By the time you read this I will have changed. I’ll probably have decided to not organize my basement today after all. I may decide to jog instead. No it’s too cold. I think I’ll head to the donut shop. My To Do List says Call Accountant re: Taxes. Yeah, I need to do that. Oh, I can do it tomorrow.
We all change in so many ways. Our bodies change. Our desires change. The Plymouth Fury I drove when I was single was replaced by a minivan when I had kids. Tim Keller says that his wife has lived with 5 different men throughout their marriage, all of them him. We change from Atkins to South Beach to Paleo to McDonald’s. We change our minds, our opinions, our goals. Churches change. “I remember when I knew everyone here. Now I don’t know half the people. I used to just drop my kids off at Children’s Ministry; now I’ve got to get a number, show a photo ID and submit dental forms.” If there’s one thing that’s constant it’s that nothing stays the same.
Most things in life are uncertain. We have ideas and dreams of how things are going to go, but many times they don’t turn out like we imagined. We are fragile creatures with no control over our lives, no matter how much we think we have. That’s why James tells us not to boast about tomorrow but say “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15).
A constantly changing, unpredictable universe is scary. That’s why I’m so glad God assures us he doesn’t change:
For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
The Lord doesn’t evolve. He doesn’t grow in knowledge or wisdom, but is eternally infinitely wise. It’s not like he knows how to run the universe better now than when he first created it. Nothing surprises him. He didn’t need to recalibrate when Adam sinned. He didn’t say, “Oh man, I didn’t see that coming. Let’s switch to plan B.” God doesn’t increase or decrease in power or in his infinite goodness.
He never alters his perfect plans and purposes. From all eternity he determined to send Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth, to redeem us. He won’t relent from his plan to make us like Christ, no matter how slow we are to change or how beset with weakness we are.
He won’t turn back from his plans to do us good.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (JE 29:11)
I often make plans, then forget to do them. I’ve made mind maps and lists of goals only to find them months later and realize I’d completely forgotten about them. I get distracted or decide to go after what seems to be a better plan. I know I decided to eat only healthy foods, but that sausage is screaming for me to eat it. I’ll make an exception just this once. God isn’t like us. He made the ultimate best plan from eternity and will bring it to pass. He won’t think of a better plan, get distracted or forget his plan.
This means he won’t forget to be faithful to you. He has a perfect timing for everything in your life. He’ll make sure you meet the people you need to meet. He’ll make sure you get where you need to be. The Faithful One will be faithful to you. Nothing can stop him from completing the good work he has begun in you. Hell itself can’t stop Jesus from fulfilling his good plans for your life.
Satan tries to make us doubt God’s faithfulness. He asks, “Did God really say….?” He tries to get our eyes off God and onto our circumstances. He’ll say, “Look at this chaos. Look at this tragedy. How can God be good? Look – God isn’t caring for you. How can God be loving when this happens?”
That’s why we need to constantly cling to God’s promises, to stand on the bedrock of his Word. God’s word is the one thing in this world we can count on. Even the most faithful of men change their minds. The most faithful of men make plans that go awry. We tell someone we’ll be there, but we get sick or forget. But when God makes a promise he keeps it:
God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19
What security God gives us. What peace. What confidence. The whole universe may collapse beneath us, but God’s everlasting arms will hold us up. The economy may collapse or our health go down the tubes, but Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us. And he will never forget his word or change his mind. If he said it, he’ll do it. If he spoke it, he will fulfill it. The timing’s up to him, but he will surely bring it to pass.
Cling to God’s promises today. Put your hope in the unchanging One and his Word. Don’t put your hope in the government, or your own strength or wisdom, or your church or your family and friends as wonderful as they may be. Churches, friends and families change. Jesus Christ remains the same forever.
Now where did I put that list of 50 goals to accomplish before lunchtime? Oh well, maybe I’ll just watch a little TV.