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Lent 2022 Day 23: "Surrender Your Plans"March 24, 2022
Yesterday I talked about surrendering your doctrines. For most this will be a difficult thing to do if they do not trust that God will lead them to truth. Most will say their doctrines are sound and will not turn from them. They will join millions who have done the same and refuse to surrender wholeheartedly to God, yet think they are secure. To surrender to God’s plan, you must understand that the church you have made your plans in, is in captivity. In reality, your plans are futile whether you admit it or not. It is better to admit to the futility and repent, than to heap sin upon sin. Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.” What you think to be the church is not, instead it is filled with deception and delusion. Your plans are useless against the work of the devil.
The so-called well laid plans of man have led to disaster and captivity. Psalm 107:10 “Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, 11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.” This rebellion against God took place because men and women decided their plans were better than Gods. To surrender, you have to believe that God’s plans are better than your own. Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” When you acknowledge the abomination that causes desolation is here and now because the church rebelled, you will surrender your plans, those so-called well laid plans of man, and surrender to God’s plan. Jeremiah said Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
They went into exile because they refused to follow the plans of God. It was only by the grace of God that the remnant survived. Not only did they refuse, but we also saw that they did not wait for those plans to unfold. We saw this with King Saul. God blessed Him with the kingdom, but he refused to wait for God’s plan and went ahead with his own and lost it. 1 Samuel 10:6 “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” This is what usually happens. The enemy advances against us and most people, like Saul react with their own strength instead of waiting on God. 1 Samuel 13:7 “Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” 13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” The enemy was attacking, so instead of waiting just a little longer he carried out his own plans. Samuel came just at the right time, within the seven days, just as he said he would.
Most people don’t wait for God. They carry out their own plans and then expect God to bless those plans and when things go bad, they blame God. Psalm 106 also gives us a picture of this failure to wait for God. The key verse in this Psalm also applies to the church today. Psalm 106:13 “they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold.” In this Psalm we see a pattern of disobedience. This psalm summarizes Israel’s journey of disobedience. Psalm 106:6 “We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly. 7 When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.” And then over and over they rebelled. We saw what happened to Saul and what happened to Israel. Notice what Saul walked away from by going with his own plans. As we saw above 1 Samuel 10:6 “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” The church also refuses to wait of God and surrender to His plans. God plans are not like the world’s plan, but it seems the church wants them to be like the world. What has the church walked away from to follow their own plans; power from on High. Man’s plans won’t give you this. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” The church decided to follow their own plans and ended up in captivity just like Israel and Judah and we lost the kingdom like Saul. The church is powerless and sits in desolation.
The good news is that unlike Saul, when God was talking about Solomon he said 2 Samuel 7:15 “my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” Many misinterpret this verse to say that God will never take His love away no matter what. God will not totally reject His people forever as there will always be a remnant, but He will turn His face from them just as He has with the church. We saw this with the last king of Israel. 2 Kings 17:18 “So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.” You then had the last king of Judah. 2 Chronicles 36:15 “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there. 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” Disobedience led to this. God said He does not change. 2 Kings 17:7 “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God. 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God.” But as promised to David there will always be a remnant. Because of disobedience, Solomon ended up losing the kingdom of His father David. 1 Kings 11:9 “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Yesterday we saw that we need to turn away from our doctrines and one of those is the deception of being eternally secure no matter what. Whether you were baptized as a child or prayed a prayer, you must obey wholeheartedly. When you obey, no one can stand against you but if you disobey your enemies will destroy you. If you made a commitment or baptized in a church that follows other gospels, do you really think you are eternally secure. Do not be deceived. Don’t follow the plans of man; turn and follow the way, truth and life.Psalm 106:47 “Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord.”