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God Always Gets His Way
Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
but to thy Name give glory...
Our God is in the heavens;
he does whatever he pleases. Psalm 115:1-3
​One thing I have learned in my six plus decades of living: God Always Gets His Way.
 
Sometimes we think we can manage our lives just fine, thank you very much. We don’t know what God wants with our lives, and we really don’t want to know. We think he will “make” us go to Africa, or even some place worse, far away from our friends and family and we will never get any of the things we want, or we will die horrible, gruesome deaths all alone.
 
Does that about sum it up?
 
Personally, I had no idea what I wanted for my own life, other than to be a wife and a mom—and maybe a famous author. I certainly never thought about what God wanted. My desires were pretty simple as I went off to college. One of my home economics class projects in high school was to plan my future wedding, and I planned it for real. Since I didn’t have a high school boyfriend, I gave myself two years in college to find a good one. I hadn't even thought that much about—let alone planned—a future career.
 
I declared a major (something I thought would help with my real goal of being a wife and mother) and started classes. I had applied late—I realize now that was part of my ADHD—and so I was assigned to temporary housing. And guess what? It was in the basement of the men’s dorm! (Yes, I’m that old: we didn’t have just segregated floors, but different buildings!) I thought that was a great place to start looking for a future husband. Of course everyone knew that the campuses were filled with new freshmen when classes start, and the weather was beautiful, so everyone was outside. I mean everyone. And I kept running into people inviting me to things. I finally met “the Christians” and started going to Bible studies and meetings and then I found friends in the dorms. I was having a great time. I even taught myself to play guitar chords so I could help lead the music sometimes.
 
And I met lots of young men. Handsome, fun, smart as you can imagine. Some were sweet, some angry, and some were looking for something. Some were just really incredible friends, and some were romantic interests. I made some phenomenal girlfriends, too, and we still keep in touch on Facebook. Are you getting the picture? It was everything I wanted. It wasn’t just the friends, though. I loved my classes, learning all these new things. One of the things I was learning was the Bible, from going to all those incredible Bible studies. And eventually the subject came up, ‘What Is God’s Will For Your Life?’
 
As the years went by I found out that there was a lot God wanted to do in my life. One part of his will is that I reflect Christ to the world. And yes, he is still working on that one. He wants me to have godly character; he wants me to behave in a God-honoring way; and he wants me to tell other people what he has done, and is still doing, in my life. But there’s much more.
 
He wants us to know what’s in the Bible, and he wants us to obey what it says. So we need to be reading it, and we need to be praying. He wants us to get together with other Christians for worship and teaching, and he wants us to be open to reproof, for those things we are being stubborn about, and for correction, for those things we can’t or don’t see that need changing. He wants us to know how deeply he loves us, and how much he has forgiven us. He wants to have a relationship, as a father with his child. And yes, that includes discipline—but not punishment. He wants us to know his character, that he is a God of compassion, patience, and lovingkindness, not a God of anger, vengeance or retaliation. He’s not punitive or mean. But he is just. He has laws, that he follows, and that he can’t break, and he will not change.
 
So, what part of all that sounds unreasonable, for a Creator who planned for you to be part of his creation from eternity past? For a God who makes it possible for you to breathe, and think, and feel—even to exist at all? 
 
He has a bigger plan than giving you a perfect life. While that may be part of the package for some, it is in no way a guarantee. (We must be careful of our expectations. God does not owe us anything.1) Actually, the immense privilege of having a relationship with him is (and should be) more than enough to make anyone’s life wonderful. Even in the Bible we see some people are blessed in one way or another way, and some are not. But he loves us all. It’s okay if you disagree with that; it’s still true. 
 
He has a plan for you, as part of his plan for each tribe and nation and the entire world. He also has a plan for all the world for eternity future. I promise you that his plans will not fail. They will not be thwarted or outsmarted; they will not be sabotaged; they will not be changed by some whim or scheme of man. I cannot, by anything I say or do, mess up God’s plans. Neither can you! I find great comfort in that fact. It means that God knows how to accomplish all he has planned, and he has all the power necessary, and all the means that will be required. And most of the time, we are unaware of all the ways he is accomplishing his purposes in and through us. Our God is big enough, and wise enough, and loving enough. He is always enough. "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases... But as for us, we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!" Psalm 115:1-3, 18
 
So, it turned out that God’s plan for me meant marrying a man who grew up in a third world country and never went to college. It meant staying single until he could work in this man’s life and bring him to me. We met in the Washington, DC area when I was 36. He had been married twice (a definite no-no in my plan) and had three children (not what I had in mind either). And he got saved nine months after we met (how can he lead me spiritually?). Did God really know what he was doing, or was I an after-thought?
 
Twenty-five years later, I can tell you truthfully, this has been the perfect man for me. We got married when I was 38, and had our son one week before I turned 39. That is absolutely not what I had planned when I went to college at 18 years old! But I followed the Lord (imperfectly), and he brought me to a good place (anyway), ‘flowing with milk and honey.’ While that doesn’t mean we are rich, it definitely means we are experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised. “I’m where I’m meant to be!” There is such peace and contentment in that, knowing I am in the center of God’s will. And though our life together is not perfect, it is still very good.

Against my deepest, normal human desires, I obeyed the Lord. He changed my mind about some things, like having a career and moving away from everything I knew. And God did that step by step, not dumping on me all at once. I probably would have freaked out at 22, after college, if God had said, ‘Leave everything you know and move across the country.’ So he didn’t do that. And I would have despaired if he had told me I wouldn’t get married until I was 38 years old! My son could quite easily have been my grandson, if we had followed my plan instead of God’s. (I could also have been divorced; I wasn't single because I didn’t have other options.) The point is simply this: what I have now is what God wanted for me, and he did everything necessary to accomplish that, in the best way for me.
 
