When we’re motoring down the highway of God’s perfect plan, we are hard for the devil to handle.
Lost. It’s not a word we associate with Christians.
It’s not something we expect born-again, Spirit-filled believers to be. But the fact is, sometimes even the most sincere saints get mixed up about God’s plan for their lives and lose their way. If you’ve ever been driving somewhere and taken a wrong turn, then you know what it’s like. You keep going for a while, thinking you’re on the right road. But eventually, you start noticing things don’t look right. Suddenly, the area seems unfamiliar. Unsavoury characters lounging against empty store fronts are hollering and making unfriendly gestures at you. If you didn’t know it before, you know it now — you’re in trouble. Why? Because you’re on the wrong road. You’ve gotten lost and wound up where you don’t belong. That’s exactly what happens sometimes in the lives of believers. Somewhere along the way, they make a decision that is contrary to the will of God. For a while, they might not even realize they’ve wandered away from God’s plan. But over time it dawns on them: They’re doing something they were never called to do. They’re working a job because it offered a good salary but they don’t enjoy it. Nothing about it fits them. Although they’re still reading the Bible, going to church and endeavoring to do the will of God, they’re running into more than their share of trouble. They’re miserable and everything seems out of kilter. Instead of enjoying the abundant life Jesus promised, they encounter frustration, failure, and confusion at every turn. All because they’re on the wrong road.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that if we get on the right road our lives will be trouble free. As long as we live in this world, we have to fight the good fight of faith. The devil will see to it. But we can overcome everything he throws at us if we know who we are, what God has called us to do and where we’re supposed to be. When we’re motoring down the highway of God’s perfect plan, we are hard for the devil to handle. But to stay on that highway, we have to know what God has called and created us to do. We have to understand He didn’t wait until we were born to figure out where to put us. He didn’t just say to us one day, Hey, come over here and do this. No, God chose each of us in Christ “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). He created us “in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). That means God called every one of us something — a businessperson, a musician, a pastor, an attorney, a writer or whatever — long before we were ever born. Before the world began, God called and planned a blessed, extravagant, fulfilling life for each of us. Whatever God calls something is what it is throughout eternity. He has never changed His plan for us and He never will. We just have to find out what it is. Somehow, we’ve gotten the idea it’s hard to do, but it’s not. God doesn’t hide His plan for us and then dare us to find it. No, the only reason God hides His plan is to keep the devil out of our business. His plan is hidden for us, not from us. So we don’t have to be super spiritual to discover it. We just have to say, “Lord, Your will be done in my life. Your will is Your plan. So I receive that plan and declare that I am stepping into it now, in Jesus’ Name.”
God Can Get It Done
“But Brother Copeland, you don’t understand how badly I’ve missed it. I’ve been out of God’s plan for so long I have no idea how to get back on track.” Figuring out how to get back on track is not your job. Your job is to take the first step, and the first step back into God’s plan is the step of faith — not faith in yourself and your own ability, but FAITH IN GOD. Let me ask you something: Do you believe God can take you from where you are right now into His perfect will? If you’re not sure, look at what the Bible says. “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. (Jeremiah 32:17) . With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26). If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23). For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37) – Those four verses easily settle the fact that none of us is big enough to mess things up so badly God can’t fix them. His power and desire to overcome sin in our lives is far greater than our power and desire to sin. Where sin abounds, His grace does much more abound. It doesn’t matter whether you veered intentionally off course or you just made a wrong turn by accident. God can take you from where you are right now – even if you are way off, out in left field somewhere — and put you back into the center of His perfect will for your life. The second you believe that truth, the worst is behind you and you’re headed in the right direction. “But how can I be sure of that? I don’t even know where I’m supposed to be going!” Don’t worry about it. Just keep walking in faith and the Lord will direct you. Keep saying, “Lord, Your will be done.” Keep confessing, “God is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. I will to do the will of God. He is directing my will. He is building my will. My will is in partnership with Him. I prayed for His will and His plan to be done in my life, so as far as I’m concerned I am in the perfect will of God.”
