“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:13-16
This week Pastor Tim focused on verse 16 of Psalm 139, addressing God’s design of the plans for our lives.
Before addressing the heart of the message, Pastor Tim addressed the age-old tension between God’s sovereign plan and our free will for our lives. This tension is at the very core of the “great debate” (which has been raging for over 500 years) between two major theological frameworks in Protestantism: Calvinism and Arminianism.
- Calvinism focuses on God’s absolute sovereignty – It asserts that God’s sovereignty is unconditional, unlimited, and absolute. All things are predetermined by the good pleasure of God’s will.
- Arminianism focuses on our free will – on the other hand asserts that God has limited his control in correspondence with our freedom and response.
Ultimately, both sides of the debate have plenty of Scripture to support their view and it is probable that this issue will never be solved until we are in heaven and God himself settles it, probably with both truth and error being found on both sides.
Three statements that flow from the biblical teaching that God does have a plan for your life; but, also the understanding that we do make choices and decisions to affect the plan…for better or for worse.
#1: Because God has a plan for your life…your life has purpose and meaning
#2: Because God has a plan for your life; you possess the skills and abilities to accomplish his plan.
#3: Because God has a plan for your life; trust him when his plans collide with yours.
As Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Trust believes that those un-wanted parts of the plan have purpose and meaning even if we don’t see it now or understand. They make sense in God’s mind and someday, in this life or the next, they will make sense to us. In the meantime, we are challenged to trust…to “submit”, “surrender”, when God’s plan hurts or disappoints or confuses us.
As you consider God’s plans for your life, please check out our web site for a variety of opportunities to connect, grow and serve at River Oaks. The buttons on the bottom of the home page include current opportunities available to you www.riveroaks.org.
If we can help you think through who God has made you to be and how to decide where to go from here, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We, as a staff, are happy to help.
Trusting God, while choosing wisely this week!
Scott Tilley / Adult Ministries Pastor/ 574.875.1152 x103 / firstname.lastname@example.org