Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)
Prayer for Presence
Lord Jesus, I believe you want to speak to me in deep and profound ways this moment. May I be attentive to your loving and merciful voice.
Scripture Reading & Devotional:
[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. –Ephesians 1:9-10
On June 6, 1944, after months of careful planning, the Allied forces of World War II invaded France. Over 150,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in an effort to liberate Europe from German tyranny. Later on D-Day, Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, described the events in a speech to Parliament: “So far the Commanders who are engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan. And what a plan!”
What a plan indeed! The D-Day plan was extraordinary, not only in its complexity, but also in its impact. It was central to the eventual liberation of Europe from the scourge of Nazi oppression and the defeat of Hitler.
In Ephesians 1:9-10 we find another plan, a plan that has an even greater result than the D-Day plan. The NIV speaks of what God “purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment.” The Greek original speaks more literally of God’s “plan for the fullness of the times.” The word translated as “plan” is oikonomia in Greek, a noun that can be rendered in English as “management, arrangement, or order,” in addition to “plan.”
The language of this passage reveals that what will happen in the future isn’t a matter of randomness or chance. Rather, God has a plan for the future. In just the right time, God will re-order all things in the universe in fulfillment of the plan he formulated even before the creation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4).
If God has such a plan, surely we want to know it. Wouldn’t it be great to know what God is really up to in the world? In fact, verse 9 observes that God has, in fact, “made known to us the mystery of his will.” Therefore, we can know what God’s plan is, so that we might allow this plan to shape our lives.
In upcoming devotions, we’ll learn more about God’s plan and how it matters, not just for the future, but also for how we live today. We’ll see how this plan touches everything in life, and therefore gives new meaning and purpose to how we live each day, at work and at home, in our neighborhood and in our church, in our relationships and in our hopes. As we come to understand God’s amazing plan, we’ll find ourselves echoing the words of Churchill, “And what a plan!”
Something to Think About:
Before we examine God’s plan, I’d like to encourage you to think about how you envision God’s plan for creation… and for your own life. The following questions might help.
What is God’s plan for creation? What is God up to, in the big picture?
Do you think God has a plan for your life? If so, what is it?
What plans do you have for your life? How are your plans related to God’s plans, if they are at all?
Something to Do:
With a good friend or in your small group, talk about the “big” plans you have for your life. Where did these plans come from? Or, if you don’t have “big” plans, share why not.
Gracious God, thank you for being sovereign over all things. Thank you for having a plan for the future. Thank you for making your plan known to us, so that we might be sure our plans for living reflect your plans both for the cosmos and for us.
Help us, we pray, to understand more deeply the plans you have for us. May we have confidence that your plans will prosper and not harm us. May your plans give us hope and a future. Amen.
By Mark D. Roberts
Space for Reflection (take 2-3 minutes to be silent or write out your thoughts or prayers from the scripture passage or devotional)
Father YAHWEH, Our Most Holy and Righteous Father, Most Exalted and Excellent ELOHIM, Creator of all we know and all we don’t know, the former quite small, the latter humongous, we have this blessed and sacred privilege of audience with You, able to hear and speak with our hearts in this Divine Dialogue, able to partake of this most Holy Communion, Father we cherish these moments and are ever so grateful and Thankful, Hallelu YAH!
Thank You Father, for all the wealth and riches of the Saints, we have the Silver of Salvation, the pure Gold of Redemption and the Platinum of Prayer, with The Word of God providing precious diamonds, rubies and pearls of Your Truth and Holy Wisdom, we feast with an appetite of blessedness, a spread so rich, royal and regal, and thus every morsel of divinity is greatly cherished, as we exercise all the privileges of The Righteous in the Beauty and Glory of Holiness, Selah!
Father, we proclaim Your Majesty above all the earth, our spirits sing, shout and dance a song of Glory, of Praise, of Worship, lifting up the Blood Stained Banner, exalting the Lamb of God whom has taken away the sins of the World, whom has risen from the Grave with all Power, Glory and Dominion invested in Him, Hallelu YAH!
Father, in pursuing daily more intimacy with You, we reach for the stars and many times miss the mark and thus we bring before You all our shortcomings, our failures, our downfalls and our sins and transgressions, all the things in which our thoughts, actions and deeds have proven less than Your most excellent standard of Holiness, and thus we repent and beg Your faithful forgiveness, in the name of Yeshua, and by the Blood of Christ, Selah!
Father, as we have forgiven all others, so You forgive us, and bless us with total and complete absolution found in the washing and cleansing of the Blood of Jesus, the Blood with the wonder working, yoke destroying Power of God, saving from the guttermost to the uttermost, delivering us from the wiles and schemes of the evil one, setting us free from every bondage and shackle, all the enslavement of sin, every pang of death, Hallelu YAH!
Father, may we drink deeply of this juice that flows from Emanuel’s veins, this rich and ruby red Blood of the Covenant, that sets us free from the penalties of the Law, that removes the curse and brings us once again into the most Holy Communion, that washes away the stain and stench of sin, that ministers the very reconciliation unto us between God and man, Oh how precious and sweet is this flow that makes the Glory of God within us Grow, Oh what a Sweet Sweet Savior Thou are! Oh, Most Holy God, Selah!
Oh Father, Most Holy Prince of Peace, may we draw closer to You, and as we do, we shall fulfill every desire and purpose of Your Will, being perfected in The Way by Your Divine Presence and this Most Holy Communion. Father, all these good things we ask, by Faith, in the name of Him Whom is True, the only Begotten of the Father, Jesus The Christ, YAHUSHUA ha MASHIACH, The First and The Last, the Bright and Morning Star, The Lord of All Glory, Hallelu YAH! Amen
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)