The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sounds like a plan?

Scripture reveals God's call isn't to 'success' but danger

A few months ago a parishioner approached me with this question: “When I listen to Christian radio, I hear a lot of people talking about the necessity of discovering God’s plan for our lives. Yet, when I come to our church I don’t hear anyone even referring to a plan. Why?”

I consulted with other Lutheran pastors. Like me, they seldom use the phrase “God’s plan for your life.” But when I searched the Internet, I discovered that “God’s plan” is a theme on dozens of Web sites. And these sites typically state that not only has God developed a master plan for your life but that part of your mandate by Christ is to follow this prescribed plan. Some promise “true joy, happiness and success” for those who do just that.

As a faith descendant of Martin Luther, I’ve learned that our warning light ought to go on whenever someone promises us a reward for being faithful to God. Luther reminded us there is no direct connection between being faithful and being successful. The faithful life of Jesus led him to the cross. Why would we expect anything different?

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