UCAN sharing: Your greatest story
Scripture: Jer. 18:1-6
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11
Life would be a lot easier if we all had a map or directions on how to. But life doesn’t come with a manual to tell us which way to go or who to go with. These are decisions we all have to make on our own. Life is then made up of a series of decisions. As those decisions and the consequences accumulate a life is formed. For most of us life’s decisions result in a mixture of good and bad. This often leaves us bruised and just surviving. God created us to live and be fruitful and successful. What parent would want their child to live a miserable life? God is not just a good father He is the best. So he has prepared for every individual a custom life plan that will bring out the gifts he put in them and lead them to a life of fulfilment and joy all the while earning them
eternal rewards in His kingdom. Sounds great doesn’t it yet so few Christians seek out God’s version for their lives, preferring their own version over his. This comes with great loss as there is no greater life plan for an individual than God’s.
Imagine a person is traveling to City A and has never been there before. On arriving they open up their mobile and turn on the GPS. They know where they want to go so they punch that information in and out comes directions. Unfortunately this day there is a problem in the program of the GPS and when City A was typed in what came up was actually City K. But the person using the GPS doesn’t know this. Confidently the person follows the directions but will never reach where they should have.
Now consider the same situation but the person connects with an expert on City A, who presents the visitor with a map guaranteed and 100% certified to be accurate. The expert knows all there is to know about the city and how to best get around. The expert uses that information to tailor make the journey. If buses are disliked then no buses are included. If historical sites and museums are desired then these are added. Not only is this visitor going to arrive at their destination but they will do so while experiencing an amazing journey.
Consider Ruth who was from Moab yet God blessed her mightily. She choose to stay with Naomi because she saw something in God. She trusted in God and committed her life to him. The risk was very high. Yet God had a plan for Ruth through Boaz. Ruth’s sister, Orpah chose to leave Naomi and pursue a better life for herself. Ruth’s story and name go on to be seen in the bible but Orpah disappears from the word. What happened to her? We don’t know. We can see how God honors those who chooses to live for Him. There are many other similar people in the word. We can see how their lives were lift to a much higher place than just ordinary life just because they choose to live God’s plan.
When we compare the two experiences above it isn’t hard to see which is far better. Most people want to succeed in life and have the best plan. Getting that plan is the problem. Ending up in jail, without money or divorced is not usually on people’s plan. Yet many including Christians don’t experience the fullness of life. Why is that?
If we do life using a flawed source for making decisions then all the decisions regardless of the outcome will have some shortcomings. This points to a basic life principle: from imperfection comes imperfection, from perfection comes perfection. If we want the best we have to be perfect. Man has a problem acknowledging this.
Man has a sense of pride that has been present since The Fall when Adam using his reasoning figured life with Eve but without God would be awesome. So he choose to disobey and as a result life became heavy and full of toil. This means life is going to be hard and we are going to have to work hard to get anything good out of it. Disobedience is always an act of saying no to what wants for us God.
Many Christians struggle today trying to be obedient because they are still trying to do life by their own plan. We want to go in the way we think is best for what we want. We put our desires and thinking before God’s. The nation of Israel failed to follow God and the Lord tried hard to get them to turn. They wanted to do what they thought was best and ended up worshiping idols. In Jeremiah we see God explaining that He can do with people whatever he pleases because what he does is right. The Israelites were resisting God. They were like clay telling the potter what to make. Sounds silly but this is what we do when we fail to surrender fully to God.
What kept the Israelites from turning to God was their pride which creates a sense of independence from God (See Tower of Babal). A person comes to believe they can make life decisions without God. We are free to make life decisions without God but we can’t always see the right way. Our carnal nature clouds our judgments. This brings in sin and its consequences which are death (Rom. 6:23). Resisting God is disobedience and this is sin. Sin produces death which is no way to live. All this because we are proud.
9 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Exo. 32:9
It is important that we examine ourselves for pride but before we do so let us see what God is really offering and why we should pursue Him and his plan for us. God is all about relationship. He has done everything to make it possible for any person to enter in to an intimate relationship with Him. In this way He has made it possible for us to know what our life plan is. He just doesn’t download it to us and then leave. Instead He desires to walk with us through it, guiding and strengthening us all the way. Any true journey has it troubles. Our lives are no different and we will certainly face times of troubles. If we are walking in God’s plan then we can be sure that the troubles have a part in bring us closer to God and changing us. Those who walk on their own face the consequences of their sin on their own. They have to figure out their life and all it problems by their own strength and wisdom. All of us know how stressful this is and how it brings a person down.
God is constantly reassuring us that He is there for us and will lead us if we trust Him. Later in the book of Jeremiah (Jer. 29:11) God tells the remaining Israelites that despite what the situation might look like He has a plan for them to have an awesome life. God always has our best in mind even if we can’t see it (Jer. 18:4-6). He is the Great Father who lovingly has prepared a plan for our lives even before we were born (Jer. 1:4-5).This life will maximize who we are and lead us to fulfill our life’s calling. We can walk in this as child servants of the Living God. This is a huge honor and God will keep us if we seek Him and his perfect will. We were created to do the good things God has prepared for us so that by them the world can see that God is real and we are His (Eph. 2:10).
The question then is “Who is writing the story of your life?” If God, you can be certain that it will be the best and that you will end this life looking back knowing you have run the race and what lies ahead is to get the rewards in the presence of God. You can also feel certain that this life has purpose and destiny and that no matter what the cost here what lies ahead is far greater.
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. (1 Cor. 9:24.)
We need to stop and consider why we are living. Each person should search out their heart motivation. Checking the fruit of their lives to see if what we say matches what we do. If God is leading you then it will be evident by the power of life in you. It will be consistent, daily and able to overcome all things. If you find you are daily struggling with sin and living more for the world than for God then it is time to sit down and ask yourself what you want your life to look like at the end.
Perhaps up to this time, you have lived your life for yourself and feel there is no time left for God to write you a story. God starts doing his plan in you the moment you surrender your life. He can use you even if you are old or have done many bad things. It is never too late till you die. Let God show you where he wants to take you and the life he has for you.
Song: Already There by Casting Crowns
Video: It’s a meaningful life by Veggietales