This teaching is in response to the author of The Shack: William P. Young. In his new book, Lies we believe about God, Young makes the assertion that God is not in control and God doesn’t have a plan for your life.
On the contrary, the scriptures reveal God’s sovereignty and that he has specific plans for us. God said the following to Abraham:
Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. ~ Genesis 15:13-14
Notice that God declared his plan to Abraham regarding Abraham’s descendants before they were born.
All throughout the old testament we see God working out his plan and purpose of redemption (which was ordained before the foundation of the world) through the lives of those he called. Many times in scripture, God declared what he was going to do in advance through those whom he raised up as prophets. This absolutely speaks to the truth at God is in control.
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that THE PURPOSE OF GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of HIM THAT CALLETH;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. ~ Romans 9:9-12
While I do think we sometimes misunderstand how God’s plan for our lives is worked out, the notion that God doesn’t have a plan for us, is totally unscriptural.
The very fact that God calls some of us to do one thing, and others to do another, is evidence that God has a plan for our lives. The apostle Paul said: “For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles.” ~ Galatians 2:8 Paul embraced God’s plan for his life by embracing his calling as an apostle to the Gentiles.
In Acts 16 we read the following concerning the ministry of Paul and Silas:
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were FORBIDDEN of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,
7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but THE SPIRIT SUFFERED THEM NOT.
8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, COME OVER TO MACEDONIA, AND HELP US.
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, ASSUREDLY GATHERING THAT THE LORD HAD CALLED US FOR TO PREACH THE GOSPEL UNTO THEM. ~ Acts 16: 6-10
Paul and Silas were forbidden by the Spirit of the Lord from preaching in Asia and Bithynia. Instead, they were led by the Spirit of the Lord to preach the gospel in Macedonia. This speaks to the truth that God had a plan for Paul and Silas. He wanted them to preach the gospel to the Macedonians, rather than going to Asia and Bithynia.
In 1 Peter 5 we read the following from the aged apostle Peter:
The elders (Shepherds or Pastors) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. ~ 1 Peter 5:1-3
We know that Peter was an apostle, and Peter was also a Pastor who was personally commissioned by Jesus to “feed My Sheep.”
Consider the following from the gospel of John.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY LAMBS.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, FEED MY SHEEP.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 THIS SPOKE HE, SIGNIFYING BY WHAT DEATH HE SHOULD GLORIFY GOD. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, FOLLOW ME.
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and WHAT SHALL THIS MAN DO?
22 Jesus saith unto him, IF I WILL THAT HE TARRY TILL I COME, WHAT IS THAT TO THEE? FOLLOW THOU ME. ~ John 21:15-22
According to John, Jesus has a specific calling for Peter’s life: feed my sheep. Peter was not to concern himself with the call on John’s life, but was told by Jesus: follow me.
The ideology that God doesn’t have a plan for our live’s is completely contrary to scripture. When we consider the many servants of God throughout the pages of the Bible we quickly see how wrong this claim is.
Consider that God called Noah to build an Ark because God was going to bring a destructive flood upon the world, and Moses was chosen by God to deliverer the children of Israel out of Egypt.
God made Moses the leader of Israel, and through Moses, God gave Israel the Law. God chose Aaron and his descendants as priests, and the tribe of Levi as their servants in the ministry.
God chose Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the promised land, and God gave each of the tribes of Israel a specific plot of land to possess within the borders of Canaan’s land.
All throughout scripture, God chose specific people at specific times to do specific tasks according to his will; such Gideon, Samuel, and David.
God said concerning David: I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall FULFILL ALL MY WILL. ~ Acts 13:22
God spoke to Jeremiah and said: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ~ Jeremiah 1:5
God then told Jeremiah: I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. ~ Jeremiah 1:10
According to the Bible God had a specific plan for Jeremiah, and that plan was wrapped up was God’s calling of Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations.
When Mr. Young denies that God has a plan for our lives, he not only contradicts to the testimony of scripture concerning the lives of the servants of God recorded in the Bible, he also contradicts every teaching in the Bible concerning God’s will with regards to how we are called to live as children of God.
For instance, the apostle Paul says the following to the believers at Colosse: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD UNTO ALL PLEASING, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God… ~ Colossians 1:9-10
In Ephesians, Paul says: See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what THE WILL OF THE LORD is. ~ Ephesians 5:15-17
And to the Romans Paul wrote: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, WILL OF GOD. ~ Romans 12:1-2
All throughout the new testament, we are given specific instructions concerning what the will of God is, and how we are to live in a manner which is pleasing to the Lord.
Paul tells us that it is the will of God that we live a life of sanctification because God has called us to holiness ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.
Paul also tells us that it is the will of God that we be thankful in every thing ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Peter tells us what the will of God is when we suffer as Christians ~1 Peter 4:14-16 .
Ironically, William Young, who disputes that God has a plan for our lives, also teaches (in the Shack) that Jesus doesn’t want to make us Christians. Yet, when Paul testified of Jesus before King Agrippa, the King said to Paul: You are almost persuading me to be A CHRISTIAN. ~ Acts 26:28
The apostle Paul wanted King Agrippa to become a Christian. William Young is opposed to God wanting people to becomes Christians. As a Christian, I prefer the apostle Paul’s credentials over that of William Young.
Paul, who almost persuaded King Agrippa to become a Christian, believed that God had a plan for his life, for he repeated claimed that he was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles according to the will of God.
God absolutely has a plan for our lives!
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