Kill That Cow
Some believers would never dream of saying such things. They have the idea their will needs to be broken down, not built up. They assume God’s plan for them is going to be so unpleasant they’ll have to override their own will to follow it. Religious correctness has taught them that anything they deeply desire couldn’t be God’s will because they would enjoy it. If that’s the way you’ve been thinking, stop it! Kill that religiously correct old cow and butcher her where she stands. God created you to be what He called you to be. Therefore, when you are functioning in that calling, you’re full of joy. You’re fulfilled and delighted with life because you’re not doing what Momma or Auntie Big Mouth or anyone else said you should do. You’re doing what you were born and graced by God Himself to do. “But what about the guy who just wants to sing and play the guitar all the time?” you might ask. “How will he ever make a living?” I reckon Elvis Presley’s mother used to wonder the same thing. Talk about someone who was born to play the guitar and sing! Elvis is a prime example of a man who discovered his God-given gifts but failed to use them the way God intended. He was called to preach and sing in church and he knew it. He admitted it to some people who were close to him just before he died. People who don’t know any better just assume Elvis had a natural gift for music. But there is no such thing as a natural gift apart from God. Every talent and ability we have comes from Him. He created nature and natural things. That’s why it’s so enjoyable to walk in God’s plan for our lives. When we’re doing what He called and created us to do, the gifts and graces that come naturally to us start flowing. Life seems easier and more fun. Yes, fun! God’s not against fun. It was a religion that told us He didn’t want us enjoying anything. Religion convinced us that if we weren’t squalling and bawling and crying in the church we weren’t doing it right. But that’s not true! The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17, the “living God … giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” So if you’ve committed yourself to God and you’re not enjoying your life, ask Him about it. Stand in the place of faith, believing all things are possible with God, and seek His face. Go to Him and say, “Lord, what is it? Am I out of my place?” Then expect Him to answer you. Be confident that because you belong to Him you can hear and recognize His voice (John 10:27). Trust in the ability and faithfulness of the Holy Spirit to teach you all things (John 14:26). I can assure you both from the Scriptures and from personal experience, if you’ll do that, God will tell you what you need to know.
I’m With God
“Brother Copeland, I believe God has spoken to me,” you might say. “I believe He has shown me what I’m supposed to do and where I should be. But I can’t see how to get there from here.” Don’t sweat it. It’s not your place to work it out. That’s probably what got you off-track in the first place. Just agree with God and declare by faith that you are headed to where He has called you to be, and as far as you’re concerned, you’re there! Then trust God to bring it to pass. He has the resources, wisdom and power to do it. I found that out more than 40 years ago in my early days of ministry. When God called me to preach His uncompromised Word on every available voice, from the top of the world to the bottom and all the way around, I didn’t have enough money to get out of sight much less go around the world. I had no idea how I was going to carry out God’s plan. All I had was faith enough to say, “Yes, Lord. I’ll do it.” I figured if He called me, He’d be with me and in me helping me get the job done. I also took to heart a lesson I learned from my dad when I was a boy. He was an excellent businessman who never went a day without a job even during the Great Depression. He traveled a lot, working first for Draughn’s Business College and then for National Old Line Insurance Company, and I liked going with him. I learned from watching him how to shake hands with a man and honor someone with whom you’re getting acquainted. I was always impressed by the way he could walk up to a complete stranger with confidence, extend his hand and say, “My name is A.W. Copeland. I’m with Draughn’s Business College,” or, “I’m with National Old Line Insurance Company.” When I was just getting started in the ministry, those words came back to me with fresh power. One day I was talking with a man I’d just met, someone who didn’t know who I was or what I did. After we visited for a few minutes, he said, “Who are you with?” I immediately remembered how my dad used to answer that question. “My name is Kenneth Copeland,” I said. “I’m with God.” The man laughed about it, but I wasn’t joking. I was serious because I understood the root of the question. When people in business ask who you are with, they’re actually saying, “Who do you represent? Is it just you I’m talking to or is there someone bigger backing you? Who am I dealing with when I’m dealing with you?” How thrilling it is to be able to answer those questions by saying, “I’m with God! The God who can do all things! The God for whom nothing is impossible! He’s the Creator of heaven and earth, and nothing is too hard for Him!”
Cheer Up and Sail On
“Yeah, but what about the economy? What about the people who are trying to stop me from doing what God’s called me to do? What about the devil? What about all the mistakes I’ve made?” None of it matters! If you’re with God, nothing is big enough to stop you. If you’re with Him and you know it, no person on earth, no force of nature and no devil from hell can thwart His plan for your life. The Apostle Paul proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt. God’s plan for him included traveling to Rome and testifying about Jesus before Caesar. The devil did everything in his power to stop him from fulfilling that plan. He put stubborn people in Paul’s way who wouldn’t listen to anything he said. He stirred up a hurricane that kept Paul’s boat going in circles for two weeks and eventually smashed it to smithereens. (See Acts 27.) What did he do about it? After two weeks of pitching around in hurricane-force winds, and watching sailors puke on the deck, he stood up and told everyone they’d survive and declared that he would finish what God had called him to do. He said, “Sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (verse 25). Sure enough, everyone on board got out alive. The hurricane blew Paul into the middle of a healing meeting, and he ended up in Rome because God’s plan for him was bigger than the storm. The same is true for you. God’s plan for your life is bigger than everything that is coming against it. So cheer up! Even if it feels like you’re caught in a storm and can’t see where you’re going, take your stand of faith. Say, “I’m not lost! I’m in the perfect will of God. He’s working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. His plan for me is in me and there is an abundance of grace to carry it out. Nothing is impossible with Him!”