Some clients come in who are mad at God. They’ve received prophetic words, or assurances in their spirit, about what God was going to do, and they’ve not been fulfilled. They’ve believed teachings that tell them God’s plan will always be accomplished, and their faith takes a beating as life events unfold in a different direction.
Is that you?
I find that many need a better understanding of God’s sovereignty and the interaction with our free will. The Lord’s plan comprises two significant aspects: that which He has determined will happen and what he desires to happen.
God’s determined (or sovereign) will is certain. It will happen. He makes plans for the world, nations, and for us. It is inevitable and unpredictable apart from what He’s revealed in the Bible. For example, God promised never to destroy man again because of a flood (Gen. 9:11). That is a sovereign promise.
His desired (or permissive) will is where we live each day of our lives. We have an opportunity to make choices to advance in our calling as we obey Him. We can know His will in certain areas while experiencing life. These are conditional promises and the onus on us to do our part. Conditional promises in Scripture, as in life, are often couched in the “if” word.
“If (emphasis added) my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then (emphasis added) I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron 7:1 NIV).
God spoke to Moses:
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if (emphasis added) you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if (emphasis added) you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” (Deut 11:26-28)”
The are many conditional promises in the New Testament also, so it’s not just pre-Christ theology. Here’s a popular example”
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5 NIV)
God is fully invested in His plan for us, and the vital response for us is to seek Him and have a desire to do His will. If we obey, He will show us what to do, and we can attain the promises.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt 7:7-8 NIV).
If we get it wrong, God will never leave us (Heb 13:5), and He will work all things, even our sins and mistakes, together for good (Romans 8:28). Maybe it will be towards fulfilling the prophetic word or leading us in a different direction.
Conditional Promises from God
A friend of mine had several prophetic confirmations over His life about developing a ministry in South Africa. It sounded like a sure thing and he, and others, had no doubt that God was in this. He was excited about what the Lord had “promised” to do. Unfortunately, he had personal issues that led him into excessive drinking, and, at age 56, he died on his kitchen floor during a drunken stupor.
The promise was accurate and from God, but was conditional. Tom did not co-operate with God and put himself in a position to be blessed and have the call fulfilled.
The demonic realm also knows about God’s plan for a person’s life if the specifics have been spoken out or written down. They will diligently work to derail what’s ahead, and this is where our permissive will activates.
Are you doubting God’s promises or prophetic words over your life? The word needs to be accurate, but sometimes it’s a timing issue. We can become impatient while He is maturing us in the waiting by letting us go through trials and tests of faith.
Are you praying for a loved one who has strayed from the Lord or not received Jesus as their behavior? Have you been diligent and fervent in prayer and not seen results?
Persevere and and Doubt Not
My only counsel is to persevere and not doubt. We can do that in more significant measure if we know the character, heart, and sovereign promises of God. He is good, wants all to be saved and healed, and will never give up pursuing us. Do you want peace amid storms in your life? Consider this quote from Bill Johnson:
“To have a peace that surpasses all understanding, you have to give up your right to understand.”
In conclusion, most of God’s plans for our lives are conditional, and can be derailed because of disobedience and failure to align ourselves with where He is leading.
Need professional help to sort through some life disappointments? I urge you to seek it out.