Go With The Flow
God’s perfect plan for you may involve some changes. Well, if does, remember: He’s planned it.
Alright thank you very much, and hello dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. Your friend Bob Cook is feeling great, praise the Lord! Happy in Him, glad for a chance to open the Word of God with you and share these precious wonderful truths.
Now there’s just one other word in the end of Romans 12:2 that we want to look at before we go on. He says, “That you may prove what is good and acceptable. God’s will is good in its essence, good in its intentions, and good in its results. It’s acceptable, that means it’s easy to take. All of the devil’s lies to the contrary and now he says it’s perfect. Now, that word “perfect,” when you study it in your Greek New Testament, is related to our idea of purpose. If you studied theology, you had among the various arguments for the existence of God, the teleological argument, which means the argument from design. You remember that, any of you seminary students? Well, then the word having to do with being perfect, as you find it here in Romans 12:2, is from that same root. Let me look at it, and reassure myself here. I’ve got this Greek New Testament that I’ve used ever since, well a long time ago. It’s wearing out, I’ve got to get another one, I guess, “That you may prove”, said he, “the will of God, the good, the easy to take”, euaristant, “and the teleion”, perfect. Teleion, now that has to do with the idea of design.
I want to stop here long enough to remind you, that when you say yes to God’s will, you are saying yes to a perfect plan. We think in terms of bits and pieces in life, don’t we? Today at 10 o’clock, tomorrow at midnight, that certain crises arrive and we think in those terms of bits and pieces of life, not always able to see a complete plan, because we don’t live a whole lifetime at a time.
But God is the God who is there. He is already in the future, and He sees all of the past and the present and the future as one great tapestry, woven by His own perfect will. “Known unto God”, the Bible says, “Are all His works from the beginning of the world”. Jesus, Himself we read in John chapter 6, knew what He would do. In John chapter 3 it said that, “He needed not that any should tell Him of them for He knew what was in men”. The omniscience of God includes the future as well as the past and the present.
That being so, when you say yes to the will of God, you are saying yes to a perfect plan. Now, this is one of the greatest sources of reassurance, believer, that you and I can ever have, because at a given point in life, you’re not quite sure that everything will work out right. Isn’t that true?
Someone was telling me how heartbroken he was when he broke up with a certain girl early in his life. He thought everything had fallen apart. She had everything he wanted. She was beautiful, she was talented, she was a fine Christian, and so on, and so on, and so on, but the romance broke up for whatever reason, I forget. Now the years have gone by and he looks back and he says to me thoughtfully, “You know Bob, that’s the best thing that ever happened to me”.
Now, he had his own reasons and I shall not go into them, but the point is you at a given point may think your life is ruined and your heart is broken, and everything is going wrong, as a result you say, “Here, I obeyed God, look what happened to me”.
A banker wrote to me one time he said, “You spoke to me about saying yes to the will of God. It does seem Bob, that every time I say yes to God’s will, He zaps me. Why is this”? Bless his heart. Oh, we all feel that way sometimes, don’t we?
You see, because you can’t understand. God says, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know here after”- you don’t always understand what God is doing. That’s why Paul prayed for the people in Colossae. He said, “I pray that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”- that I want you to get- understand what God is doing in your life.
One of the most delightful discoveries is to discover that you really know what God is doing in your life. This comes as the Holy Spirit enlightens you. He dwells within the believer. His job is to do just that for you. I know it’s hard sometimes when life is falling in on you and you don’t feel very happy at the time, and you say, ”God, what are you trying to do? Kill me?” No, no. He is refining the gold, “He shall sit as a refiner”, the Bible says. He is refining the gold, getting the dross out and doing that which is according to His perfect plan.
I think just I when I mentioned gold, I think of that story that Amy Carmichael tells in one of her books. Great missionary lady in India, years and years ago, now with the Lord a good many years. She said, that she watched a refiner in an Indian bazaar, (that’s a word for open market place there) She watched him as he plied his trade. He had a little charcoal Brazier and underneath it the flames were hot as he fanned them with homemade bellows, and the gold, the gold in the melting pot, boiled up.
