In my first book “Prepare For Greater Things,” I go back to God’s plan for our life, for my life and yours. In Scripture, we do not find any place where the Lord reveals to us who should be doctors and who should be preachers or who should live in the wealth of America or the poverty of Haiti. We can’t find the details of what to say in every situation, what not to say. There is no aptitude test in Scripture, nor a career counseling chapter to help us find our profession. None of that is there.
We do find however the principles of God’s plan for each of us. Jeremiah reminds us that God has a plan for us, to prosper and not to harm, give hope and a future. We know then that the Lord wants all of us to prosper. We tend to think of prosperity in monetary terms, but the word prosper in this sense is for you and I to prosper, not our checkbooks, not our bank accounts. But if you can’t feed your family, no matter how good of an attitude you have, you are not prospering. Living on the streets homeless, even with the joy of the Lord, is not a picture of prosperity any more than the angry billionaire. God’s prosperity is a 360 degree prosperity. God’s plan is to prosper our families, our marriages, our bank accounts, our mind, our body, our dreams, our creativity, our hard work. God’s plan is to move us in such a way that we prosper in every area of our life.
The temptations we face are to seek after ways and means that will bring prosperity to one area of our life while leaving us bankrupt in others. Except for those things that are sin in any form, the prosperity of the Lord may include the same things the devil tempts us with. The Lord promised Joshua that he would find success everywhere he set his foot. God is not at all opposed to success. The devil may tempt us with money. But God is not opposed to us having money. In fact, He said that to confirm His covenant, He has given us the ability to produce wealth. The devil may tempt us in relationships, but the Lord has said that he who finds a wife has found a good thing. The devil may tempt us with sex. But God gives a blessing in Proverbs where He says, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth: A loving doe, a graceful fawn— may her breasts satisfy you always; may you be captivated by her love forever.” Hmmm….that’s a pretty good blessing He wants to give.
This is the difficulty in finding God’s plan for our life. How can we know when to pursue something that God has promised if at times those very things He has promised are the traps of the devil?
The apostle Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah in his first letter to the Corinthians saying, “No eye has seen. No ear has heard. No mind can conceive the plans God has for you.” I love this. What hope we have in knowing that no matter where we are in our life, we can easily understand and conceive our current status which means that wherever we are, good or bad, God has more for us. He has things prepared for us that we have never thought of, plans to prosper and not to harm. Praise the Lord! C’mon! Say it. You know you want to: PRAISE THE LORD!
But the key to this plan is the very next line from the Apostle Paul. He says that this plan will be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a thing. It is not a thing that we receive from God and have at our disposal whenever we want. The Holy Spirit is a person. The Spirit can be grieved as we are taught not to grieve the Holy Spirit. I can’t grieve my computer. I can’t grieve my shirt. Things cannot be grieved. Only persons can be grieved and the Holy Spirit can be grieved. This is why the Spirit is called the Third Person of the Trinity.
I remember once when I grieved my wife (Ok, I have grieved her too many times to count, but let’s just pretend, shall we?). I was not honest with her. I hurt her. A strange thing happened. She was cold to me for a while. You see, we grieve over death. When we do things that work toward the death of our relationships, it will cause that relationship to go cold. To restore the relationship, both repentance and forgiveness are necessary.
We can grieve a relationship by not giving it the time it needs. Imagine a husband who takes a job that keeps him from his family except for one hour every week. This would grieve his wife and children. It doesn’t mean they are angry, but they are mourning the wound that new job is causing to the relationship.
The Holy Spirit is the same way. When we sin, the Spirit is grieved. But also, when we never commune with the Spirit in worship; when we don’t talk to the Spirit through prayer; when we act as if the Spirit isn’t even near, the Spirit grieves. Imagine how much I would grieve my wife if I only talked to her when I wanted sex. How much more is the Spirit who gives us life grieved when we only come to Him when we need something? How much more is the Spirit grieved when we only come to Him the three or fours hours a month when we are at church?
If we do not live a lifestyle of communion with the Holy Spirit, how can we expect to hear His voice revealing the next step for us to find the inconceivable plans of prosperity God has for us? Simply put, we can’t. This is why the Apostle Paul calls it ‘secret wisdom.’ Until the moment of choice, there is no way for me to be sure that this is God calling me to something better or a trap from the devil. But if I live in communion with the Spirit, in the moment, He will reveal it to me. He will say ‘no.’ He will say ‘go ahead.’ He will say ‘go ahead, but be careful of this or that.’ He will call me, but at the right time so it may be ‘no’ for now, but ‘yes’ will come later. But I will only receive this ‘secret wisdom’ in the moment and only if I am living in communion with the Holy Spirit.
I imagine this is why so many people, including Christians, who are not living in the plan that God has for them and I include myself in this. This most wonderful plan can only be found through the secret wisdom made available to us according to the intimacy in our relationship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
This doesn’t mean you won’t prosper in some ways. You will but God is a good father who wants to give good things to His children. But the 360 degree prosperity that will blow your mind will never be found.
I ran into some folks that had sort of come to our church a little bit a long time ago. The man was struggling with a very serious physical disease. He turned to the Lord and the Lord helped him heal and gave him a good wife. But then they stopped going to church, stopped seeking after the Lord. They stopped living in communion with the Spirit. I encouraged them to come back to church and he said very pleasantly, “As soon as we can get our life together, we’ll be back.” He was not rejecting God or Christ. No, he is a believer. He was not rejecting the church. He has nothing against it. But they are operating outside of a strong communion with the Lord and their blessings are limited by their own exclusion of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the person of God who will walk with you every step. And when opportunity reveals itself or a dilemma presents itself, the Spirit is the all-knowing God who can reveal to us where to take the next step, then the next, then the next. He will bring us to God’s unlimited blessings. So then…how important is reading the Bible? How important is going to church and actually listening to the preacher no matter how bald he may be? How important is passionate worship? How important is holiness?
Let God’s plan happen. Don’t grieve the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”–
10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (NIV 1984)
I hope you will take time to spend with the Lord and commune with the Holy Spirit through prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. Please share this with anyone you feel needs to hear it. And if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to my blog for a FREE GIFT. I am giving my book “Breaking Free From Your Past” away to all new subscribers. Check out my first book “Prepare For Greater Things.” And by all means…HAVE A BLESSED WEEK!!
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