Adapted from Every Man's Life a Plan of God in Thirty Sermons by H. M. S. Richards, copyright Voice of Prophecy.
Summary: God has given “to every man his work, the work for which his capabilities adapt him, the work which will result in the greatest good to himself and to his fellow men, and in the greatest honor to God. Thus our business, our work, our calling, is a part of God’s great plan; and so as it is conducted in accordance with His will, He Himself is responsible for the results
That is one of the most thrilling thoughts that has ever come to me—every man’s life, everybody’s life, a plan of God! If this is really so, it changes our outlook on everything it makes life worth living.
Does God have a plan for every life? Does He have a blueprint, as it were, for every one of us? Friends, I believe He has (Mark 13:34).
The reason why so many of our lives are unsatisfactory to us is that we do not follow God’s plan for our lives. We have so much heart hunger, so much frustration, so much sadness. Why? One reason is that so many of us either neglect or reject God’s plan for us.
Look at the prophets and apostles of the Bible. There was Jeremiah—he was a humble, unknown priest, very retiring in his nature; but the word of the Lord came to him and he was plainly told that before he was born God had planned his life (Jeremiah 1:5).
Moses’ life was a plan of God. He tried to change God’s plan, but finally when he made his full surrender, God’s plan worked out for him.
The apostle Paul’s life was planned by God, but Paul had other plans. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and a great opposer of God. But contrary to all his dreams, his ideas, and plans, when he surrendered his life to Christ, he had a new vision; and after a long life of service, he stood before a great king (Acts 26:19).
And there was the apostle Peter. God had a plan for his life also. Peter certainly made a great failure at first. But, later on, a great change came and he submitted to God’s plan (John 21:18, 19).
We are all stewards of God, but how many are failing to act that way! God has given “to every man his work, the work for which his capabilities adapt him, the work which will result in the greatest good to himself and to his fellow men, and in the greatest honor to God. Thus our business, our work, our calling, is a part of God’s great plan; and so as it is conducted in accordance with His will, He Himself is responsible for the results (1 Corinthians 3:9).
A Plan for Everyone
What about God’s plan for our lives? Have we tried to find out what it is? Have we been willing to follow it as God has led us step by step? Remember, we are responsible for all the talents God has loaned to us (1 Corinthians 12:8-11).
It is said that Michelangelo, the famous Italian sculptor, once stood staring straight ahead at a great block of marble. A friend approached and asked him what he was looking at. “An angel,” he said. He saw what the mallet, the chisel, and patient skill could do with that rejected stone. He set to work and produced a masterpiece.
So God sees possibilities in every human heart that is dedicated to Him. He sees how beautiful the life will be if His plan is carried out. Your work may be in one place, mine in another, but “to every man his work.”
When Gideon with his three hundred men won that tremendous victory over thousands of enemies, “Every man in his place” was his motto. Every man had a task assigned to him, and everything depended upon each man’s being loyal and true in his place.
When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, every man was to build a part of the wall next to his own house (Nehemiah 3). Verse after verse, verse after verse, telling us about folks who did the work right where they were.
Accepting God's Plan
How many of us will volunteer today to accept God’s plan? How many will say: “I am willing, Lord, to follow in Thy way wherever it may lead. Whatever Thy plan for my life may be, show it to me step by step. I do not ask to see the full plan to the end of the journey. Let me see it each day as duty comes, as opportunity comes, as privilege comes.” May God help each one of us to make that kind of consecration!
God is willing to reveal His plan for us, but there are two requirements if we would know what it is. First, there must be the sympathy of trust; and, secondly, the faithfulness of obedience. There must be sympathetic trust or we shall never have spiritual insight. God reveals Himself to the trustful, loving heart, and He makes His ways clear to those who obey Him.
Each of us, then has his work; and how important are those individual peculiarities which God has given to each of us for the accomplishment of that task! Our service to God is not a by-product of life; it is life itself. So, working and watching, happy will be the servant whom the Lord shall find so doing; that is, doing the work that is in God’s plan for him, not merely idly looking for Christ, but doing His will here and now, knowing that every man’s life is a plan of God.
Isn’t true that most of us use the adjective “holy” exclusively for the 10 percent tithe, and not for offerings? The word “holy” conveys the idea of sacred, set apart, and mandatory. As faithful Seventh-day Adventists, we are prone to respect and honor what is declared to be holy. Are offerings holy? Read more…