Update 08/31/09: See a related article here.
I hear a lot of people speak about things that happen “by coincidence.” Personally, I do not accept anything as being coincidental. Instead, I believe that it is God’s providence that brings unrelated events into our experience.
Inherent in my understanding of God is that He has a plan. (See my comments from Jan 12th here.) The plan is not always clear to us but that does not mean that there is no plan.
God’s plan is intended for mankind in general, for nations, communities, churches but it also includes His specific plan for individuals – even a plan for me. He intends for me not just to survive in my environment, He has planned for me to thrive in it.
I previously wrote about God’s actions concerning His creation. I created the acronym ACBA to describe four primary attributes of God (God is: Aware, Cares, wants our Best, & is Able to make it happen). (The entire article is found here: http://chiefshepherd.com/2008/01/acba-is-all-about-god/) If that is true (and I obviously believe that it is), then the word “coincidence” is inappropriate to describe any of the events in our lives. Instead, God CARES & wants the BEST for His children. He must have a plan for all of that.
(You might also enjoy reading a similar article that Mark Wilson posted on his blog, at http://achristian.wordpress.com/2006/06/15/god-has-a-plan-to-prosper-you-but-read-the-details/)
In the book of Hosea, God’s plan for Israel is recorded. Some theologians refuse to accept a secondary application to a promise or prophecy when it is clearly meant for Israel. Nor do I try to force myself into every (positive) prophecy or promise. But I believe that God sometimes says (in effect) to us, “See what I had in mind for Israel? I have the same thing in mind for you.” That is what I believe God told me about His plan for my local congregation. In Hosea chapter 14 God offered hope if Israel would repent. Not only could the nation (& my congregation) be reconciled to God, He promised that they (and we) would become both fruitful & explosive in growth.
Could this prophecy apply to other congregations or individuals as well? If you would like to check out my sermon notes, you can download the MS Word .DOC file here.
Post your comments (agree or disagree) below…