Updated: May 4
By now, I hope you know God has an epic plan that He initiated before He created the world. Yet even while knowing God has a plan, it can be easy to miss it in the tedium of day-to-day living.
Philip Yancy describes watching interviews with survivors of World War II. Each soldier told about a particular day they experienced.
[Image: US Army, Public Domain]
One sat in a foxhole all day; once or twice, a German tank drove by, and he shot at it. Others played cards and frittered away the time. A few got involved in furious firefights. Mostly, the day passed like any other day for an infantryman on the front. Later, they learned they had just participated in one of the largest, most decisive engagements of the war, the Battle of the Bulge. It did not feel decisive to any of them at the time, because none had the big picture of what was happening elsewhere.
How can we keep “the big picture” in mind while we journey through everyday life?
Know and follow God’s plan.
For years I have tried to follow Christ each day. One fact that has kept me going in spite of fatigue, burnout, and discouragement is that I am a part of the epic plan of God to redeem the world. But being a part of His plan is not unique to me. I have explained in previous posts that God has invited everyone to be part of His plan.
The center of the plan of God is the gospel, the good news. The shocking facts of the gospel became real and urgent for me when I was only 13 years old. I had heard about God sending His Son into the world. I knew He came to reveal His love for mankind and to die as a sinless sacrifice for our sins. I had been taught the facts about His resurrection. But on a particular day in 1971 this message became personal.
The center of the plan of God is the gospel, the good news.
Suddenly, the good news of the gospel was not simply a story I had heard; it became an urgent message of truth to which I had to respond. At first, it did not seem like “good news” to me. The truth of the gospel was like hearing an alarm. I realized that I was in serious trouble with God.
I realized that I was born a sinner and had chosen to sin, and my sin had offended Almighty holy God. I knew because of my sin there was a separation between God and me. Although I couldn’t begin to grasp all that this entailed, I knew enough to realize I was in an awful place.
At this point, the good news was realizing my need.
I was desperate, but I had hope. I believed that if I cried out to Him for forgiveness, He would not only forgive me, but He would give me eternal life and allow me to live with Him forever.
When I prayed and cried out to him with the desperation of a man needing to be rescued from drowning, I immediately knew there was a difference! I knew my sin and guilt had separated me from God, but after praying for God to forgive me I suddenly realized the separation was gone. I did not see or hear anything, but the clear impression I got was that the Lord had his arms wide open and saying, “It’s all right now!”
I had begun to understand God’s plan and I believed it to the point of acting on it. This is why I say if someone truly believes the gospel, nothing can stop them from running to God for mercy.
In my series of posts entitled, “God Has a Plan,” I reiterate the crucial fact that His plan begins with the gospel. This is the essence of God’s plan and it really is good news!
There is more to know about God’s plan, but there is nothing more important than the gospel. Or to put it another way, without believing the gospel, there is no plan.
Without believing the gospel, there is no plan.
Before I attempt to highlight the amazing facts about the Bible and discuss a few of the highlights of God’s plan in the Bible, it is essential that you believe the Gospel and here’s why:
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
The Bible has been described as a love letter from God to man. Before one can begin to explore the many wonders of the Bible, he or she must surrender to the Author of it.
I could use the analogy of a great spring of water that is shallow in some places and unsearchable in others. Many passages in the Bible are simple enough that a child could wade in and benefit from them. Other places in Scripture are so profound that deep water divers could explore without reaching the bottom.
The brightest scholars in the world will miss God’s Divine revelation within the Bible until they come to know its Author. And even those theologians who know Christ will find passages that require additional prayer and study.
Peter was referring to this when he wrote:
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction (2 Pe 3:15–16).
God wants you to know His plan, but first, you must come to know Him. Knowing Christ is possible when you believe the gospel. Like myself, when you realize the gospel is true and urgent, you will repent and trust Christ as your Savior.
In the previous posts in this series,
We have already seen that God has a plan and you’re in it
And we know that God’s plan is always better than ours
We saw that God has a plan even when life doesn't make sense
Now, this post reminds us that His plan is revealed in the Bible, and to know His plan, we must know Him
Lord-willing, I hope to say more about God’s plan and the Bible next time. Until then, there are a few things that I urge you to do so you can begin to get the big picture of His plan:
Believe the gospel and surrender to Christ
Be sure to prayerfully and patiently read the Bible each day
Gather for worship with other believers this Sunday
Next time, I hope to describe some of the wonderful things about the Bible and how God has revealed His plan in it.
Until then, if you have questions about the gospel or if you have believed it and now know the grace and forgiveness in Jesus, I would love to hear from you!
Grace and peace,
 Philip Yancey, "Reaching For the Invisible God," Christianity Today, September 4, 2000.
 The gospel may be summarized as the message that God loves mankind, but our sin has separated us from Him, yet because His sinless Son suffered, died, and rose from the dead, He is able to forgive anyone who believes and sincerely turns to Him in repentance.
 Repentance means a change of mind that results in a change of life.