“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.”
Ephesians 3:1-7, NIV
This is a good time to be plotting a course or determining direction. Most of us are highly motivated at this time of year to make plans and to move in new directions. Rather than resolutions, I prefer to think of them as reorientations. It is a reorienting of our plans to once again come in line with the will of God for our lives. If we have gotten lost it is an opportunity to unfold the map and set our course again on the right road.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, NIV) That truth is very much like today’s text. Our plans are made in a heart that is transformed by the Spirit of God. Presumably those plans are the product of the Spirit’s leading. The steps are taken in keeping with God’s desire and His providence. You make the plans, He leads the way.
Paul shares his testimony here by saying that the work he does as a servant of the Gospel, is a gift of God’s grace. The desire planted in him to serve the cause of the Gospel was put there by the “grace gift” of God. Whenever he uses that kind of language we know Paul is referring to the Holy Spirit. Now that he knows what to do, all that is left is for Paul to be obedient to the work of the Spirit and follow God’s plan for his life, that is to preach the Gospel.
What can be learned from this? First, the direction of your life is something that is already in the mind of God and it is designed to bring Him glory and give you fulfillment. Secondly, the direction of your life is directly related to the gifts and desires God has put in your heart by the activity of the Holy Spirit in you. And finally, the determination of the steps on your journey is God’s and it is His power that works to lead you to your destination.
QUESTION: What course corrections do you need to make today? Have you made God the center of that process?