Why God is Happy to Ruin Your Plans
God made us to glorify Him and enjoy Him, forever (Westminster Confession). He also made us responsible, moral, and rational creatures. In the fall of Adam (Gen 3), the consequences of sin and rebellion were executed in the death of the soul of man. Sin and death were transferred to Adam’s offspring throughout history (Rom 3:23; 5:12; 6:23).
From the beginning, God has had a plan, which included the fall of man (Acts 2:23). Men think that making their own plans is a sign of maturity; but under the guise of wisdom, the devil deceived Adam and Eve into making their own plans (Gen 3). Convincing them that God was withholding some good from them, they succumbed to the first lie, “You too shall be as gods (Gen 3:5).”
The idea of being a god is alluring. People see deity as more wise and powerful than themselves. People lust for control because of the uncertainty of their circumstances in this world. The devil still tells people to make their own plans, as when David was enticed to count his armies, against the will of God.
God has made vessels of wrath fitted for destruction (Rom 9:22). In this, God is glorified. God has made others, vessels of mercy fitted for glory (Rom 9:23). In this, God is also glorified. To enjoy God is His plan for His people (Jer 29:11). He alone is our satisfying pleasure, but to enjoy Him, we must become like children, to enter the realm of His good reign (Mt 18:3).
The obvious implication is that we must shirk our tendency to be as adults in His presence. What is it about adults that hinder a personal relationship with God? It is the desire to control circumstances and people. This is a sin that causes strife in those who love to lord over others.
We are all familiar with the overbearing parent who has plans for his or her child’s future. He or she imposes their will on the child, even to the point of use of force. The child rebels against the parent in anger and hatred, or they submit in bitterness and resentment. Either way, it will not turn out well.
God’s plan for His people is good (Jer 29:11). The devil’s temptation to self-determination can only lead to pain, suffering, and even destruction. The wise person observes that alignment with God’s will and work brings peace and joy. The fool remains in rebellion against God (Ps 14:1; 53:1; Rom 1:18). His heart is hardened with every mention of God.
The irony is how we discern all this backwards. Men think God is pleased when they make their plans and expect His blessing. They reason, “We are being mature, responsible adults.” In their work-a-holism, they think they prove they are worthy of God’s blessing. If God hates one (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5), however, He will not hinder their ambition and relentless labors in self-determined, performance Christianity. This is part of what it means to be turned over to a reprobate mind (Rom 1:18–32). But do not be fooled, performance-driven Christianity is no Christianity at all.
Children trust others, especially adults. God is good all the time, so He warrants our trust all the time (Prv 3:5–6). His plans for His adopted children are better than His children’s plans for themselves…or their plans for others! His ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8–9). This is what makes the course of the Christian life a bit peculiar, even quite difficult at times (Jn 16:30).
A child-like faith is one of having the same mind. Paul wrote, “I know whom I have believed (2 Tim 1:12).” It submits in love because love has been issued and received (Rom 5:5, 8; Eph 5:25; 1 Jn 4:19). It is the child of God’s ambition to please her heavenly Father (2 Cor 5:9), but it is impossible to please Him without faith (Heb 11:6). In this, we must diligently seek Him. This is done by daily exposure to the Bible, the Word of God, where His will for His children is revealed.
The reward of God in this world is other-worldly. The false preacher promises God’s financial and material blessings, which are actually curses. Those curses are turned to blessings by one giving to those in real need. Do you have two coats? The release of material idols is helpful in gleaning joy from the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ Jesus. We all have material needs, but not all have the spiritual blessings that we were made to enjoy.
The other-worldly blessings are joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). The child, who knows the love and care of a wise parent, wants to be obedient to the one who cares for her. She is filled with gratitude because her parent has loved her in so many different ways.
Christian, God our Father calls us His children (1 Jn 3:1, 10), and children we must be. Our dependence must be on Him, alone. He cares for you (1 Pet 5:7), so cast all your adult cares in this world upon Him. He never disappoints those who believe in Him. When God ruins your plans, it is sure to be in favor of His better plans for you. Trust Him…like a child.
Spokane Valley, Washington
February 23, 2022