By Jerelyn Pearson


My daughter recently moved back home to Baton Rouge after 6½ years of living and working as far away as San Francisco, Isle of Man, and Macau. One of the many reasons I’m happy to have her here is because she loves to cook. She’s also developed an avid interest in nutrition. Since she returned home, we’ve been having some wonderful healthy meals. Providing healthy delicious meals requires planning. We have to find out what we need and make sure we have it on hand. We’ve tried some awesome recipes. These recipes tell use what ingredients to use and how to combine them. Once we have what we need, we can follow the procedures for preparing the meal. Each evening we’ve been sharing some delicious, nutritious mealtimes of fellowship as a family.

A recipe is basically a plan. A good recipe has been proven to work, perfected so that it can be used over and over and work every time.

God has a plan proven to work every time. His plan began at the beginning. He created the heaven and the earth as the Bible states in Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1:1:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

He made a place for us. He provided for us, for meeting our needs, before we had any needs, before we even existed. He placed us in this environment which he created, a safe place, where we would be protected: his garden, the Garden of Eden.

He had a plan, a plan based on personal relationship with him and his Son Jesus Christ. His plan for our personal relationship with him and his Christ began at the beginning.

John 1:1, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

That Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us was with God in the beginning. God had a plan for each of us from the beginning too, before the foundation of the world. In John 17:24, Jesus said:

John 17:24:
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Jesus was part of God’s plan from the beginning and so were we.

Ephesians 1:4:
... he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

If each of us was a part of God’s plan before the foundation of the world, then he’s been patiently waiting for a long time. God desires a relationship with us now, with you and with me. One reason he created us was for fellowship. He desires fellowship with us and wants us to choose to fellowship with Him. He could force us to do His will. We could be like robots, totally controlled and totally submitted to his will. He could turn us on and off; He could program us to do tasks at his will and command. But how meaningful would this be to God? What is more meaningful to you? Receiving attention from your family members or friends by demanding it? Or receiving attention that is freely given without having to even ask for it? This is what God wants. He wants us to choose to spend time with him. He gives us the opportunity to choose his way. We can choose to spend time with him, or not.

God wants us to choose to respond to his love. Even though he doesn’t force us to respond to him, he does encourage us. He doesn’t just sit back and wait for us to come to him. He actively pursues us. He protects us. He provides for us. He has a purpose for us.

God has a plan for mankind/womankind and he has a plan for you and for me. He’s all about the big picture and he’s all about each tiny detail. His master plan includes the defeat of his enemy and the salvation or rescue of all those who will believe and trust him.

There are benefits and consequences of our relationship with God. We have a relationship with God one way or the other. It is either to be in fellowship with him or not to be in fellowship with him. The type of relationship is our choice. His desire is that we accept his freely given gift of salvation ... by faith, ... believing in his only begotten Son Jesus Christ ... and receiving him as Lord and Savior, ... allowing him to be the authority to whom we willingly submit ... and on whom we depend for guidance and council.

John 14:6:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Once we accept God’s gift of a personal relationship with him through his Son Jesus Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and begin to grow as Christians. We begin to learn how to submit our will to God’s will. In order to do that we have to know what God’s will is. As I said before, he is all about the big picture and all about the details. He has a big plan for mankind/womankind and an individual plan for each of us. We each have an individual role to play in his master plan. There’s a recipe for each of us to follow. So how do we know? It’s really simple. We ask.

Matthew 7:7:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Ask, Seek, Knock! A-S-K! So how do we go about asking, seeking, and knocking? We begin to study his Word, the Bible; and we talk to him, or pray. Prayer is having a conversation with God. Most of us are good at having conversations. We love to communicate with each other. We have lots of methods. Face to face conversation, telephones, answering machines, e-mails, instant messages, text messages, etc. The opportunities are endless. Communication with God doesn’t require any special apparatus. He doesn’t put us on hold. He doesn’t have an automated system for us to wade through to reach the appropriate department. We never have to leave a message. He’s always online. He’s always available. As we grow as Christians we learn that this communication is not just one way communication. We learn to hear his voice and receive answers and guidance. We learn to trust him. We learn the value of seeking his guidance and waiting for his response. We learn to recognize his voice.

John 10:27:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

One of the biggest deterrents for Christians that keeps us from following God’s plan for us is taking things into our own hands even after we’ve asked for his direction. We are so impatient. We live in a culture that is action oriented and values self reliance and independence. But we are all dependent on something. What we depend on, we trust. It may be a relationship, our family, our job. It could be some form of financial security like savings, insurance policies, or retirement plans. It could be reliance on our intellectual ability, education, desire for adventure, etc. Many things in our lives give us a sense of security and fulfillment. But none of these is reliable or lasting. In our haste to find fulfillment in our lives we look in all the wrong places. The things I’ve mentioned are not bad things, unless they become the most important things in our lives.

Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Our vision is so limited and we are so short sighted that we can’t possibly know what’s best without seeking God’s plan. His plan is for eternity. Left to our own imaginations, we don’t look past the moment. Even the best retirement plan is only a moment in light of eternity. Our life is a vapour.

James 4:14:
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

God’s plan began at the beginning and it is true to the end: not only the beginning and end of each individual life on earth, but for eternity. Only He can provide the ingredients and reveal the procedures for preparing the recipe he has planned for each of us. It is up to each of us to follow his recipe which is tried, proven, and perfect, looking forward to the banquet he has prepared for us.



From the May 2006 issue of The Vine & Branches