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Following God’s Patterns for Great Plans

God has a plan. It is a good plan, and He is passionate about fulfilling it.

In Ephesians 1, the apostle Paul references the plan that God has purposed and is working diligently to complete. Namely, to work “out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (v.11). In other words, God is only concerned about those things that fit into His plan for Jesus to be recognized as Savior and Lord. God’s ultimate plan is revealed when Paul writes that fulfillment of the plan is “to bring unity to all things in heaven and earth under Christ” (v. 9).

Both businesses and churches make plans for the future. It is important to note a few important aspects of God’s perfect plan and see how to build our own better, more successful plans.

1.  It has been put together with “wisdom and understanding” (v. 8).  

God uses wisdom to develop His plans and understanding to implement them. “With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure.” His plans are not put together haphazardly or loosely. Instead, they are thoughtful and carefully crafted to bring about His purpose and His ultimate solutions.

2.  God’s plan has times and places that are essential to its completion (v. 10).

God’s knowledge and wisdom lead Him to know the best times to move the world forward to complete His ultimate plan. God has perfect timing, and the kingdom leader can always trust His timing.  In verse 10, Paul writes that God’s plan was “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment.” Specific times and places are always essential to effective plans.

3.  God’s plan has a purpose (v. 10).   

Paul continues his thought in verse 10: “…to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” God works all things together to complete the plan of bringing people under the authority of Christ. A  plan with a purpose is a pathway to posterity. A plan without a purpose is a pull toward perplexity. The steward leader must not be content only to develop a plan, but must focus on the purpose behind the plan. The leader must be clear about what the plan is designed to accomplish.

4.  God’s plan includes us (v. 11).

Verse 11 is powerful; Paul includes the reader—namely, the believer—in the plan. Paul states that “in [Him] we were also chosen.” The believer and Christian leader is included in the plan that God Himself has created and is continuing to work to bring to completion. God has purposed each believer with gifts and abilities to be used at the right time for the ultimate purpose of helping Him complete His plan of bringing all things into the recognition that Christ is worthy of praise.

The steward leader must trust God’s plan and work with diligence to follow it. Germany Kent, the author of The Hope Handbook for Christians, challenges the Christian leader to trust in the plan of God when she writes: “The only way you’re going to reach places you’ve never gone is if you trust God’s direction to do things you’ve never done.”

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