"And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir." Genesis 15:4
God had a purpose for Abraham- to give him an heir and make a great nation from him. How was God going to do that? Abraham thought his wife would get pregnant right away. When she didn't and was getting old, they thought He was going to do it through Sarah's servant Hagar. I am sure that from the time the Lord gave Abraham the promise until the promise was fulfilled in Isaac, they wondered how God was going to do it.
I want to talk about God's purpose and His plan. God's purpose is His will- what He wants to happen. God's plan is the avenue and means by which He brings His purpose into being. God's purpose was to give Abraham an heir, but God's plan was to give it to him through Sarah after she passed the age of child bearing.
We can know God's purpose but not always know His plan. God's purpose is to save mankind. His plan for accomplishing it was to send His Son Jesus to die on the cross.
It is not the purpose that we have trouble with, it's the plan. We get the two confused. Let me give you a personal example. As you know I have a vision to open a ministry center where we will feed, clothe and shelter the homeless and reach people for Christ. I know without a doubt that this is God's will and purpose. But I don't know His plan for bringing it to past. I keep wondering is He going to do it this way or that way. Will He take me through this route or another one? I have looked at many places and the door has closed to each one. Am I discouraged? No, because I know God's purpose. I am just trying to let Him lead me into His plan for bringing His purpose about.
Most people give up and stop pursuing God's promise and purpose because they keep missing the "plan". They may have thought, even more than once, that God was going to fulfill His plan a certain way and when He didn't they want to give up because they think they missed God. No, you haven't missed the purpose/will because it hasn't changed. You just missed the plan He has for accomplishing the purpose.
It is the purpose that God has made known to us and that is what we hold on to by faith. The discouragement and the feeling of giving up comes because we don't always know His plan for fulfilling His purpose. There too lies faith-- faith that He will lead us into His plan for fulfilling His purpose. Don't confuse the two, or when the plan doesn't line up with how you thought He was going to do it, you will mistake it for the purpose and give up.
Have a great day. God's plan and purpose are not the same. Don't give up on the purpose just because you missed the plan.
For further reading:Genesis 15
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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