“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 APMC)
There are a number of people that the Lord wants us to pray for. At times they ask us to pray for them, but more often than not, it is He Who prompts us with His love and compassion over them that it behooves us to put them in our daily prayer list.
We may be unaware of His specific plans and purposes, but when someone’s face oftentimes surfaces in our thoughts unintentionally, there must be something He is planning for that beloved of His that needs to be manifested and He needs someone who is willing and passionate to partner with Him. After all, we are His co-laborers in the earth. We are His hands, His feet, His mouthpieces, His salt and light, His agents of change for someone’s life.
His Word says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1), but at the same time He said, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s;
But the earth He has given to the children of men.” (Psalm 115:16)
We may think that as a contradiction, but the Lord never changes His mind. His Word always interprets His Word. As we go deeper and deeper into studying and meditating His Word, He opens our eyes to new insights from faith to faith, from glory to glory. His revelation is progressive that a new one is built upon the previous. He longs for no one to perish and for every one to have eternal life, but you and I have a significant part to play and that is to share the GOOD NEWS and PRAY with confidence, power and authority that He has delegated to us, to subdue the earth and take dominion. We just need to keep in mind that it is not by our might nor by our power, but by His Spirit, this it is possible and doable.
Genesis 1:26 says, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The original plan of God for us is to be like Him in His image and likeness with power and dominion over the earth. But this plan of us, being created just as He is, was thwarted when Adam and Eve heeded the lie of the enemy in the Garden of Eden.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4)
Instead of already bearing a heavenly identity of being like Him upon creation, they submitted to such lie and were deceived that only when they eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they will be like Him. With this act of disobedience through one man, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12).
For more than a decade now, the Lord put a particular person in my heart to pray for. Consistently and diligently his name is one of those on my top priority. When I asked the Lord for a Word that I could stand on in which by faith will be my assurance and title deed that there will be a turnaround in his life, He gave me Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Every time I declare this over him for the past years, the emphasis was always in “For I know ..”. What the Lord knows with regards to his entire life, only HE KNOWS. But the very thing that sets my heart to be still and thankful each time is that our God is faithful to fulfill what He has promised and surely He will make it good.
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
Many of us are fearful of what our future holds. Hmmmm … the uncertainties in life make us anxious most especially when our focus is on what is going on around us. But we need to be certain in our hearts by faith that He Who holds our future loves us deeply, cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully (1 Peter 5:7 AMPC). It is His great love for us that casts out all our fears away.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” (1 John 4:18 AMPC)
“The Lord our God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I have read one of the write-ups about the number of “FEAR NOT” in the Bible and guess how many are they? 365!!! That means, the Lord is reminding us everyday to say NO TO FEAR! But this is only attainable when we come to know how loved we are of and by Him.
One of the ways to do this is to know the TRUTH in His Word that sets us free. Be encouraged to keep hearing and hearing the Word of God, THE GOOD NEWS, for this is where our faith is built upon. The more good news we hear, the more good things we see. The more bad news we hear, the more bad things we see. We need to feed our faith for we live because He speaks to us through His Word. When He does, everything else grow dim in the light of His Word revealed to us.
These past few months, the Lord opened my eyes to the next few lines of Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Yes, only He knows the specificity of His plans for him, but one thing He made me see is this … that all along, before the foundation of time, He already had the plan of REDEMPTION for all mankind in mind. He already knew how He would save us and restore us from our fallen nature due to the sin caused by disobendience in the garden and into the heavenly identity that He originally intended us to have and to be. For if by the one man’s (Adam) offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” (Romans 5:15). It was Jesus Christ’s obedience to the Father because of love that freed us all and made us partakers of His divine nature, opening the door for us to become like Him once again.
“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” (John 3:16 AMPC)
HOW GREATLY HE LOVED US and how He fully demonstrated it when He sent His only Begotten and Beloved Son to save, redeem and restore us. Therefore, the certainty of a changed life is concretely based on His great love for you and me through the finished work of Jesus Christ Who redeemed us.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)
You see, when we believe and receive Jesus Christ in our hearts as Lord and Savior, He opens our eyes to see the Kingdom of God. His Word says, unless one is born again, born of God, born of the Spirit through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are blinded to this truth (John 3:3). We will not see and experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. But if we do believe in Him, we will be like the blind man from birth who after His powerful unexplainable divine encounter with Jesus said, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see. (John 9:25) What a changed life indeed!
