When I was 18, fresh out of high school entering college, I thought I had my whole life planned out. I was going to go to the University of West Georgia, save a little bit of money, transfer after two years, and go to the University of Georgia. I’d get a business degree, go live in Atlanta, and work for a financial corporation. That was the plan and I thought I was in control.
God had a different plan.
God broke me down and basically said, “Dude, what do you think you control?” I wrestled with that question, thinking I controlled everything, “This is my life and I can take it wherever I want.”
Scripture says this type of thinking is idolatry in my own self. I believed I was in control, that I was the god of my life, but that was not the case. Paul shows us in Ephesians 3:1, that Christ is in control:
When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles…
Paul realizes that he is not in control, Caesar isn’t in control, but Christ Jesus is in the driver’s seat. I needed to be reminded of that and need to be reminded of that daily! God had my life planned out before I was even in my mother’s womb! This plan, not just for me but for all of us, is “to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). To carry this out, He promises to empower us with inner strength through His Spirit. Through this, we will experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully (Ephesians 3:18-19).
Man, that’s awesome! God’s plan sounds better than anything I could have ever imagined for myself.
But Paul gives us a warning. In verse 13 tells us not to lose heart. What?!? Why? With God in control, why would we lose heart?
God’s plan is going to make us go places we don’t want to go, do things we didn’t even ask to do, and suffer in ways we never saw coming. We will struggle and face hard seasons in our life. But our suffering has a purpose for in it, we will grow and experience the love of Christ.
God is in control and He is not setting us up for failure. God is making everything in this crazy life of ours to work together for our good. The struggle, the pain, the joy, the hurt, the happiness is all working together in our life so we can display the wisdom of God in its rich variety to everyone. So come boldly and confidently into His presence! (Ephesians 3:12)