Have you ever messed up and felt like you missed God’s perfect plan for your life?
A lot of people picture God’s will as this tightrope where they’ve got to walk this straight and narrow path. If they’re off just a little, then they’ve entered a parallel universe of God’s will. Do you fear you’ve missed God’s will?
If this describes you, you may think you have to settle for a second-class version of Christianity and cruise down the back road of God’s “plan B” the rest of your life. I have some amazing news for you—you can’t wreck God’s perfect plan for your life!
Here are three reminders to help you overcome the fear and condemnation of missing God’s will.
1. The Example of Paul
Before becoming the apostle of grace, Paul was a devout Jewish Pharisee who strictly adhered to Old Testament laws. He believed he wasn’t like the “dirty Gentiles” and was pursuing God the most. He was so zealous for Judaism that he contributed to the persecution that led to the stoning of Stephen. However, when Paul encountered Christ, God’s love was shed abroad in his heart, and he realized that everything he had done to earn God’s favor was in vain.
Imagine being in Paul’s shoes, having committed serious wrongs and then realizing the truth. Instead of being depressed and sitting in sackcloth and ashes for his actions, Paul forgot those things that were behind him and kept moving forward (Phil. 3:13–14). Because of his salvation, Paul could dare to live in the fullness of God’s pardon—without guilt and regret. If he could do that, you can too. Nothing you’ve done can hinder this same grace in your life!
2. God’s Grace and Love
It is tragic that millions of Christians still live as though they are bound to the Law, thinking they must do certain things and feeling condemned for not measuring up. They have never truly grasped the concept of God’s grace. Once a believer understands, like Paul, that Christ has delivered them from the Law (Gal. 3:13), they can break free from self-condemnation. The Law’s purpose was to reveal God’s character and our inability to live up to it in our own strength. We need a Savior, which is why Christ fulfilled the Law for us and came to dwell in us through salvation! The Law demands, but grace empowers righteousness.
No matter what you’ve done, God’s love is unconditional and all-knowing. Before you were born, God knew everything about you and still loved you and had a plan for your life. Even when you are at your worst, God doesn’t change His mind about you! When you think you’re living in an inferior plan because of your mistakes, you’re slandering the very character of God. He only has perfect plans (Jer. 29:11). God is not the god of “if only he or she hadn’t messed up.” He is the One who had a plan of redemption for you before the creation of the world!
3. God’s Infinite Wisdom
God has an infinite number of ways to accomplish His will and can weave your mistakes into His perfect plan. As humans, we have limited wisdom, but God has trillions of ways to bring His plan to pass in our lives, even when we blow it. How he can take mistakes, sinfulness, laziness, and missed opportunities and weave them into His perfect plan is beyond me, but He is awesome like that!
Legalism will say that when you make a mistake, that’s it. You are like a bird that has broken its wing. Over time you may heal, but just like that bird, you will never fly the same again. You just have to learn to live with guilt and regret for the rest of your life. This way of thinking is legalism mixed with stupidity. It’s just not true.
God has manifold wisdom. This means there are multisided, infinite, innumerable facets to His wisdom. His thinking is much higher than ours, and He is able to reroute us every time that we repent after making a mistake. This manifold wisdom is being made known in your life so that the angels, demons, and the whole universe will be educated on the good nature of God! It’s not too late for you.
The next time you fear you’ve missed God’s will, remember these three things, and keep pressing toward the call of God on your life!
Did you enjoy this teaching?
Consider attending the 2024 Phoenix Gospel Truth Conference in Glendale, Arizona, on January 4–6, 2024 and hear Jim Baker in person.