It was never just a waiting game; God had a lot of things he wanted to do in and through me before I got married and had a child. I have to take it by faith that those things were accomplished! And then, at the perfect time, he gave me the desires of my heart. But it was never me out searching for what I wanted, or trying to manipulate people and situations for the outcome I desired. It was waiting on the Lord, having faith that he would fulfill his promises. But if I had tried to manipulate things to get my own way, I am completely convinced that God would still have brought me to this man at the right time. Sometimes that blows my mind.
 
This is not unique. Think about the stories in the Bible2: Abraham and Sarah desperately wanted a child of their own, but they needed to wait until they were too old to even consider having children any longer. Hannah could not conceive until the time God had set for her, then she had Samuel, dedicated him to the Lord, and then had other kids besides. Mary didn’t have to wait at all; in fact she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit before she was married to Joseph—and the suspicions surrounding her pregnancy followed her and Jesus all their lives. Rachel waited for seven years for Jacob, only to have her sister given to him first. For one whole week she watched her sister married to her betrothed. And then, as the second wife, Rachel was not able to conceive—until the time God had determined. Those are not the only examples, but I think you get the idea.
 
The truth is, God does not deal with all his children in the same way.
 
But he is the same. Whether we marry at age 18 or 58, he is still loving, and kind, and slow to anger. And he always gets his way.
 
This applies to other things besides marriage and having children, of course. God gets his way in human events. The Bible teaches us that God establishes kings, and he removes kings: that means he determines governments and authorities. That doesn’t mean, as we have opportunity, that we shouldn’t go out and vote! We must be serious about our civil responsibilities. But it does give peace over who wins an election. God is still on the throne; he is still in control. He is ordering and moving events in human history to bring us to the conclusion of that history.
 
And the conclusion will be glorious! He wrote it all out for us in the Bible. We can study what he is going to do: not necessarily what he is going to do in a particular situation, or how he will deal with a specific illness or tragedy, or a natural disaster, or a man-made ‘accident’, but we know what he is doing overall, and we know the final outcome. He will bring glory to his name. He will do it in the way he has planned, at the time he has determined, with the people he has chosen for that time and place. He hasn’t given us a calendar, that we can determine in what month or year some things will happen, but we can have absolute confidence that it will happen in exactly the way he has decided. And his decisions are not based on whims, either, but are perfectly in accordance with his mercy and his justice—based on his unchangeable character and the timetable he has set. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8
 
Once you start to examine your life you will begin to see specific instances of how God has gotten his way in your life: how a specific verse changed your heart, how a sermon impacted your decisions, how a comment caused you to reconsider an arrangement, how obedience saved you from grief, or how observation made you recognize a compromise. Maybe he moved you across the country for a job that didn't last very long, or your parents died when you were young and you grew up away from everything you had known. Even in tragedies, God is in control.3 It isn't necessary that we understand everything God is doing; we must trust him in faith to be true to his word, and true to his character. Rest in him; he will never fail you or forsake you. And be thankful! Our God is an awesome God, and he deserves all praise and honor. He always gets his way, and that's the best for each one of us.
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1.     God does not owe us a ‘wonderful, perfect life’, by any definition. He does NOT promise riches or health; happy marriages; healthy, well-adjusted children; a long peaceful life—nothing. The only thing he promises is ‘abundant life’, but even though Jesus said it, it is not specifically defined in the Bible. Many people who come to Christ in other parts of the world, actually lose all their worldly goods and familial relationships, yet they have joy and peace that surpasses all comprehension. God wants to give you good things, but that can take many forms. We have no right to demand a good husband, 3 children spaced exactly 3 years apart, a lovely home, a fancy car, not even long life. Think about that the next time you are praying for your own “needs”. Let him satisfy you, and keep your expectations in check. And be thankful for what you have [WANT what you HAVE, don't demand to have what you want].

2.     Specific references to these examples are available upon request. I would prefer that you search your Bible and discover these stories on your own. Questions regarding other Bible references may be addressed in the ‘Contact Me’ section at the bottom of the wingsSpirit page.

3.      I understand that there are many human tragedies leading to difficulties in life. I do not believe, and have no intention of suggesting, that God does not have a care or an interest in our pain, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, even mental. It is not God's desire for any of his children to suffer, but we know that it happens. Perhaps I will write another article on this subject, because there are no simple answers. The bottom line is, I believe, that God is willing to accept each of us as we are, with all our hurts and pains, and all our baggage and hang-ups and "issues". He loves you just the way you are; there is nothing you could change that would make him love you more, and it is not possible for him to love you less. He laid down his life for you when Jesus died on the cross, and he has never changed his mind about that uncompromising, unconditional love. You can still trust him. His end goal for you is life everlasting with him, and he wants to lead you into that, no matter where you are right now. Again, there are several Biblical instances of God's hand in life's adversities, and how he turns those seeming calamities into ultimate blessings. Chief among them is perhaps the story of Joseph. Favored by his father, despised by his older brothers, he was sold into slavery in Egypt. Thirteen years later he became the second-highest ruler in Egypt and saved that part of the world—and his entire family— from the devastating effects of a long-lasting famine. God is not limited; he wants to do that over and over again, in your life and in the lives of others.