No Plan B:
Discovering God’s Blueprint for Your Life
What if you discover that you are working the wrong plan for your life and failure is imminent? What if the very plan you are working so hard to achieve doesn’t really exist and has never existed as an option in the mind of God? What if you were to discover there is no Plan B? God has one plan for you. He created all of us to enjoy Plan A. That plan provides a relationship with God, an identity from God, and a purpose in God. It’s the same deal Adam rejected and fumbled away. What was possible for Adam is now guaranteed to us in Christ. And it is available to you right now!
Most of us are aware of the identity crisis happening in our physical world. Social Security numbers hijacked. Credit cards being stolen online. E-mail accounts being hacked. But there is an identity crisis happening in the spiritual realm many of us are not fully aware of. And the consequences of this kind of ignorance are far more severe.
We have been blinded. Our spiritual identities stolen. We don’t know who we are anymore. The enemy of our souls has placed us inside a bottle and, as I’m fond of saying, it’s impossible to read the label when you’re standing inside the bottle.
No Plan B by my good friend Nelson Hannah will show you how to get outside the bottle. It will show you how to reclaim your true identity in the King of Kings, Jesus Christ our Lord, see who you truly are, and discover the original glory-filled plan God designed for us to live in from the beginning.
I know what you’re saying. You’ve been trying all your life to make things work. And they just aren’t. You’ve been wondering why God isn’t coming through. Or why you seem to blow it so often. You can’t understand why your plan isn’t working, and the only thing you can see on the horizon is failure. But that’s the key, isn’t it? Your plan. My plan. Not God’s.
Nelson has titled his book, No Plan B, but that’s not true. There is a plan B. But it’s been designed by the enemy of your soul who is focused on three things: Kill. Steal. Destroy.
The good news: God has a plan too. Plan A. And it’s possible to live plan A right now. More than possible. It’s your Spirit-infused destiny—if you choose to step into it. Plan A will bring you intimacy with God. Purpose. And such freedom!
You need this book.
I need this book.
Why? Because when we step into each day knowing who we are…truly knowing who we are, we can’t help but alter every life we come in contact with. When we step into our day with eyes wide open, living HIS perfect, divinely crafted plan, every life we meet will be imparted the Life they desperately need.
Soak No Plan B in. Then read it again and soak more of its life-changing message into your soul, because that’s where this book needs to take root. Not in your mind, but in your heart.
L. Rubart ~ April 2014
God, in his infinite wisdom, conceived and designed a plan long before he spoke creation into existence. This plan is perfect in its conception, design, purpose, and destiny. It was a relational plan that would allow him to share his unconditional love and boundless grace with creatures formed and fashioned in his own image and likeness. It was God’s A Plan—his only plan!
Choosing the Right Plan
Define yourself radically as one beloved of God.
This is the true self. Every other identity is an illusion.
~ Brennan Manning
The light was brilliant. It was so bright in those brief moments that anyone peeking through the bushes would have been forced to shield his eyes or the result would have been instant blindness. The air was saturated and dripped with the glory of that glow, like the white-hot arc of a welder. The intensity seemed to withdraw after a few moments as though something or someone had stepped back. Once again the brightness of the noonday sun ruled the sky, but noticeably dimmer in comparison to what had transpired only seconds before.
There beside the river an exquisite creature, by all accounts, lay motionless in a small crater surrounded by reddish dust. It had not fallen from the sky, but rather it seemed to have been scooped from the very soil it now rested in. Well-proportioned and muscular like a Greek statue chiseled out of ruddy marble, the figure lay on its back facing the heavens—still and silent.
The gentle breeze blowing from east to west suddenly changed and began swirling downward. The wind began to pick up and in an instant became a howling vortex. Suddenly this violent rushing wind descended from the heavens and engulfed the motionless, mounded figure. The upper half of the body lurched upward, as the wind filled it like a hand in a glove. A glorious shadow passed over in that moment, and power surged like an invisible switch had been flipped. Then the figure relaxed and its chest began to rise and fall in a rhythmic motion. Adamah, the lifeless red dust of creation, had now become Adam, a living soul.
The Creator leaned back and gazed at his creation and proclaimed, “This is very good!”
