by Norm McLeod
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
Thirty-four years ago I didn’t know God’s plan for my life. Because I didn’t know His plan I didn’t have any hope for the future. The only plan I had was getting drunk and stoned, parties, wine, women and song… and a bit of violence thrown in the mix. As a consequence I was experiencing the devil’s plan for my life and it was harming me.
I was raised in a good household with parents who loved me and taught me good values but I had a chip on my shoulder toward society. I had a spiritual disease that I call blamatitus. I blamed everyone else for my bad choices in life.
• When the cops pulled me up for criminal activity I blamed them for harassing me.
• When I got sacked for not turning up to work every day I blamed the stink boss.
• When I never had money because I wasted it I blamed rich people.
• When my wife complained that I wasn’t being a good husband I blamed her.
On the 19th of December 1979 I was cured of blamatitus when I heard the plans of God for my life. Today I have been happily married to the same woman for 34 years, both my children are married and saved, and I have 8 moko who all love God. I experience God’s plans of good for me. He has prospered me and my household. None of my kids have been stoned, drunk, in fights or locked up, they only know God’s goodness. God has given me hope for future generations. Today I am privileged to oversee amazing churches in NZ and India that see hundreds of souls saved every year.
God’s plans for you are also for good – to prosper you and to give you hope. My desire is to help encourage every man to come to a place where they experience the same.
To help you enter into greater realms of God’s plan for your life I want to share with you three steps:
I often used to wonder why so many who believe in God still have trouble with a selfish nature, with anger, violence, addictions, pornography, lying. When we come to God who has for us plans for good we are to come on His terms which are repent first then believe. (Mark 1:14-15) Most western Christians believe first and often never learn to repent.
What’s going to happen if you try to build a house on a sand foundation? It will collapse (Luke 6:46-49). What’s going to happen if you believe in Jesus Christ but have never repented? You’re going to fall.
Before I began to experience the plans for good in my life I had to first make the choice to give up my sinful selfish living. If a Christian is struggling with this stuff I suggest they need to look at their spiritual foundation. Is it a foundation of repentance?
2. RECEIVE JESUS AS LORD
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isa 29:13
If we want to experience God’s plan for good in our life it means we have to follow Him with our walk not just our talk. “Lord” means I give my life fully to God.
There were times when I used to get attitudes with my wife when she wanted me to spend time listening to her. I used to think she was just nagging, until I heard the call to lordship: Husband love your wife.
Are there areas of your life that Jesus is not Lord over? What action do you need to take today?
Having answered the call to repent and receive Christ as Lord, you can now go to the next call which is the call to believe.
• Believe you are forgiven and free from all your sins, shame and guilt.
• Believe you are who God says you are, son of the living God.
Your life and identity are defined by who God says you are, not by who the devil or the world says you were. God says you are a forgiven and beloved son, a work in process. How you see yourself determines who you become.
Believe and see yourself through the eyes of God:
• See yourself as the most amazing husband that your wife boasts about, and the most amazing, caring dad your kids could ever have.
• See yourself as the best worker your boss could ever have.
• See yourself as the most caring, ready to serve helper in the church your pastor could ever hope for.
Make room for God’s plans, hear the call to repent, to lordship and to believe.