The Plan

Sunday, August 18, 2002

John 17:15-16 – My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 15:50 – I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (NIV)

The Christian life is one that is a conflict between the kingdom and the flesh. I find myself continually being distracted, sidetracked, by the world, because I am acquisitive, a hoarder by inclination and upbringing. It is a hard thing to be in the world but not of it. Who wants to be a millionaire? I do, at times, until I remember that I cannot take it with me!

My natural persona has been too worldly: blunt, brash, dangerous, outspoken, unguarded, un-deferential, un-crushable (if only). As the world and its menu of self-centredness squeeze my spirit, I cry out to my God to deliver me, when I perceive my plight. As I seek the will of the kingdom for me and for others, my spirit reaches out and soars heavenwards to touch my creator. I am two people in one. I rejoice in one, and the other fills me with dismay. This is the price of being open, vulnerable, weak, and yet not overcome.

I take encouragement from the accounts of Peter, Jacob, and Joseph, because I can see my faith in their struggles. For example, when Peter was sinking beneath the waves, "immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'" (Matthew 14:31 NIV)

Some people burn bright and disappear to their reward; some burn out and give in. For those who follow, great moments of clarity can hang in the air, etched into our being, lasting a lifetime or more.

I believe that as we faithfully hold out our hands, Jesus will receive them, always. He has a perfect plan for each of us!

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, thank You that you hear us, and that you are here with us, ready to greet us once more at the beginning of the day. Thank you that you watch over us and protect us whilst we are vulnerable or incapable. Thank you that no one slips through your omniscience. Thank you that you do not pass by on the other side. Grant us, once more, your grace to lift us up today and lead us on. Let us not be distracted by the waves of life today. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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