Echoes From the Campfire

The ‘what ifs’ of life can haunt a person.”
              –Stephen Bly  (One Step Over the Border)

    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
              –Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
For the next few weeks I will be moving away from contemplating the Psalms on Monday.  While on our trip, if I write on Monday, I will look at other things.  However, when I get back to Texas, we’ll start the Psalms again.  Of course, it is nice to rest in Psalm 48.
    As mentioned, we are on a trip back East to visit the eldest daughter’s family.  Before we left, we made a plan, and we did our best to follow that plan.  Life is a plan–“it is not a game of chance but a divine plan” (Joseph Parker).  Remember, the very hairs of your head are counted.  God knows all about you, believer and unbeliever.  He has a plan for your life.  He knows all of your tears, all of your sorrows, and all of your troubles.  Life is meant to bring you to Him, and then on to live with Him for eternity.  However, just like on the plans for a trip, you can deviate from them.
    Put that last thought aside for a moment as I want to share some words from Joseph Parker.

         “Your troubles are all counted, your very tears as well.  The valleys before you were all excavated by the divine hand.  Every controversy, every crosswind, every cold, steep climb up the barren rocks–all are part of the divine purpose.  No temptation comes before you but such as is common to man, and with it God makes a way of escape.  Our Father knows the way we take, and when He has tried us, He will bring us forth as gold.”

There was a plan for Jesus’ life.  He understood it, he followed the will of His Father to complete the plan for His life.
    One of our problems in and with life is that we do not look at the “big plan.”  We tend to look at the little complexities that may come our way and there is nothing wrong with that, but they often get in the way of what God has for us in a larger sense.  In fact, the devil will use these daily grievances and issues to get us off the real plan that God has for us.  Christ understood that the plan for His life was the cross.  There were things that came His way that could have tempted to sway Him from the “big plan.”  He would not allow things to deviate His course.
    If we can grasp the larger plan that God has for us, the daily problems of life would be just so much annoyance and we would push them aside as such.  The larger plan would still loom in front of us.  The idea is that we live each day with the kingdom in mind, the will of God in mind, obeying the commands of Christ in mind.

         “Equipped with this plan, a man can essentially discount the future; its tragedies come to him in a sense as commonplaces; its crosses are but punctuations of a literature that he himself has written and approved as it final outcome and significance.  We are troubled because we have no outlook.  We take in no field of vision; our life comes at us in little pieces, in mocking details; and not knowing what is coming next, we fret ourselves with sore chafing.  The one thing we need not know is the details; the great thing we may know is the solemn wholeness.” (Joseph Parker)

    We want more and more of this life, rather that surrendering this life for the one that God has for us.  Material things can destroy the plan that God has for us.  Selfish wants get in the way of service to the Lord, of “presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV)).  The verse that follows is of utmost importance, we are not to “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (12:2, NKJV)
    If we look to what God has for us, face the problems of the day properly, then we will be able to “prove” that plan that God has set before us.