Our salvation is the beginning of our NEW LIFE with new and living ways. “God is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.” (Ephesians 1:7) Once freed from sin and we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, righteous deeds follow. This is where an onset of a changed life becomes evident.
To change our lives in and of our own ability is an impossibility. We may try to do it and see a little effect here and there in our actions, but sustainability is an unfeasibility. We need the grace of God, His divine empowerment that comes from knowing our divine identity deep within. Knowing who we are in Him flows freely by the way we live.
In Christ alone, cleansed by the power of His precious blood, we are made holy and blameless. He set us apart and called us to be the temples of the Holy Spirit Who nevers dwell in a vessel that is not made holy. Holiness, being set apart for His use, is never by our own doings. It is all by grace through faith. It is through our identity of being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus where righteous deeds flow from as fruit born effortlessly. It is God’s doing from our INSIDE-OUT.
“For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” (Colossians 1:19-22 NLT)
Our intellect can only go so far, but His Word revealed to us can be believed, received only BY FAITH in our hearts and eventually we will experientially walk in it, empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us.
What we actually need to realize is the simplicity of this good news, which we may think as TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE! In truth, it is indeed TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE because we cannot do anything to earn it by our own works and effort. It is truly undeserved, unearned and unmerited. It is ALL BY THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH FAITH.
Our changed lives that demonstrate our heavenly identity are the outcome of the finished work of Jesus Christ. His resurrection power is resident in us in the presence of the Holy Spirit that bears witness that we are His sons and daughters. He makes known to us that we are the object of His affection and attention. He intercedes for us that God’s will be done and that our faith will not fail. His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect for our weakness. It is He Who enables us to think like Him, talk like Him and walk like Him just as He originally intended us to be, JUST LIKE JESUS.
THIS IS GOD’S PLAN!
Back to the one who I am fervently praying for, with this in mind, I am undoubtedly certain that what the Lord our God has promised, He will fulfill and make it good. What He has started, He is well able to finish it. He is the Alpha and the Omega, then Beginning and the End. “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight” (Philippians 2:16 AMPC).
The Lord already did this to the other sibling and now for him is just a matter of time. With patience and long suffering with ALL JOY, I keep seeding and speaking His spoken Word with praise and thanksgiving for His word is incorruptible. His Words are spirit and life that know no bounds, never limited to time and space, and are NEVER VOID OF POWER. And they shall COME TO PASS, just as He promised.
Never diminish the power of prayer for someone when He leads us to, for the prayer of the righteous avails much. It makes tremendous power available and dynamic in its working. God chose you and I to speak words of life to His chosen beloveds whom He wants to come home to His loving embrace and build an intimate relationship with Him where all fruitfulness flow. I am sure many of us have already seen His faithfulness displayed with our answered prayers. The secret is, we do not quit believing and praying, for God our Father is more than willing to change the lives to the fullest of those with yielded hearts than us believing for it.
He sent us His Word to heal us and deliver us from all destruction (Psalm 107:20). His Word washes us. His Word strengthens us. His Word encourages us. His Word can do what it is intended to do and not a tittle nor a dot shall fall to the ground without it being accomplished.
This is the very reason why it is of utmost vitality to know the authenticity of our UNSHAKABLE heavenly identity written and revealed in His Word for us, Who He is to us, who we are in His eyes and what He has powerfully done to redeem us from the fall, otherwise, the voices of this world will define us. If those definitions are not in line with His word, then we posture ourselves to an identity that is shakable. When it’s shaken, our lives go the same way.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)
IN CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK WE STAND! ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your good and great plans for us and You made it possible and attainable when You sent Your only Beloved and Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, thank You for obeying fully even to the point of death for the joy that was set before You, seeing all of us come to know you intimately and know who we are in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, so greatly loved and cared for. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for always leading us into ALL TRUTH that sets us free and enabling us to walk in this freedom that whom the Son has set free, we are free indeed. Thank You for gracing us to become like Jesus. Amen!.
Photo Credits: Maricel Quianzon