God Has A Plan

Have you recently felt that you would like to move to another city and start over again?

Are you dissatisfied? Perhaps you dislike your job, feeling a different job will solve your problems or remove your feelings of discontentment. Several things have dropped into my spirit that I wish to share with you as we continue our spiritual development, our journey together in growth. The greatest need I sense you may have at this time is God’s direction for your life’s plan to unfold. I perceive that you may have been feeling that what you have considered significant lately seems empty.

Your dreams of being used by God may have begun to appear unrealistic, with so many plans having gone awry that you may be wondering why you ever felt that your life had unique meaning. I’m writing to tell you not to let go of your vision; listen to the prompting of God assuring you that you are in fact now truly growing.

Growth has its unique process involving various phases. One phase is like the exciting springtime filled with blossoms and wonder. The summer phase brings its sturdiness with the promise of fruit. The fall promotes a harvest with the celebration of increase and with it the seeming multitudes aboard your bandwagon, cheering you on.

Then–we have winter. In the cycles of growth it seems that winter is dead. The plans, excitement and substance of the former phases seem to have died, and we question: “Did I miss the voice of God?”

Thank God for His Word! Let’s review the growth experience of Samuel, one of Israel’s great judges. As a small boy, Samuel was dedicated to the service of God by his mother. He grew up in the temple under the supervision and training of Eli the priest. One evening, as a lad, after retiring to bed, he heard a voice calling his name.

He ran to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me. Eli said, I did not call you; lie down again. So he went and lay down. And the Lord called him again, Samuel! And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I, you did call me. Eli answered, I did not call, my son; lie down again.

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed to him.

And the Lord called Samuel the third time, and he went to Eli, and said, Here I am, for you did call me. Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.

So Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down. And if He calls you, you shall say, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place (1 Samuel 3:5-9,Amplified Bible).

Samuel was then given a message from God. It was clear and specific, concerning Israel and the house of Eli. In this manner, Samuel began his growth in learning to know the voice of God. In his youth, he was being trained by the Spirit of God to know God and His ways.

Now be reminded of this: in a parallel manner, the Lord is training you to know His ways. You are growing up in Christ. The way of growth is not as clear; His voice is not as distinguishable as you remember in your Christian youth. Thus you have recently questioned if you have ever known the voice of God and life seems at a standstill.

This is a good time for honesty. Jesus said: “…know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Is there a part of you deep inside that is saying, “That is just the way it is–I was too ‘religious’ anyway”?

If this statement is true of you, then you’re absolutely correct! The state of being “religious” is an unreal, excessive state of “personality.” What we refer to as “personality” can also be referred to as “ego.” It is the creation of our lower nature, the nature that loves to be “religious,” to be seen of men, so men may know “how good we are.” Being “religious” is an ego-trip that needs to be eliminated.

Some of you may have even established the preferable manner in which He should manifest His glory. You’re trying to dictate to God how He can move in your life. None of us want that seeming silence to continue with its speculations of whether we ever hear from Him.

I want you to appreciate that you may now be in the best place you can be for this present time! For you this can be the perfect time to look inward and identify the smaller self, the “ego” that continually seeks to control and manifest itself, especially in the starkness of this cold winter phase. Also, this can be the perfect time to amplify and call forth your true self, the nature of Christ within that is unfolding.

It is good that your plans are delayed or even changed. The goal of life’s journey is not to “attain,” it is to “be.”

In this “being” has been placed the magnificent gift and opportunity to process the developing spiritual nature of Christ within, for whose demonstration we have longed. Too many of us have erroneously been believing that this nature would come with a decision, a quick prayer, with regular confession of the Word…but not quite! The Holy Spirit moved deeply in the root of our being, to feed, nourish and prepare us for the wonder that lies ahead. We must accept this quiet phase of renewal. So now let us join our wills with that of the Holy Spirit to allow this regeneration process to work at its deepest level.

One of the most direct and profitable ways to develop this growth process is through praying in the Spirit.

Even though we have heard this many times, it is essential for us to now focus our attention upon this dynamic form of spiritual communication. The Holy Spirit will remove the obstacles in your prayer life, and in the lives of others, as you yield yourself to the power of praying in the Spirit.

