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WHAT IS GOD’S AGENDA?
October 14, 2014
God’s agenda for my life
Does God have a clear and concise agenda for this world? Does He have an intricate plan in mind that He has been bringing together since before He ever created even a single atom or molecule? Does He have a clear-cut goal which He has laid out for us in scripture and which ultimately cannot fail because He will see it through to completion? Or is God more the type that doesn’t really have a plan at all? A Being that has perhaps created all the elements and spun them into action to where this world could begin but Who is now just sitting on the sidelines depending on us to make the ultimate difference? Is He, the great God and most powerful Being in the universe, merely sitting on His throne up in heaven at this very moment biting His nails and nervously tapping His foot, just hoping that we will be obedient enough to where His hopes for this world can finally come together someday?
If we really do believe that God is the most powerful being in the universe, that He has complete power and authority over all of Creation, and that we belong to Him, then these are very important questions. In the Christian circles that I grew up in, not only was man wrongfully placed on center stage in the process of salvation but man was also placed on center stage in many other facets as well. Even after I had finally realized my own need for Christ’s sacrifice for sins on my behalf and had trusted in Him alone for my salvation the thick entangling sludge of a man-centered view of God and His agenda for my life was constantly surrounding me even in the Christian colleges, schools and churches that I attended.
Over and over again I was told that my desires and my comfort were King, that what I wanted to do with my life should be centered on me, not anyone or anything else.
Direction from the scriptures
In Romans 15:20-22 the Apostle Paul makes some very intriguing statements about why he was doing what he was doing with his life and why he was going where he was going. “My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places.”
According to Paul, God does have a clearly defined plan and agenda for this world; a plan which Paul quotes from Isaiah 52:15, a plan which was already out in the open long before Paul himself ever stepped foot on the earthly scene. This is why Paul’s ambition was to first go to the places where literally “…the name of Christ has never been heard” and where there has not yet been “…a church already started”. This prophecy from the prophet Isaiah was far more than just a good idea or one of the various options out there that Paul could choose from. It was the very plan of God Himself, clearly laid out in the Scriptures! It became Paul’s ultimate ambition to see this prophecy fulfilled.
“I encountered a man that said something very different from what I had heard up to that point concerning finding “God’s call”… He had recently returned from the South Pacific Islands and I will never forget those letters he brought with him. Stacks of letters from tribal people begging for someone to come and live with them and teach them about their Creator…He made copies of the letters and handed them out in class. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “We want to know how to go to God’s good place after we die. We don’t want to go to the place of fire but we have no one to teach us. Please send someone quickly before too many more of us die!” one letter said. Another letter described the Good News of eternal life as “a big jar of sweet, delicious cookies” that we Americans and Westerners are “keeping all for ourselves because they are so good that we don’t want to share.” – From page 45 of Prophecies of Pale Skin.
And now, in our day and age, nearly two thousand years after Paul walked the earth and according to scholars, close to 3,000 years since Isaiah first uttered this prophecy under the guidance of God’s Spirit around the 8th century BC, these words still remain unfulfilled.
So if God does have a clear plan for this world, an agenda clearly lined out in scriptures that says “Those who have never been told about him” should have an opportunity to see, “and those who have never heard of him” should have an opportunity to understand shouldn’t we, just like Paul and so many other New Testament saints, run hard towards those places where as Paul described “the name of Christ has never been heard” and there has not yet been a single “church already started”?
“Up until that point I had been completely confident in what I believed God’s call and purpose was for my life and I was more than comfortable with the thought of skateboarding the rest of my life away in California while sharing about Jesus with people there. Mr. Gordy handed out to everyone in the class a form, which he called “The Great Commission Exemption Form”. It had all kinds of thought provoking statements in it like “If you believe that everything that Jesus teaches in the Bible applies to you EXCEPT for His command in Matthew 28 to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature’ please check this box and sign your name here.” Many of the other students and even some of my close friends got so angry about the things that he said during that specific class and those “Great Commission Exemption Forms”. It was as if they felt threatened by it all. Like their thoughts and dreams of Christian coffee shops and Christian t-shirt companies and being in a Christian rock band and whatever else were being threatened right before their eyes. For me however, it was a week that turned my whole world upside down and that I felt absolutely liberated by. It was that week that I realized for the first time that the infamous “Call of God” that I had so often heard about in my previous college classes was not something that I had to wait for. It was something that I already had. Something that was written down in ink and that I already had in my hands!” – From page 46 of Prophecies of Pale Skin
- If a man-centered view and agenda is dominating my life and God’s agenda for this world is not important to me, what needs to be changed in my life and perspective to where God and His glory are placed back on center stage?
- Read Matthew 28:18-20 and ponder these verses and how they relate to your own life.
Used with permission. © 2014, D.S. Phillips
The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood is a thought provoking study on the effects of the Bible and the Cross in an isolated culture in which they had never been previously introduced. Based on the true story found in Prophesies of Pale Skin.
Along with his family, D.S. Phillips lived and worked among the very remote Dao tribe in South East Asia. The Dao tribe is a people group that before they arrived had no written alphabet for their dialect, not a single verse of scripture available to them and no church or religious organisation of any type working among them.
If you would like to purchase the book go to: The Leaf Book and the Crossed Wood