About eleven years ago I was faced with the decision to stay in Florida or go back to Michigan for school. I spent quite a bit of time weighing the options of both sides. I believed God was calling me into full-time ministry, but was scared to death to tell God yes to spending my entire life serving Him. I did not know many people at all in Florida, did not have a job, and was not sure of what my future held. If I went back to Michigan – I would be in the comfort of my friends. I was in the process of getting my Political Science degree and looking to a bright future full of Law and Politics – I wanted the fame, the money, the popularity, etc.
But I was missing one thing… What did God want for my life? What were His plans? I had to humbly realize that God’s plans were far greater than my own!
I once heard United States Chaplain, Berry Black say, “If you do not abort God’s plans, He will take you places you could never imagine…”
God desires greatness out of each and every one of us! His plan is perfect and He desires to use us in ways that go beyond our own capability! The issue is so many Christians have fallen away from God’s plans – from what He desires. We focus on what we want, or as I heard one pastor say it once, our own ‘trinity – Me, Myself, and I.’
Many have walked away from the straight and narrow path God in place. We have fallen into the temptations that Satan uses to so easily pull us down. We live in an extremely crooked world, and so often it is easy to fall into those crooked traps.
So, how do we realize God’s plan A for our lives? How can we walk upright in such a crooked and fallen world? I want to share 4 steps to Walking Upright in a Fallen World right and out of this I believe we will discover God’s plan A for our lives.
Matthew 4:1-11 – “4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
We must respect God’s Word. Jesus uses Scripture to defeat Satan all three times. In verse 4, He quotes Deuteronomy 8:3. In verse 7, He quotes Deuteronomy 6:16. In verse 10, He quotes Deuteronomy 6:13
We could easily say, well He was God. But I believe Jesus knew, saw, and understood the importance of reading and memorizing Scripture. Even as a young child, the religious leaders were baffled and stunned by His knowledge and wisdom of the Old Testament law
Psalms 119:11 – “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
James 1:22-25 – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.”
It is God’s Word that will truly inspire us to live out our God-given purpose. It comforts us in time of hurt. It fills us wisdom when we seem to be empty. We don’t just owe ten minutes a day to God’s Word – we owe our lives to it. It gives us our purpose for life.
We must also value spiritual over physical. Satan wanted Jesus to see the physical needs of life. He wanted Jesus to turn rocks into bread to fulfill His hunger. But Satan missed that Jesus was the Bread of Life. He wanted Jesus to use His physical power to save Him by calling angels to catch Him as He jumped off the cliff. Jesus didn’t need angels to save Him. He wanted Jesus to show a physical sign of worship to Satan, but Jesus already knew the end result – He will one day have rule over everything
Too often we focus on our physical needs – through our prayers, our relationships, and the way we use what God has given us and we miss the spiritual needs and desires God has placed before us.
Luke 12:15 – “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Life is not about the stuff we have! We must realize that the most important issue in life is giving everything we are to God. One of my favorite quotes of all time is… “The only thing that God wants from you is everything.”
Third, we are called to avoid reckless situations. Christ did not give in to Satan, and He did not allow him to continue. He sent him on his way and told him he had no authority to do what he was doing.
How often have you found yourself in circumstances you should not even be near? How easy is it for the friends you have to tear you down and lead you down the path of destruction? Do you put yourself in situations where the temptation is even there to sin? What are you doing in your own life to keep from reckless situations of sin? We must do whatever it takes to keep on the straight and narrow path God has set before us…avoiding disastrous situations.
I Thessalonians 5:21-22 – “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
Finally, don’t compromise your principles, values, or beliefs! Christ did not even for a second think about faltering away from His trust in God the Father. Take a look at the life of Daniel – he was thrown into the lion’s den, had death staring at him in the eyes – yet he never once wavered on his values and beliefs.
Daniel continued praying to the God of this universe, even after a decree had been made to not worship anything or anybody but King Darius. In Daniel 6:10-28 we see how Daniel’s unfaltering belief and trust in God saved him from the mouth of the lions.
We cannot falter our way through life – we must keep our feet solidly planted on the Word of God and in a relationship with Jesus Christ!
When I realized God’s plans for my life were far greater than any selfish desire I had for myself, I began allowing God to take me on an amazing journey! Do not tell God no, not know, or maybe later! Do not abort His plans. Instead, live out your life based on His Word, value your spiritual condition over any possession you may have or want, avoid reckless situations, and Don’t compromise on your values and beliefs
Allow God to take you places you could never imagine! Are you ready for the journey? Are you ready to live out the plan God has for you? Do not avoid what God is calling you to! Be willing and ready for God to use you to fulfill His purpose!