Look again to the Word of God and the life of the great prophet Samuel. We read that he not only learned to hear God’s voice, but he also learned obedience. He followed the leadings of God, even though he was led to “undo” one anointing and start over again. Samuel anointed Saul and then later anointed David, for Samuel had clearly heard from God and yielded to Him, following in obedience. As we read the biblical history we find:

1. The people of Israel wanted a king.
2. God, though cautioning Israel against it, gave them a king: Saul.
3. King Saul continually transgressed, and God had to select a new king.
4. Samuel was chosen to be God’s “spokesperson” in this change. (Many may have wondered about these changes in direction, whether it was really of God.)
5. Samuel’s personality of “ego,” got in the way, and it was difficult for him to get the clear, full directions from God concerning the new king.

Here’s what the scripture says:

The Lord said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided for Myself a king among his sons.

Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. … Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice. And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and called them to the sacrifice.

When they had come, he looked on Eliab [the eldest son] and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.

But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The Lord has not chosen any of these.

[He] said to Jesse, Are all your sons here? [Jesse] said, There is yet the youngest; he is tending the sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, Send for him; for we will not sit down to eat until he is here.

Jesse sent and brought him. David had a healthy reddish complexion and beautiful eyes, and was fine-looking. The Lord said [to Samuel], Arise, anoint him; this is he.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah (1 Samuel 16:1, 2; 5b-7; 10-13, Amplified Bible).

We see that Samuel mourned for Saul, but finally was able and willing to hear a general direction from the Lord. Though he did not have a clear picture, he had what he had long developed through the Holy Spirit directing him to finally know God’s chosen king–this was his sensitivity!

Samuel was faithful to follow God one step at a time. No instant revelation came to him as to who would be king…just a general direction with the potential of many decisions.

This sensitivity is developed best in the winter phases of life by yielding to God through praying in the Spirit. When in the winter phase it seems that nothing is happening, God is really helping prepare you for the coming seasons of growth and change. Though praying in tongues might appear on the surface to be fruitless, be assured that “…you, beloved, build yourselves up (founded) on your most holy faith–make progress, rise up like an edifice higher and higher–praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20, Amplified Bible).

Reflecting on my past life, I can witness to the great value of praying in tongues. God’s will is revealed to us as we pray in the Spirit. Even though our mind seems nonproductive, the Holy Spirit is interceding in our behalf in harmony with God’s will (Romans 8:26-27).

It was through praying in the Spirit for a friend’s daughter that God began to give direction for my life. It seems that after we reach a certain point in our prayer language, we are praying not only about the situation at hand, but many times about future events involving others as well as ourselves. Through a series of trips to Tulsa to pray with this young woman, I can look back now and see that I was praying not only for her, but I was also praying about my own future move to Tulsa. I can now see the Holy Spirit preparing me for the day when the Lord would speak to me in an instant and say, “Move to Tulsa.” I was led through a series of circumstances and events into the area of Tulsa and my heart was prepared. I did not have clear direction, but I knew I was definitely to move.

The picture of God’s will for our lives covers a broad spectrum, but it often comes in bits and pieces.

There are those occasions when we hear from God as Samuel did when his name was clearly spoken, and God told him what would occur in the nation of Israel; and yet, we find that throughout his life he had to be led by the Holy Spirit even to the point of not knowing, as he observed one of Jesse’s sons after another, which one was to be anointed king. It is interesting that the one who looked least likely was the one that God had chosen. It never ceases to amaze me when I remember those God has used to give me the indication of His guidance. God is no respecter of persons; I have been learning to hear the message rather than speculate on the messenger.

How often we try to predetermine the a specific way that God will tell us what to do and how to act. We try to limit Him by saying that He will only move through certain people or situations. Quite frankly, it just doesn’t work this way very often. God will get His Word to us, sometimes in ways we don’t expect. His will manifests as we pray in tongues, as we stay in an attitude of openness, always seeking the total picture, but willing to take it one step at a time as it unfolds. I encourage you to continue to pray in the Spirit. Use this glorious gift that Jesus sent on the day of Pentecost.

“But you shall receive power–ability, efficiency and might–when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends–the very bounds–of the earth” (Acts 1:8, Amplified Bible).

You will be strengthened and your life directed as you “build yourself up” (Jude 1:20). Then you will be more sensitive to the direction of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t sensational experiences that we’re seeking. It’s living with confidence in Him now and fulfilling God’s will in our lives always.


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