The last words of Richard Baxter, the famous English Puritan divine, author of the celebrated work The Saints' Everlasting Rest and the man "who preached as a dying man to dying men, and never sure to preach again," were these: "Lord, what thou wilt, where thou wilt, and when thou wilt."
Dr. James M. Gray says, "Once, when convalescing from a long illness, it was suggested that for the benefit of the change I visit the British provinces. The arrangements were all made when unexpectedly another malady threw me on my bed again. How disappointing! For what was I waiting longer in the sick room? Soon I received a satisfac tory answer. Picking up a newspaper, I read that the steamer on which I should have sailed struck a reef on entering St. John harbor and almost instantly sank."—Sunday School Times.
Sudden changes in our plans may be hard to accept. But they may be forced upon us by some circumstance over which we may have no control. And God may be back of the circumstance. Yet the plans were very dear to us, and we had set our hearts upon carrying them through. Why should God have permitted them to be changed, or to be set aside completely?
Someone has written: " 'Thou God seest me' is a precious thought. He sees us and our path beset with danger, and He plans our ways and guides us accordingly. That is why he often permits reverses and failure to come our way. He changes our plans, for He sees the danger in them." What a blessing, then, that God does not always let us carry out our plans!
When a baby plans, with great interest and pleasure, to play with brightly burning fire, a loving parent is likely to change the baby's plans. Yet that brightly burning fire, dangerous as it is, may not be as grave a danger as would be the result of some plans that we are prevented by God's love from carrying through. As this writer reminds us: "knowing the end from the beginning, He cannot mistake." Our plans are sometimes mistaken; God's plans are always perfect.—The Sunday School Times.
At a meeting in Massachusetts, a speaker, who had just delivered an urgent appeal to a group of young people to accept Christ, was asked this startling question by a young girl, "Sir, I should like to know how we can be Christians, and have our own way." Perhaps many of us have either consciously or unconsciously asked this same question. We have sought, in a measure at least, to do God's will, but we have reserved the right to have our own way whenever it pleases us. This is not God's plan for Christian living and service, however, and it always brings conflict, and unrest, and lack of joy and power.—John W. Lane, Jr., in the Sunday School Times and Christian Youth.
Why do we want to know God's will? Most Christians would feel that this was a strange question, for those whose lives are yielded to God have a real desire to know His plan for them in order that they may follow it in their lives. But is there not sometimes too great a lapse of time between knowledge and obedience? Dr. William L. Pettingill the well-known Bible teacher and author of many books, at a meeting of the Philadelphia Fundamentalists made a penetrating remark on this subject. "Most people," he said, "don't want to know the will of God in order to do it; they want to know it in order to consider it." It often takes time to learn just what God wants us tc do in any particular matter, but once we know His purpose we ought not to delay in at least beginning to carry it out by His grace. And when obedience is prompt, "when we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way!"—Sunday School Times.
Behind our lives the Weaver stands,
And works His wondrous will;
We leave it in His all-wise hands,
And trust His perfect skill.—Selected.
Someone says, "The will of God which we sometimes think so hard, is, if we only knew it, just the softest pillow to rest upon." If we recognized that there was no choice but God's, no aim but such as had Him for its object, how it would take the worry and care from our lives! Have we learned that we are only safe, happy, right, when He chooses?—Gospel Herald.
God has a plan for every life in Christ Jesus. What a wondrous truth is this! And yet how reasonable a one. Shall the architect draw the plans for his stately palace? Shall the artist sketch the outlines of his masterpiece? Shall the shipbuilder lay down the lines for his colossal ship? And yet shall God have no plan for the soul which He brings into being and puts "in Christ Jesus"? Surely He has.
Yea, for every cloud that floats across the summer sky: for every blade of grass that points its tiny spear Heavenward, God has a purpose and a plan. How much more then, for you who are His own in Christ Jesus, does God have a perfect life plan.—James H. McConkey.
A gentleman captured two baby eagles and raised them with great care. They grew to be fine specimens of this noble bird, until one day the door of their cage was left open by accident and the birds escaped. One flew to a nearby tree, where it roosted on a low branch, for it could not use its wings, never having learned to fly except in the close confinement of its cage. It was not long until it met an untimely death by the gun of a hunter. The other eagle fell or was knocked into a swift flowing river and was drowned. Both of these eagles missed God's plan for their lives by being taken captive by man. They were created to live in high places and to soar aloft in the sky, but instead they were doomed to live on the ground and to meet an early death.
God created you and me to live on a high plane and to carry out the great plans He has for our life. May we have wisdom to yield our lives to Him so that the forces of sin may not take us captive, and cause us to miss His plan fog our life.—Gospel Herald.