Where Do I Fit Into
God’s Blueprint for the Ages?
If You Belong to Christ, Here’s the
Grand Adventure That Lies Ahead of You!
Editor’s Note: What if you had a way to write to the actual Apostle Paul—that tenacious pioneer and pastor of the early Christian movement—to get his counsel on where your life in Christ should be headed?
Of course, you would expect him to respond by offering wisdom consistent with what he writes in his New Testament letters. But exactly what would that counsel sound like? And would it really work for Christians in the 21st century?
Instead of addressing an entire congregation, what if Paul dedicated one of his letters in the New Testament to you personally (digitally sent, I assume) in answer to your question—one so vitally important—an issue every Christian should wrestle with: “Where do I fit into God’s blueprint for the ages?”
In this blog post, David Bryant composes a surprising answer to that question by actually taking one of Paul’s most famous epistles and reconstituting it just for you!
David personalizes it so that it feels as if Paul is responding directly to your concern with remarkable perspectives and stimulating applications drawn from his own thrilling adventure with Christ.
In David’s unique approach to applying Scripture, you’ll discover that a grand adventure awaits you because the Father has called every believer to play a significant role in the grand, glorious, global mission of his dear Son.
Better check your inbox. Paul’s letter is waiting for you right now!
The Master Architect Invites You to
Gather Around His Drawing Table
I’ve spent over twenty years working among students throughout the university world in America and other nations. If there is one question young people raise everywhere I travel it has been: “How do I find God’s will for my life?” Or to put it another way: “How does God want me to get involved with where Jesus is headed and what he is doing?”
The answer frequently given by many to such a concern is to reassure the person with the very familiar sentence:
“Don’t worry—God has a wonderful plan for your life.”
That only avoids the question because, in point of fact, according to passages like Ephesians 1:9-10 that response is actually incorrect.
The truth is, it would be much more appropriate to reassure Christians with this perspective—which is the reverse of the answer given above:
“Don’t worry. God loves his Son and has a wonderful plan for him to sum up everything in heaven and on earth under him as Redeemer and Lord of all. And he loves you enough to give you a strategic place in that plan.”
Meet the Cosmic Architect
Think of our loving Father as the Cosmic Architect.
Not only did he design the entire universe, from the tiniest atom to the most far-flung galaxy, but even more impressive is his eternal plan of redemption. It engulfs the sweep of history as well as the roll call of the nations. It dispels the curses of sin and death and defeats the powers of darkness. And it continues to advance from victory to victory forever.
Once someone becomes his child through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—the eternal Son who is the heart and soul of this incomparable plan—the Cosmic Architect invites us to gather around his magnificent drawing table. “Come,” he says, “look at my infinite, majestic, permanent blueprint for everything.”
We call his master plan the Bible. From cover to cover it is all about Jesus, who in every facet of the divine design is to have the supremacy (Colossians 1:18).
Because we are Jesus followers, therefore, the Father wants to share with us how he intends to build for, around, and on Jesus, his Son and our Savior, a masterpiece for his glory that will vibrate for all the ages to come.
Just as surely, he also is eager to show you where in this redemptive schema he has already placed you. Yes, you!
Watch, then, as he opens up the scroll of life-giving drawings—the Scriptures—in order to point to one spot on the design as he says to you: “That’s where and how I want you to live in and for my Son in order to bring the greatest praise to him as you make your special contributions to the consummation of all I have promised and purposed for the whole universe in him.”
Wouldn’t that be some conversation?
That is the adventure he’s offering you!
Let’s Join Paul at the Drawing Table
For decades Paul, the mighty proclaimer of Christ, wrote and preached constantly about this “blueprint” and where we fit in as “new creations in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Why don’t we ask him to share his thoughts about all of this with us?
To help make the imaginary exchange more real, I’ve taken Paul’s book called Ephesians. Using The Message paraphrase, I’ve carved out certain portions in its six chapters that provide many answers to our key question.
Next, I’ve woven them together—but maintaining the sequence in the original—to create a new “letter” from Paul that’s being sent as if meant for only you, rather than the first company of disciples in Ephesus.
Read what I’ve put together and try to listen to these insights as if you are hearing them for the first time.
Read expecting the Holy Spirit, the source of Paul’s letter, to intimately share fresh insights with you.
NOTE: From time to time when you see a long line like this ___________, that’s your cue to put your name in that spot. That will make the experience feel even more exclusively meant for you!