He very carefully skimmed off the slag that rose to the top, and then he let it cool a little, then he blew again with the bellows upon the flames beneath, and the gold melted and still more slag impurities came to the top. Finally, he leaned back on his heels, squatting there as he was Indian fashion, leaned back on his heels, looked up with a smile and said to nobody in particular, “It’s finished”.
She was standing near enough to speak with him and she said, “Sahib, how do you know when it is finished?”, and he flashed her that wonderful Indian smile- when an Indian smiles the whole world lights up you know- he flashed her that wonderful smile and he said, “Saiba”, he said, “I know it’s finished when I can see my face perfectly reflected in the gold”.
“We all with open face, beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image, his face reflected, changed into the same image, by the Spirit of the Lord”, Paul says there in second Corinthians. God is in the business of refining you beloved. It’s not fun when He applies the heat and skims off the slag, no, it’s not fun. The Bible never said that you had to be happy, it said you had to be faithful, there’s a difference, isn’t there?
The will of God is perfect: when you say yes to the will of God, you’re saying yes to a perfect plan. Now, how does that affect you today? It may affect somebody who’s in business because you may be considering, even now, whether or not you should say yes to what you feel is the will of God for you in business, which would involve changing your job or leaving your job without knowing where you’re going to the next one. That has happened to people that I know about in the last few years. They felt God calling them, but they didn’t know where, and it was not until after they had cut the cords of their own present employment that they found out God had something wonderful for them.
That’s a risky business, isn’t it? Well, you’re risking it with God, I guess, isn’t it? Oh, it may involve changing jobs, it may involve changing your relationships with some people, it may involve changing the direction of your life’s interests. What is the will of God? I don’t know what it is for you, beloved.
I’m thinking right now some people who are nearing the retirement age in their own business, they can take an early retirement and go to the mission field and serve for 10 or 15 years fruitfully, and pay their way. What a glorious ministry God would give you, beloved, if you would think about that. I don’t know whether that’s God’s will for you but it just flashes into my mind even now. Perfect, God’s perfect plan for you may, I say may, not must, but may involve some changes. Well, just remember, He’s planned it. You’re safe in the pierced hands; you’re safe in the will of God. God’s will is good, it’s acceptable, that means it’s easy to take, and it’s perfect, that means is part of a perfect, divine plan.
I wonder how the apostles and the rest of the believers felt when persecution began so fiercely to occur in the early days of the church. You remember how that came about? The first rumblings of it had to do with how they treated Peter and John after the healing of the lame man, threw them in jail, but Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost said, “Ye rulers of the people of Israel if this day, were examined of the good deed, done to the impotent man be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him, doth this man stand here before you whole. Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name”, so on.
Oh, what a sermon he preached. They had to let them go. Well, things went on and finally they had the appointed, the church did, these seven deacons. One of them was a great preacher and his name was Stephen, full of faith and power, he did great wonders and miracles among the people. Well, the end of his preaching was that they came upon him, brought him into a trial, he gave his testimony, all of chapter 7 of Acts is the testimony of Stephen, and finally they cried out with a loud voice, “Stop there”, ran upon in one accord, cast him out of the city and stoned him.
Now, what happened? Why it says that a great persecution arose. At that time a great persecution against the church at Jerusalem. Now, can’t you imagine yourself saying, “Lord, everything was going so well. 3,000 people saved on the day of Pentecost, other thousands added to the church, the group of believers meeting together-even the matters of how to feed people had been solved and spirit filled deacons ministering to folk, and the Gospel being preached, why this? Why do you let them pick on us now”?
A great persecution, Acts chapter eight verse one, “And they were all scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea and Samaria”. Now why? Do you remember the Lord Jesus saying, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the world”. They were too comfortable in Jerusalem.
He had to send them out and what happened to them was part of His perfect plan to get the Gospel out across the world. Submit to the will of God in the knowledge, beloved, that it’s good and acceptable and when you say yes to His will it’s part of a perfect, eternal plan. Hallelujah for that!
Dear Father today, we ask that we may fit into Thy perfect plan. Keep us from fussing about the will of God, help us to say yes to Thy will and yield to Thy perfect intentions for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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