Emily and I had a great Monday and Tuesday at the TBC new pastor orientation conference. The conference was at the Linden Valley conference center. Nice place owned by the TBC.
On to the point of this post...
One of the devotionals that I heard there hit on a theme that is so dominant in American Evangelicalism that we don't even know it exists. It is the very air we breathe. No one thinks about breathing. It's just a part of life. So what is it I'm talking about???
The devotion was from Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
If you notice I highlighted the words "for you." The speaker at the devotional time really keyed in on these words. He talked about the importance of those two words in the verse. He talked about how God has all of these specific, individualized plans for each one of us.
I hate listening to this type of stuff. God does not have a billion personalized wills for each and every Christian out there. God's will is not all about you. God has one will and each one of us is to find our complete fulfillment by aligning ourselves with God's will.
Folks, be careful about ripping verses out of context. Jeremiah 29:11 read in context would never produce an individualistic interpretation. If you read Jeremiah chapter 29 you would find that verse 11 is part of a letter written to the whole Jewish community in the Babylonian exile. So in verse 11 the words "for you" are referring to the entire community that is in exile.
Bringing that up to today would mean that God knows the plans he has for us as the community of God. It's all about God, his will, and we are fulfilled when we find ourselves in his will.