The Plan is Perfect. . . the Journey is Not

There is a plan. God has a plan for your life. The plan is perfect; however, the journey is not.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8). “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

Our journey begins at Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him; male and female He created them”.

God creates man in His own image.

The whole universe knows this, except sometimes you and me. 

Our enemy knows this well. When he sees each one of us, Satan sees God.

We have the tendency to simply see Diana, Marella, Bob, Maria, and that's all we see; but when the universe sees you, the universe sees the image of God!

The extraordinary reality of the human race, the glory of humankind resides in the fact that everything in the world was created by God, by the pronouncement of a Word, and without the Word nothing that has been created was created. He spoke, and the world existed (Psalm 33:9).

He produced magnificent beauty out of nothing. He doesn't need cement to make a house, seeds to grow a tree, or an egg to create a bird or a snake.

God speaks and things appear. That is His greatness.

However, with the creation of humans, it wasn’t so.

God took mud and massaged it, He caressed it, touched it and formed it carefully and intentionally with his fingers! We have THE FINGERPRINTS of our ALL-POWERFUL God, ALL OVER our bodies. And if we think this process happened only once in history, we’d better think twice:

Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Verses 15-16

My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

And if that wasn't enough, after God formed us;

 He kissed us!

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).

He put His mouth over our nose and mouth and gave us a kiss and blew into us the BREATH OF LIFE. 

With this act, Jehovah God not only gifted us with life, but also committed himself to be our SUSTAINER. I gave you LIFE, and now I am making the commitment to sustain it!

The plan is perfect, but the journey is not.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).

According to Paul we are going to wear out.

Our immune systems may become compromised. We may to get sick. We may develop diseases, and some of them will be terminal.

We may suffer physical, mental, and spiritual breakdowns.

The plan is perfect, but the journey is not.

Our organs may eventually fail. Our nerves may weaken, and our pancreas may stop producing enough insulin. We may develop tumors that will affect various systems in our bodies!

The plan is perfect, but the journey is not.  

We are going to wear out! On this earthly journey bad things do happen to good people.

Josephs will be thrown into pits and sold off into slavery. Daniels will be the recipients of hate and envy and will end up in lion’s dens. On this journey, bad things happen to good people!

The plan for Joseph’s life was perfect, but the journey was going to be very painful and complicated. He had to arrive in Egypt to be its next governor. The plan was perfect, but the journey was not, for the innocent Joseph had to suffer years behind the bars of a prison without understanding the plan.

Some of us will be mocked for the plans and dreams we have.  We will be falsely accused. We might even be taken away from our loved ones and even lose our freedom. 

We may be abused and possibly neglected emotionally, physically, even sexually. We may suffer sexual harassment in the places we least expect.

But the Lord has said, “I will show you the way that you should go, I will guide you with my eyes.”  The plan is perfect, but the journey is not.

Jesus foretold the challenging journey ahead of us. "In the world," He said, “you will have affliction, but trust me; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

There is a high point on this journey. It is the foundational reality that Jehovah, El ‘amunah (Deut. 32:4), is a faithful God who has promised to watch over and accompany us every step of this earthy pilgrimage. 

David wrote in Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

The holistic integration of the reality of God’s presence in your life, a rich understanding of
God’s total involvement in one’s daily comings and goings, is why Joseph was able to say to his brothers:

20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive" (Gen. 50:20). You thought you would do me wrong, but God turned it into good.

God doesn't tell us that evil isn't going to touch us. He promises us that even when assailed by evil, He will watch over our life.

Because in the spiritual world of God's kingdom, EVERYTHING happens for a good reason. Your cancer will be recycled for good, whether you find healing through a divine miracle, through the application of scientific knowledge or treatment, or even if you fall asleep in Jesus; it will all be recycled for GOOD. Because at the end of the day; we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (Rom. 8:28).

Paul continues his message:

16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ...” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).

When we weigh the SLIGHT MOMENTARY TRIBULATION AGAINST THE GLORY THAT AWAITS US; THE GLORY THAT AWAITS US IS OF FAR GREATER WEIGHT.  “It’s a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Thus, Paul encourages us:

18 "...while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Sister White reminds us:

“Life is disciplinary. While in the world, the Christian will meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. IF injuries and insults are meekly borne, if insulting words are responded to by gentle answers, and oppressive acts by kindness, this is evidence that the Spirit of Christ dwells in the heart, that sap from the living Vine is flowing to the branches. We are in the school of Christ in this life, where we are to learn to be meek and lowly of heart; and in the day of final accounts, we shall see that ALL the obstacles we meet, ALL the hardships and annoyances that we are called to bear, are practical lessons in the application of principles of Christian life. If well endured, they develop the Christlike in the character and distinguish the Christian from the worldling.” White, 5T 323-324.

God’s plan for our lives is perfect, but the journey is not. The road to love, the ways of the Master are not easy, but they are the most rewarding because they are the most transformational of them all.

Author

César De León

North Pacific Union vice president for Hispanic ministries and ministerial director
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