August 28, 2019 –
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
There are three spiritual plans: The Plan of Salvation is God’s plan to redeem humanity. It shows how people become saved. God’s Master Spiritual Plan is the non-negotiable spiritual plan for all Christians. It shows how a person can walk with God. The third plan is a Personal Spiritual Plan that God develops in partnership with each Believer. It is customized and based on the gifts of individual believers and is the guide to spiritual growth.
God’s designed these three spiritual plans so we cannot do any of them on our own. In the Plan of Salvation, a person acknowledges Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Then God, acting through Jesus Christ, accepts him or her into Spiritual Paradigm II. Both the Plan of Salvation and God’s Master Plan shows what God does and what we must do to carry out His plan.
The Personal Spiritual Plan is different. It is not as straightforward as the other two plans. Because it’s personal, it’s unique. Because of its uniqueness, the Personal Spiritual Plan is tailored to you, your gifts, and your strengths. First, attempts at developing a Personal Spiritual Plan may prove difficult. Often you struggle in the early drafts. But like Jacob, hold on, stay the course, and the sun will rise, and you will receive God’s plan for your life. Your plan may have begun with what you wanted, but it finds a happy ending with what God wants for you.
The Believer’s two spiritual plans— Master Spiritual Plan and Personal Spiritual Plan— is like an organization having an overall master plan for the organization and each division, department, or branch having their plan. The key is that the sub-plan—the Personal Spiritual Plan— must support the Master Spiritual Plan.
The book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament illustrates how a master plan is broken down into personal plans that support the goals of the master plan. Upon his return from Persia, Nehemiah’s master plan was to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. His strategy was to use families working together to build their local section of the wall. As each family executed their plan, they helped achieve the master plan in only 52 days with the aid of the Lord, and because the people had a mind to work.
Christians must remind themselves of the critical distinction between God’s Master Spiritual Plan and the Personal Spiritual Plan; between what is non-negotiable and what is negotiable.
In non-negotiable spiritual matters, God deals with all Believers on the same basis. Non-negotiable spiritual things deal with how we relate to God and our neighbor. Personal spiritual planning deals with negotiable actions customized for each Believer. Negotiable activities can vary by the individual based on different gifts, abilities, and circumstances.