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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « God Has a Special Plan for Your Life (Part 2 of 2) | Why I Love Atheists »
    Wednesday
    Mar282012

    God Has a Special Plan for Your Life (Part 1 of 2)

    “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

    But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C.S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity”)

     

    “God has a special plan for your life” may well be one of the most destructive catch-phrases in modern Christianity. Like most very damaging and popular ideas, it takes root because it has some truth.

     

    It is true God has a special plan for each of us. It is true He sometimes reveals that plan (or parts of it) long before it ever comes to fruition. What isn’t true is that our “dreams”/goals/plans necessarily line up with God’s. Neither does God depend on us to get there “for Him” or on our own.

     

    We are not called to be different for the sake of being different (we are called to “be holy as God is holy”, 1 Peter 1:16), nor has God necessarily called us into “greatness”, especially as people judge “greatness”.

     

    We are not called to draw undo attention to ourselves through ascetic measures (extreme or unusual self-sacrifice), mysticism, or proclaiming our good works to any and all who will listen,

    “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’” Luke 18:10-12.

     

    “Purpose driven”. You will not find this phrase in scripture. The very word implies we must do something (anything) so our lives won’t be in vain, so God’s plan won’t be wasted. What this is really saying is God needs us for His purposes to be fulfilled (which is arrogant at best).

     

    God’s purposes are not made or broken by people (Thank God!). This in fact, is a pagan idea. We have no power over God. He can work through us, but He is neither obligated nor bound to.

     

    In doing a Google search for “God has a plan for your life”, I came across a blog post by Rick Warren. I though he gave good advice at first, but lost it at the end when he encouraged people to learn God’s will through a subjective self-examination (SHAPE), instead of simple prayer and reading God’s word. Below is the brief post with my comments.

     

    God Has a Plan for Your Life (http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/index.html?contentid=7034) by Rick Warren

     “[A]nd let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1c (NLT)

    (I must interject for the sake of clarification. Paul is referring to a marathon-type race, not a hundred-yard dash.)

     

    I’ve said many times that God has a plan for your life. But what I want to emphasize is that his plan, which Paul describes as a race in today’s verse, is custom-designed for you and you alone.

    You are supposed to run the race God has set for you. Not the race you set for yourself, not the race other people set for you, and not the race culture sets for you. You only run the race God has set for you. If you try to run any other course, you are going to fail and get discouraged.

    The reason why so many people are discouraged today is that they are trying to please other people. Living for the approval of others is a weight that holds you back. You need to stop!


    I actually agree with Warren up to this point. The next few lines are where he loses it.

     

    How do you know what is the race God wants you to run? Look at your SHAPE. Your SHAPE is your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experiences. What are you gifted to do? What do you love? What are your abilities? What is your personality? What are your experiences?


    “SHAPE” is not in the Bible. I am unaware of a Biblical example featuring someone who discerns God’s will this way. What we think or are gifted in, may have little to do with God’s calling, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8. What is painfully lacking in this “shapely” advice is holy/righteous living, Bible reading, and prayer to discern God’s will.

     

    God doesn’t want rabbits to fly and eagles to swim. They are shaped to do what they are supposed to do, and you are shaped to do what God wants you to do.

     

    Huh? This is circular logic, and is unhelpful and confusing.

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