The Right Now and the Not Yet

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time – to bring everything together in Christ both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.”

Ephesians 1:7-10

God has a plan.

This might come as a surprise to you, or it may not.

But, if you know God has a plan, then why do you worry so much?

And, if you did not yet know that God has a plan, how does knowing this change how you live your life?

There is something to be said for knowing that no matter what I do, whether I make the right choice or not, I cannot get in the way of God’s plan. (The big, overall plan, anyway.)

When I live my life knowing that God has a bigger plan and I do not have any control over the outcome, something inside me shifts and I am able to live a more fulfilling and freeing life. And I want that for you, too.

You may have already known about the plan, but just in case you do not know, let me share some things with you based on the scripture above.

God planned our redemption from the very beginning

In Genesis 1:26 the Word tells us: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…” All throughout the Creation story, God spoke everything into existence, one after the other. But, in this particular instance, God spoke to someone else to create man. We know that God works in a Trinity, with the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. So then, God spoke to them and said, “Let us…” This means there was a holy discussion and they all agreed that man should be made.

And how does this prove that God planned our redemption from the very beginning?

I am so glad you asked.

Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.”

That holy discussion had to exist before we were formed, and yet knowing how we would screw it up, God chose us. Jesus chose us. It was decided in the beginning that we would be chosen and we would be created so that we could be chosen.

The forgiveness of our sins was planned

We can know that forgiveness was planned because God could not have chosen us without having a plan to bring us to Himself in Heaven.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses…”

Ephesians 2:4,5

Jesus was always the plan. Before Adam and Eve in the garden, before one commandment or law, before David on the throne, before even one disciple had been selected, the plan was Jesus as the sacrificial lamb. God knew that we would need a way, Jesus was always the way.

God wants us to know the plan

Ephesians 1:9 says that “He made known to us the mystery of His will…” This simply means He has told us what His plan is. The plan is written in the one place we can all find it anytime we need to: Scripture.

God does not hide from anyone or anything. He wants us to know Him, He wants us to know Jesus, He wants us to know the Spirit, and He wants us to know His Word. The Word tells us the plan (among other things, of course). There is not one time God ever wants us to think that He is hiding something from us.

Do not misunderstand: there is a lot He withholds from us until the right time. But, the plan of salvation, the plan of forgiveness, is not one of those things.

There is a right time for the plan to take place

Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for every activity under heaven…”

If you have ever prayed for anything and not gotten an answer right away, you will be familiar with the Lord’s timing. You cannot force God’s hand any more than you can force a child to give up their candy. The Lord knows what needs to happen and when it needs to happen.

Part of living this life in Christ is the difficulty of knowing we are heaven-bound, and not being there yet. We live in the not yet. God will bring a new heaven and a new earth, but not yet. God will take us all up to live with Him and there will be no more pain, crying, grief, etc. But, not yet. God may very well reach that one family member you hope will find salvation before it is too late. But, not yet.

We have to live our lives like the not yet and the right now are roommates in our hearts. The one informs the other, and they get along and play nicely at all times. We have to live each day knowing that what we have right now will not always be and that what we want in the not yet, will be when it is time.

God’s plan is to eventually, “bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth…” That is a plan we can live with if we learn to live in the right now and the not yet.

As you go about your week look for ways that God has revealed His plan to you in your everyday life. Find me on Facebook or Instagram and let me know where you see God’s plan in your life.

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