Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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What does God want?

We frequently find ourselves referring to “God's will” or “God's plan.”  While scripture makes it clear that we will never be able to fully comprehend God's thoughts and plans, there are certain aspects of His master plan that He has chosen to reveal in His scripture.

For us to understand God's plan is a little like a young child trying to understand a car trip, where they are a passenger, headed to some place they have never been to before.  They may have some ideas of what they will find at their destination.  They may have some concepts of what will happen along the way.  They may have some grasp on how they should behave during the trip.

All in all, though, the child cannot grasp the complexities of driving according to the rules of the road, the necessary navigation or even the steps necessary to keep the car moving down the road.  The child passenger exists at the level of “are we there yet?” and couldn't even come close to getting to the destination without the adult driver.

When we look at our world, we are really just a passenger, saying “are we there yet?”  All the while, God is busy doing things in our world, things that are beyond our understanding and largely outside of our view.  Every now and then we get a glimpse of the hand of God at work in our world.  Now and then we collide with a “coincident” that just defies all logic.  We always seem surprised when we see God at work, but surely it is occurring all the time, we just fail to see it.

We can see in scripture how God is continuously at work all around us.  For example, look at the book of Ruth.  There you have a “nobody” which God is taking care of.  God works through the lives of these seemingly insignificant individuals, to bring together an unlikely couple.  This couple just happens to be great-grandparents to King David and direct ancestors of Jesus.  God had a plan and he worked to make it happen.

God still has a plan and this plan involves you.  So what is his plan?

As I read the scripture, I believe that He has one big goal: to build His kingdom.  In His scripture He says that He is “not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9).  He is looking for His people to come to Him, to join His kingdom.

Throughout scripture there is a phrase that repeats over and over again.  Although the words may change slightly, the message remains the same:

I will take you to be My people, and I will be your God.  (Exodus 6:7a)

He wants us to be His people and He wants to be our God.  While this seems like a simple concept, it is filled with meaning.  For us to be His people, we can't have multiple owners, we have to be fully His.  For Him to be our God, we have to treat Him like He is God.  We need to treat Him like He is truly our Hope, our Strength, our Guide, our King, our Master, our One Hope, our Redeemer and our Savior.  This involves believing it and living it.  For Him to really be our God, He must be central to our lives, He must be the framework on which everything else hangs.

This is central to His will for us and His will for the world.  All through scripture, He does things that promote this plan.

We have “read the back of the book” and we know how everything is going to turn out.  Sadly, not everybody is going to be God's in the end.  It won't even be a majority of the people.  Jesus explained to us that many people will travel the path to destruction be only a few will follow the path to eternal life with Him (Matthew 7:13-14).  So, if it is God's will and He is all-powerful, then why isn't it happening?  

Nobody really knows.  There are many people that will go into great detail about what motivates God and the mechanics of what He does, but the truth is: we can't know (Isaiah 55:8).  No more than the plant in my office can comprehend the things I do, can we comprehend why God does what He does.  Just as my plant knows that I bring it water from time-to-time, we see God doing things.  Some of the actions we see seem to make sense and some don't.  This is what faith is for.

However, we like having some sort of explanation of God's actions that we can wrap our heads around, so we make up some motivation for God that makes some semblance of human sense just so we don't go crazy.  But, anytime we talk about why God does things we need to keep in mind that we are probably flat-out wrong, we don't really know any further than what the scripture says, and even then we are not capable of really understanding.  There have been major breaks in god's church over issues like free will and apostasy and there is good scripture to support the opposing views.  Every verse of those scriptures is 100% true (2 Timothy 3:16).  Any time when scriptures appear to contradict, it is just because our minds are too small to see how both statements can be true at the same time.

I, like others like some sort of an explanation of these mysterious 'whys' of the Bible.  This question of why so few will make it into Heaven if it is God's will that none should perish is one that I have a probably-wrong theory on:

Few are going to Heaven because God loves us.  He will even allow somebody that rejects Him, to spend eternity separated from Him (giving that person what he wants, even if it is a bad choice).  He COULD make us all perfect Kingdom Citizens right now, but He choses to allow us to find our own way, even if it allows us to be lost forever.  It doesn't seem to make sense, but remember how much of Christianity is about sacrifice.  God, the Almighty, practices what He preaches.  He will allow some of His precious humans to be lost in order to allow us choice.

What we do know is that not everything that God wants, does He make happen (at least not the way we would expect or in the timing that we would expect).  For example, He wants you and I to be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48), but I can assure you that this has not happened in my life.  If we were in charge, then this perfection would happen in a flash when we become Christians, then life would be so much easier.  What we do see, with God in charge, is that our Christian life is a perfecting process, one that is not finished until we reach heaven.

God has a plan.  We barely understand it, but we don't have to.  He is taking us on a journey.  Along the way, He has things for us to do and we need to be obedient.  If we go too far beyond that, then we will only get ourselves into trouble.  

Go with God with faith, praise and joy.

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Lexington, Ky

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