Have you ever seen a movie with a twist ending? Typically, this is a plot change that leaves the audience with their jaws on the floor trying to quickly put together all of the pieces of the film that point to this twist. What’s even more fun is watching a movie in which you already know the twist ending. Good directors are extremely intentional about each scene so that when you do eventually rewatch their film, you can see how the plot twist makes complete sense. The way the characters interact, the language they use, and the setting in which each scene takes place all point to that plot twist.
When you rewatch the movie, you notice all of these specific details, which makes the movie even more incredible. When we know what the twist is before the start of the movie, we watch the movie with an entirely different posture. Similar to how we might watch an old sporting event knowing the outcome ahead of time, which makes each play more vital to the game.
Eric Williams, Senior Director of Communications, spoke about this idea this past weekend. He then connected it to who God is and argued that when we realize who God is, it changes everything about our lives. Specifically, he talked about God’s intentionality. More so than even the best directors, God is very intentional with everything in his production – human history. Everything from the fact that you exist, to the country and time in which you live, the parents to whom you were born, the job you hold, etc., was all – in a sense – designed by God.
This week, we are going to really look at what God’s intentionality means for our lives. Today, however, we are going to focus on one thing, which is that once we become followers of Christ, we participate in God’s intentionality. After we give our lives to Jesus, we live God-intentioned lives and thus experience the joy he has for us.
Our passage for today comes from 1 Corinthians 12:2, in which Paul writes, “You know that when you were still pagans, you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.”
It’s a short passage, yes, but one packed with meaning for us.
“When you were still pagans…”
Here, Paul is referring to our lives before following Jesus. All of us – no matter our background – were pagans before salvation in Christ. We were pagans in the sense that we worshiped anything other than God.
Next, he writes, “you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols.”
This is not the life God wants for us. He does not want us to be “led astray” or to worship false gods. But, that’s the life we had led before we were following Jesus. This life is not the life God intends for us. Instead, God wants us to live lives that are in step with his well-intentioned, perfect plan. When we don’t, we are simply being “led astray” and “swept along” with the rest of the world.
Instead, God has a plan. He always has and always will. It doesn’t mean, however, that we are always living in-step with his plan. Indeed, before we were followers of Christ, we weren’t living in God’s plan.
Now that we are Christ-followers, we can choose daily to realize that God is intentional, and discover that we have a unique purpose in his plan.
Each day, we can choose to live out that unique purpose – God’s intention – or not. This is an act of submission of our will to his and accomplished only by the power of the Holy Spirit. With God’s help, we can live how he intended us to live. It just takes a yielding to the Holy Spirit and a willingness to live out the unique purpose he’s given us.
What was your life like before walking with Christ?
In what ways are you living out your unique purpose today?
In what areas do you struggle to live a life surrendered to God’s plan?
What can you do today to help you live out God’s plan for your life?
God, thank you so much for your love, your mercy, and your plan for my life. I cannot follow you without your help. I ask that you would guide me and lead me to live a life that is in-step with your calling – your intention. I know that with the power of the Holy Spirit, this is possible. I ask all this in his power and by the name of Jesus, Amen.
This post was written by Andy Rectenwald. Andy is the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study. He has a passion for bringing the Bible to life for people, for Christian Apologetics, and for the Cleveland Indians. He is married with two young children. You can follow him on twitter @andyrectenwald.
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