“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.” – Ephesians 1:3-11 (NLT)
My neighbors were getting ready to leave for the amusement park. Their son was so excited that, while his parents loaded the car for the two-hour drive, he ran across the street to tell me about his upcoming adventure.
In one long sentence, without a pause for breath, Joel told me; all about his trip last year and how this years was going to be better, “funner”, and all-around amazing since he had scoped out all the things he was going to do this year last year and his little brother was going to be able to ride the rides this year because he was older and taller and this year they were going to go to the water park and it was going to be fun and exciting and he had seen the new ride on the TV advertisement and it goes really high but he’s not sacred and he was going to ride THAT ride first. I listened with my eyebrows high and my eyes focused on his mouth—attempting to follow his excited tale.
It’s with that enthusiasm Paul wrote this introduction to his letter. The translators kindly added punctuation, but Paul used none. This is one big, excited sentence in the original manuscript. Don’t read this passage with a ho-hum attitude, this is exciting stuff. This is a five-year-old-boy going to the amusement park kind of excitement.
Christ is THE ONE Thing
Jesus is The One thing that makes everything else work. You don’t need to have “it” figured out!
I told you I was special and that you are, too. If you didn’t read that post, click back to it. It will help today make more sense. It’s worth reading again since, if you are like me, you are familiar with your faults and short comings. It’s difficult to avoid the pain, confusion, despair and the tension that swirls in this seemingly uncertain world.
Paul offers this introduction to shake you loose from yourself. This glorious praise pries your fingers off your thoughts, your plan, and your dream. How exhilarating—you are a part of God’s plan. That is life—you are part of God’s plan—not the other way around.
If you bask in the glow of success—keep this in mind. It is part of God’s plan. More importantly, if you are in the throes of despair, remember, at the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ. Loosen your grip on yourself. Join God in His plan instead of cramming Him into yours.
Find solace in the fact that you don’t need all the answers to carry on. God has it all figured out and He has the power to carry out His plan, apart from your frailty and failures.
You need to know this:
- You are special to God.
- You are chosen.
- He has the plan worked out.
- He will carry out His plan for you with His skill, knowledge and strength.
- You can rest.
Let go of the struggle to make sense of everything you see, experience, or feel. Ask God for His comfort, and His leading. When you are confused, sad, tormented or despairing—reach up. You’ll find a loving God with a divine plan for the special you He created. If you can’t reach up on your own, reach out to another believer and partner together to rest in His care.
Father thank You for revealing the Mystery of Your plan. Thank You for the gift of Your Son that opens the door for a relationship with You. Teach me to hold on to You and to let go of myself. Teach me to trust Your love for me. Help me follow You and join in Your plan for my special life.