"Opposing God is foolish since no one or anything can thwart his purposes. God is not limited in any way and He will never fail to fulfill his purposes. "This is an excerpt from last week's Sunday School Lesson.
Often times we struggle with knowing God's purpose and his will for our lives. Sometimes as spiritual people we may think we can always discern God's will because we read the Word, we pray, we seek Godly counsel, etc. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Have you heard of Jonah? He was a prophet, a man who knew God. He was a Christian, whom God spoke to directly, yet he had a difficult time obeying God's plan. Jonah was a "Hebrew who worshiped the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land." (Jonah 1:9) God clearly spoke to Jonah and told him to go to Nineveh. Jonah did not like God's will/plan/purpose for him so he consciously chose to go the other way. His reasons for not liking God's plan seem plausible: the people were wicked and had done awful things; if I tell them about you they will confess and repent and they won't suffer for all the wrong they've done; I don't want to be a part of that. He was saying no based on the Divine Nature of God. We do the same thing if we don't like or can't see where God is leading us. That can't be the right job for me since I don't have that skill set. You really want me to forgive her after all she's done to me? This feels so good, why do I have to stop now? That did not work out too well for Jonah and it won't for us either.
No one can thwart God's plan.
Jonah spent money to go the other way, ended up in a storm, other passengers marked him as a man of God and he was thrown overboard in to tumultuous waters. Can you imagine? He went to great lengths to thwart God's plan. We do the same, don't we? In trying to not do what he was called to do he ended up in crazy situation with no way to save his life. And then what appeared to be the worse thing saved his life - he is swallowed by a great fish for three days. The Bible doesn't say what kind of fish it was. We debated this in Sunday School because these 10 yr olds are very smart - they mentioned digestion and stomach acids, and wondered how he got through the esophagus; they even tried to identify the species. I didn't have the answers.
But what I do know - in those three days Jonah prayed, probably like he never had before, and then God had the fish spit him out. When he came out Jonah did what he was told to do initially. The people repented and God chose to save Nineveh; and then God dealt with Jonah one last time by letting him know his anger was misdirected.
No one can thwart God's plan for you.
God's plans don't always look the way we want them to look. We think in a linear fashion, God ways are unexplained. Sometimes it may seem like you are taking the circuitous route to get to where you need to go. Sometimes you don't know where you're going, but God does. At this point, you have to trust. You have to give up and look up. Oftentimes we plead ignorance by saying we don't know what God's plans are for us, but a very good starting point is His Word. We have to step out in faith and be obedient. As an aside, I don't think you ever need to broadcast what God told you to do, you just need to do it - He'll take care of your validation and letting people know. That's what it means when we say to God be the glory - He gets the glory not us.
You may be in the belly of the whale right now, because you chose to ignore God's plan for you. That's not where you are meant to be for the long term. Do like Jonah did, so you can fulfill God's plan for your life.
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. Jeremiah 29:11
Do you know God's plan for you? Are you searching for it? Are you willing to be obedient or are you in a whale of trouble?