Jeremiah 29:11-13 (AMP) For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
It is so encouraging to read Jeremiah 29:11 and know that God has plans for peace and well-being for us. Not only that but also a future (this life) and a hope (eternity). However, too often it is assumed that there is no responsibility on our part to achieve such a purpose in life. Oh friend, there is a relationship necessary in order to choose the life offered in Christ. If your old man could have it, what need for a bloody, messy Cross for our redemption? In Isaiah 1:18, the Lord invites us to “come now, let us settle the matter” of sin. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.” There is a settlement to be reached. It is important to understand the role of our covenant with Christ that leads to a prospering life. Your God-given purpose and His Plan is according to His Will. It is in the surrender of our life to that purpose and plan by stepping into a relationship with Jesus Christ that affords us the plan of God that is love, joy, peace and prosperity in this life and forever.
Philippians 2:12-13 (AMP) So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.
I don’t remember when I read it, but I do remember the impact on my life. The day I read past Jeremiah 29:11 to understand that the next two verses were vital to my success in achieving God’s Plan and Purpose. It began to make sense. How does one work out their salvation with fear and trembling? The Amplified version of the Bible offers some insight into what it means to “work out your salvation”. It means to cultivate it, bring it to full effect, and actively pursue spiritual maturity. It means to walk away from sin and darkness and engulf our life in His Presence and Glory every single day (not just church days or when someone else is watching). Our pursuit of God’s Plan and Purpose must begin and end in seeking, knowing and adopting His Heart for us. God will effectively work in those who surrender their heart to Him. However, because God is not a liar and never goes back on His Word, He will not overtake those who are unwilling. He will not force us into His Will or to live on purpose according to His Plan. That would be in direct conflict with His Word so He waits for us to come to Him.
Hosea 10:1-2 (AMP) Israel is a luxuriant and prolific vine; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, the more altars he made [to Baal]; the richer his land, the better he made the [idolatrous] pillars. Their heart is divided (faithless); now they must bear their guilt and punishment. The Lord will break down [the horns of] their altars; He will destroy their idolatrous pillars.
John 15:1-5 (AMP) I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
Israel had a heart problem. They continually chose half-hearted obedience to God. Time and time again, God would bless them and they would serve other gods. There is only one prosperity that God chooses for us and that is soul prosperity. Our life will follow the condition of our soul which is influenced by our heart if our pursuit is God the Father through Christ the Son. To prosper outside of God is not a blessing but a curse on our life because it is not evidence of a secure soul just a temporary security that can have eternal consequences. It is up to us to evaluate and cross-examine our soul for a true and valid connection to Jesus Christ. He is the vine. We are His Branches. We must remain in Christ to prosper on earth and in eternity.
Partial obedience is disobedience. Faithfulness is not possible with a divided heart. Serving two masters is not possible when our allegiance is to Jesus Christ. There is no dual residency in the Kingdom. To operate in the blessings and promises of God – the superabundance given to His People – we must be His Children. The frustration comes when our earthly expectation for divine intervention is convoluted by false teaching and Biblical half-truths offered to fill a church or satisfy a seeking soul that needs Christ not compromise. The truth of the matter is that if you want all of God’s Promises and Blessings and if you are pursuing His Plan and Purpose – it must be wholeheartedly.
Numbers 32:10-12 (NIV) The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’
In Numbers 32:10-12 it tells us about Caleb and Joshua, the only two who came out of Egypt and cross over into the Promised Land. Can you imagine? All those people who endured slavery and the great escape. They saw the faithfulness and Glory of God over and over yet in disobedience and rebellion died in the wilderness. What was God’s gripe against the people? They have not followed me wholeheartedly. What about Caleb and Joshua? For they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.
It is scary to think that my destiny could be diverted by my heart. To allow my heart to wander, worry, or worse love other “things” more than the Lord is an abortion of the promise placed within me by God. It is a miscarriage of purpose. I use these words because they stir something in us. They feel unjust especially to a woman who was created to carry God’s Little Promises and birth them into existence. God has things that He has placed in you and is ready to deliver out of you but He needs just one thing to do that – your whole heart.
I have delivered five babies. I know that in the final weeks I become desperate for their arrival. Not only to meet them and fall even more in love, but my body becomes fatigued by the burden. It has been stretched to the max and the only of relief is to give birth. Are you tired? Weary? Pained? Pressured?
I wonder today if God’s Purpose is trying to find its way out of you. What if the heaviness is really just God’s Plan trying to escape from inside you to change your life around you? What if the only thing keeping you from divine destiny and reaching your destination is – you? It is important to continually examine, re-examine and cross examine our heart day by day, moment by moment and breath by breath. It matters. Piece by piece it must be surrendered to the Lord so that His Love can reform, mold and shape it to align with His Will, His Plan and His Heartbeat for you. It will be worth it. You must do it or risk dying outside of your promise. He requires only one thing of you and me – our heart – all of it.
Are you desperate for Him today? You are called and created to live on purpose – His Purpose. Every promise for your life already inscribed in the life plan written before you were born. (Psalm 139) He is simply waiting on us to fall in love wholeheartedly with Him.