Updated: Mar 18, 2021
The Beginning, Part 2
Galatians 4:1-7 (NKJV)
I must confess that when I felt like I should explore the character of God through the lens of the Apostle Paul in Galatians, I had initially planned to simply ‘hit the highlights’. I’ve since discovered that God has other plans. I shouldn’t be surprised. I have often made plans only to find that God has a greater purpose. “The best laid plans of mice and men” seems to often be my mantra.
For example, when I was a teenager I had my life all planned our. I was very independent and I decided I should go to college, have a career that included organizing and public speaking, and I should stay single.
God had another plan. I went to college for two years, married when I was 20, and had three children by the time I was 26. I married a fellow who was majoring in Religion. By the time I was 30 years old I had four children and I was a Pastor’s wife. WOW. I did not see that coming.
The children of Israel had plans from the beginning that included receiving the seed of Abraham, having children to pass the promise to, and serving God in a land God chosen for them. They wanted to be heirs of the blessings and riches that God promised.
God wanted (wants) that as well, but in the interim His plan had just a few detours along the way.
We learned from Galatians 3:24-25 that the Law was our guardian who would protect us for an appointed time. In Galatians 3:26 Paul reminded us that we are sons of God through faith. In Galatians 3:29 Paul wrote that we are heirs who will inherit all that God has for us.
Now in In Galatians 4:1-2 Paul wrote, “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.”
When we were children we lived by the rules of our parents, but that was for a temporary time. Once we were old enough we made our own decisions.
I decided (on my own) what my life would look like.
In Galatians 4:3, we read, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.”
The elements of the world that Paul spoke of were like the way the world thinks and works.
In my life it seemed like what I should do was go to college and get a job. That’s what I planned.
The plan I had was not the plan God had for me.
And so it was with the children of Israel.
They had a plan to receive the promise of Abraham, receive the law given to them through Moses, and remain under the law which was their guardian.
But God had another plan.
Galatians 4:4-5 tells us, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
When the time was right, God revealed His PLAN to the world, which was sending His Son as redeemer for those living under the law.
At this point, Paul gets very personal. He reminds his readers in Galatians 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Paul told the members they are more than slaves and children. He said, because you are my beloved, my sons, I sent my Spirit to plant a seed that would bring my own Holy Son to show you and teach you I am your daddy, your PAPA.
Paul was telling Jews and Gentiles at the church in Galatia that God loved them so much that He sent His only Son the redeem them (John 3:16).
Then Paul explained to them in Galatians 4:7, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Not only did Paul tell them He was Papa...He told them they are His beloved sons and heirs to the fullness of life He offers through Jesus.
So, just like Israel who had a plan that became a PLAN, that became GOD’S PLAN for life, my plan didn’t look anything like I thought it would look.
I had a plan to go to college, and eventually I did finish when my oldest child was a junior in high school.
God called me to ministry when I was in my 20’s. My life drastically changed when I was 50, I lost what God had called me to (being a Pastor’s wife). Then, in 2007, God tapped me on the shoulder again and told me, “I’m not finished with you yet.”
So I said okay again. Then He told me He wanted me to go to Seminary. I was 54 years old. I was single. My kids were grown and I had grandchildren. I told God it was a crazy bad idea and that I could certainly have a ministry without going to Seminary. But, God insisted it was part of HIS plan!
In a million years I never would have seen that coming, but that’s what Papa had for me. It wasn’t easy working a full-time job by day and being a full time graduate student on nights and weekends, but by the grace of God I finished in 2013. The Seminary requirement for a Masters of Divinity is 144 hours (in comparison, a law degree is 90 hours), but I finished in six years (five years is standard). God changed my plan, that had become God’s PLAN, that became GOD’S PLAN and I’m really glad He did. Seminary turned put to be the absolute best blessing I’ve had since I became a Mom.
Today I tell you...God IS Good and I AM Blessed! God is a God of Blessing!
Our Spiritual Practice is: Name your Unexpected Blessing
We all have twists and turn in our lives that turned out to be blessings in disguise. What is YOURS? Thank God for the unexpected blessings!
In God, Deborah