, and because the Israelites rejected national repentance (foretold in Matthew 24) the works of man living in sin under the works of the law (old Covenant) are in abeyance until this day. Much of what the prophets foretold are with us today, and much more is yet to come to pass.
    I view sin as a rejection of: Love, Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge Counsel, Power, and Respect to every Word of God the Father i.e. ‘The Law’ Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4
    It is impossible to preach the gospel without uncovering the secret/hidden things within the old Covenant. Deuteronomy 29:29; Mark 16:14-16; 1 Corinthians 4:4,5; Luke 10:21-24

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  3. Also to clarify the one comment above that I actually meant to say is: Without Law, there is no Sin, if there is no Sin, then there is no Repentance, if there is no Repentance, then there is no Salvation.

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