Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
TITLE: God's Got a Plan
By Dr. Sharon Schuetz
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"Bang, bang! You're dead!" As children, we’ve all played war. Whether they were swords or guns, our weapons were merely the creation of our young imaginations. In the end, it mattered little who won or lost. Usually, the one who yelled the loudest had the victory in our backyard-battlefield.
Life's battles aren’t like the games we played as children. The weapons aren’t imaginary and more than the one with the loudest lungs determines the victory. There are much greater stakes at the end of our war than those in our childhood games.
Our war began long ago. Satan deceived one third of the angels into rebelling against God and his government. God evicted them from heaven. He could never allow anything unholy to remain. To do so would destroy the sinless, beauty of His kingdom.
Earth was the perfect place to confine these malefactors. God could have simply annihilated the rebel who had loosened so much evil with his pride and lust for power. He could have vaporized these evil angels with a mere thought. God, however, had a plan, to avoid future uprisings of rebellion in His kingdom, and show the watching hosts the true nature of sin. He chose to deal with it here and prevent future uprisings and a repeated cycle of rebellion and death throughout eternity.
What better way to end all possible traces of sin than to plant a beautiful garden on this little planet, Earth? God created man and placed him there. He was dependent on God for everything. Yet, he could also choose to obey God or not. Although he didn’t realize the spiritual results, God gave him two choices.
If Adam had obeyed God, he would have won the privilege of drawing all of his energies, drives, and desires from God's Spirit and have heaven on earth. Because he disobeyed, however, man's nature was taken captive by Satan. When the first Adam yielded to his desires and lust he destined all of his descendants to bondage to the elements of this world.
We perceive the world through our five senses. We see, taste, smell, feel, and hear our world. This is because we became alive to the world through the flesh and lusts and drives there. Adam’s disobediencee disconnected us from God, joining us to the elements of the world. Like a lamp cord, Adam plugged us in to a dead outlet. Before the fall, man communed with God because he was alive to Him, When sin entered, however, he died to God, becoming alive to the world.
God knew that Adam would fall dooming future generations to bondage to our lower nature. This did not catch Him off guard. God already had a plan. Jesus, the Son of God took up a temporary residence here. He was born of a virgin, and lived a life of sinless perfection.
As the Second Adam, He died to sin. Through rejection, deprivation, persecution, and many other dealings with sinful man, sin continually tempted Him. On the cross, He died completely to sin’s power. Jesus redeemed mankind in this selfless act of love and made a way for fallen man to come alive again unto God, as he died out to the world.
God has used sin for thousands of years to prove Himself through the lives of men. In Moses, He prepared a nation to lead an obedient people to victory. He brought Jesus into the world through this special nation. In Joseph, He taught that faithful obedience, even in unjust circumstances, will lead to victory. In David, we see that God longs for His chidren’s repentant hearts to cry out to Him for forgiveness and victory over sin.
Sin must run its appointed course. Like a river, begins small, grows in size and speed, as it rushes to its final destination, sin began in one heart, but eternity will reveal the final results of its devastation and tragedy.
As we live unto God, we can live an obedient life in the power of His resurrection. The life of Jesus: His victorious, triumphant, and overcoming life is in each of us. As we die to sin and self, we become alive unto God. This gives us victory over any battle that we must fight. It is a fight to the finish, and the stakes are high: eternal life, or eternal separation from God. Thanks to Jesus, we can have victory in this most important battle: Life!
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