Also, note that anywhere the words are emboldened, that’s where I’ve added some of my own thoughts as if Paul were speaking them, in order to help personalize even more the words in regular print that come from Scripture. So now, let’s see what Paul writes to you.
Paul Answers Your Burning Question
About the Great Adventure!
You wonder where you fit into God’s eternal purposes? Let me start with this:
Long before God laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind and had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love.
Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)
He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
That includes you, ___________.
He thought up everything and provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Christ—everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
Remember ___________, it’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.
Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us. He had designs on us for glorious living—part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe—everything from galaxies to governments. No name nor power is exempt from his rule—and not just for the time being but forever.
He is in charge of it all: he has the final word on everything. That includes you, ___________.
At the center of all this, Christ rules the Church. The Church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the Church. The Church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.
Therefore, ___________, because you are part of Christ’s body, you are totally included in this amazing blueprint for the ages. Already you are experiencing the reign of Christ in and through his people. Already you are tasting the fullness of his life that will one day saturate the entire universe.
We neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does—the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this message. It came as a complete gift to me—a real surprise—with God handling all the details.
And ___________, what is true of me is true of you in all the special ways the Father wants to accomplish the same impact for Christ through your life. Let me explain some more.
Here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head—the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.
My task is to bring out into the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through Christians like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.
I want to reassure you, ___________, you too have been set free in God’s Son to get fully involved with God’s “secret plan” that is now unfolding before our very eyes. You are just as important to fulfilling that plan as I ever was.
Enjoying Your Place in the Adventure of
God’s Redemptive Blueprint in Christ
First, ___________, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.
I don’t want anyone sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.
You were called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.
Take note of this, ___________: You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So, no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours.
Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.
Watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get.
These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Of course, this requires getting to know more of who Jesus is—where he’s headed, what he’s doing, and how he gets exalted. It takes growing in your relationship with him every day.
Finally, ___________, let me say this to you:
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet.
Pray hard and long. Keep your eyes open. Pray also that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all.
Thanks for reading my letter. Now, ___________, I end by blessing you:
Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all of you who love our Master, Jesus Christ. Amen!
So, Where to From Here?
What Paul shared in Ephesians may be a little more than you bargained for!
But everything you need to know to find and fulfill your role in Christ’s global cause is all right there waiting for you to unpack and apply. So, what’s next? Here are four suggestions:
1. Read back through the book of Ephesians, perhaps using one or two other translations or paraphrases, which you can find for free at BibleGateway.com. As you do, continue to see yourself in all of these verses. Reflect on what this implies about you. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you specifically the ways this should change how you come at life; or, what you want from life; or how you intend to live your life; or, where you want to make the greatest difference with your life for the glory of Christ.
2. Interview one or two Christians you know (like your pastor or a visiting missionary or an active witness in the business community or someone in your Christian fellowship who has been serving Jesus for a few years in one way or another). Ask them the same question Paul just answered: “How did you discover your role in the adventure of God’s eternal plan?” Spend a few minutes listening to them share personal experiences and insights.
3. Read an introductory book on the history of the church to learn about all the individuals and groups the Holy Spirit has used to advance the kingdom of the Son. Discover the variety of approaches and patterns and personalities of those who have helped fulfill God’s purposes in Jesus to give you hints of the specific ways the Father intends to involve you. One resource you could start with is the very popular Christian History Made Easy.
4. Take a “retreat of silence.” Spend a half-day alone in a place where nothing interrupts you, preferably somewhere in nature. Take along a Bible and a notebook. Commit the entire time to silence—not necessarily verbalizing prayers out loud or reading a whole section of Scripture.
Rather, give the Lord Jesus some “space” in your life to minister to you and speak to you about his desires for you and for how you live for him.
Write down every single thought that comes to you during those hours, whether they seem superficial or not, without taking time to interpret every insight at that moment.
Later when the retreat is over, pray back over your notes to see if some central themes are coming through that might change how you enter into the adventure of your role in God’s “Blueprint for the Ages.”
The adventure of a lifetime now belongs to you because you belong to Jesus. Why not reflect on this truth the rest of the day, using the words we shared earlier to sum it up:
God loves his Son and has a wonderful plan for him to sum up everything in heaven and on earth under him as Redeemer and Lord of all. And he loves you enough to give you a strategic place in that plan.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.