GOD’S PLAN FOR EACH OF US
by Ernest O'Neill
Our Creator is really a dear person. You'd enjoy being with him, really. He is a dear, loving person. You can see that with all the things that he has given us and you can see it with the sunshine glinting on the water of a lake. You can see it in the leaves turning in the fall and their colors.
You can see it in these fingers that he has given us. And this face he's given us and all the things that money couldn't buy. He is a dear, loving person. That's why he has given us all these things because he wants us to enjoy the same love and the same life that He and his Son have. That's his plan and the basis of any developing love relationship is trust. That's all He asks of us actually.
He is just asking that we are grateful to him for all that he has given to us. He's asking that we are grateful for our continued existence in this world and that we trust him day-by-day. We live in trust of him, that we trust him moment-by-moment for the things that we need. In that way, we'll develop in our relationship with him and that's God's plan. That's exactly what he revealed to the Jews, if you would like to look at it for a moment in Genesis 15. He made himself visible to one of the fathers of the race, in Genesis 15. It's recorded and he explained just that to him.
Genesis 15:5, He showed himself to Abraham, "And he brought him outside and said, 'Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.' And Abraham, he believed the Lord; and he, God, reckoned it to him as righteousness." So that's God's attitude to us.
He says, "Look, together we'll people this earth and trust me that I have put you here to do a certain work in it that will bring the world under my control and in the process of doing that work, you, yourself, will become more like me and will come more and more into an intimate love with each other. I, myself, will take care of all your material needs. I'll give you what you need so just trust me and let's move forward in trust together." And that's what our dear Creator says to you this morning and to me.
Our dear Father is lovingly saying to us, "Look, my child, you have a disease of distrust of me that will prevent you and I living together forever. Now look, if you want to know where that disease is, here, you see, you're coveting. That means you're not trusting me for your material possessions. Now, don't concentrate on that coveting, concentrate and trust in me and that coveting symptom will disappear." But instead so many Christians come before God and say, "Well, we know we covet but after all you can't be perfect. So I believe Jesus' death is a bribe to you to overlook the fact that we're coveting."
Well, it makes no sense to our dear Father. It's like saying to our dear Father, "Look, I know I have the disease, but Jesus' death is a bribe to you, not to look at the symptoms of the disease. Pretend I don't have it.” Loved ones, it's meaningless and of course what it does is, it produces Christians who are always trying to prove that the symptoms of disease are not in them - so they become preoccupied with right and wrong, with good and evil, that's it.
They become preoccupied with not doing this or not doing that or doing this or doing that. They become preoccupied with being right rather than with being right with God. Of course, the tragedy is that they call this freedom from the law. They say we're free from the law. In reality, if they listen to their friends they'd hear what they were free from. Their friends and colleagues and their relatives who have to live with them would say they're free from righteousness. That's what they're free from.
Their lives have nothing of the righteousness of Jesus in them. The truth is, you're freed from the law when you have died with Jesus to every source for what you need but God. Then the law no longer convicts your life, it describes your life. That's freedom from the law.
When you find yourselves no longer opposing or resisting this description of the trusting life that is given in the Ten Commandments and that is elaborated on by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount, when you find that describes your life and you find yourself no longer opposing or resisting that law, then you are free from the law and you're living freed from it. You're not living an enslavement trying to obey something that doesn't come naturally to you.
So loved ones, do you see that whenever the law speaks to you and convicts you of something in your life that is wrong, don't start trying to scrape off that spot, don't. You'll end up one of those so-called Christians who are self-righteous -- preoccupied all the time with right and wrong and filled with prejudices. They are uptight -- and have personalities that aren't in the least winsome.
Instead say, "Lord, thank You. Thank You that you've shown me that there's this symptom of distrust in my life. Thank you for that Lord. I don't want to prove that it isn't there. I thank you that you've shown it to me. My conscience convicts me. Now Holy Spirit, show me in what way I have not died with Jesus to everybody and everything, but God as my Father. Show me that." Of course there's the great verse that describes it all better than I have said it.
When you come into that trust in your dear Father as your own Father day-by-day, then his Spirit and the Spirit of his Son comes into you and the fruit of the Spirit is borne in your life. (Galatians 5:22) That fruit is love and joy and peace and you'll also find yourself filled with long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Then the great words, "....against such, there is no law", that's freedom from the law, and loved ones, that's the way God wants us to live.