But—another set of eyes witnessed the miracle of the dust that day. Hidden in the lush undergrowth near the river’s edge, a creature known as Nahash, the serpent,plotted his next move. Filled with jealousy and disgust, he coiled to stay hidden, muffling the roar that now arose from within the depths of his dark soul. He strained to hear the conversation, as those first intimate words were spoken between Father and son. With contempt, he watched as that same Father introduced his son to the safety of a specially prepared garden—and Nahash waited, remembering his own marvelous creation and his subsequent fall from grace, kicked out of a garden with the same familiar name. In time, he too would visit this special garden, this exquisite environment, and see what could be done to confuse the creature and thwart the Creator’s carefully designed plan. Nahash would have his revenge, and God would be forced to come up with another plan. Yes, that’s it—mess up Plan A, and then God will be forced to come up with Plan B.
And so “the plan” unfolds. But…which plan are we following?
God designed the man and woman to live life from the garden. Eden was divinely designed and carefully constructed to educate the first couple in all the nuances of what identity meant—to discover who and what they were as they discovered who God is. Without that discovery and exploration of God, there could be no real discovery of themselves. This discovery would form a relationship, and trust would evolve. This trust would then produce love, and the relationship would come full circle.
The garden was the meeting place where God and humanity would intersect and interact. It was the place like this—a place of wonder and discovery—a place of choice and decision. It was Adam and Eve’s address, not God’s. It was the place God had fashioned so that the first couple could step into the destiny he had personally designed for them. From the garden they would learn to live out Plan A—God’s perfect plan.
Everything they needed to discover the abundance of God’s love and grace were present in the garden. God had thought of everything. Food and water were in abundance. The weather was perfect—not too hot or cold. No need to build a house—the whole of the garden was their mansion. Rain, snow, sleet, and hail were not yet a part of their environment. The sun warmed them by day, and the moon and stars served as a nightlight to guide them through the dark hours. They were immersed in the vast goodness of God’s gifts, through which they would soon discover the intimacy of his heart. It was a special gift—his heart—he longed to share without holding anything back. It was truly an opportunity of a lifetime and an opportunity for a lifetime with no expiration date stamped on the label. The opportunity was open-ended—eternal. Did I say “was”? I’m sorry; I meant to say “is” open-ended—eternal.
At this point you may be thinking, “Hey, what do you mean ‘is’? That’s not the quality of life I’m currently experiencing. In fact, that seems a bit bizarre. My life is just the opposite of that. That sounds like a fairy tale—too good to be true!”
It sounds too good to be true because we have settled for a bogus plan. We have accepted less than what God intends. We have embraced Plan B although God never initiated anything but Plan A. Somewhere along the way, we have been deceived. Plan B has robbed us of our relationship, our identity, and our purpose.
What the devil fears, he seeks to confuse. Where confusion reigns, chaos results. When chaos exists, ignorance runs rampant. And as ignorance picks up speed and shifts into high gear, all kind of bad things happen. Fear, uncertainty, insecurity, and weakness soon become the trademark threads that weave the fabric of an identity. Fear begets fear, and the result is that we are robbed of the very thing God intended to be a source of encouragement and strength—our identity as his child—his son or daughter.
Nothing intrudes on this archdemon’s territory more than a person who knows who they are in Christ. Some say superior knowledge or physical strength is power, but a settled identity produces a confident internal unity that is impregnable to the forces of darkness. If Satan cannot get a foothold, he is powerless. If he cannot gain a partner, he is impotent. If he cannot confuse us, uncertainty, insecurity, and weakness are rendered null and void and cannot be used against us.
Satan (that crafty serpent Nahash) fears the implications of Plan A. Plan A gives us a relationship with God, an identity from God, and a purpose in God. The scope of that plan is endless, but unless we understand who we are because of whose we are, it is likely we will never enjoy the riches of this relationship.
This is not a book about a cunning serpent—a devil in disguise. This is God’s schematic masterpiece for the ages—his only plan for all of humanity. This is the tale of who we already are—the real us—the person God sees and says we are. This is a tool to help us reclaim every smidgen of our full identity in Christ. But for this to be a reality, we must recognize the lie and jettison the idea that God has ever entertained a Plan B. That’s not even possible. He has one plan, and it is perfect. This is the unfolding of our true identity.
Two very common questions that often arise in a counseling session are: (1) who am I; and (2) why am I here? They are profound questions of identity and purpose that must be discovered and answered by each of us. Tragically, many don’t seem to know where to look or how to find the real answers to these life-altering dilemmas. Unless a person recognizes who they are and realizes what their purpose is, they are doomed to wonder endlessly as they wander aimlessly through life, tossed to and fro on the cruel waves of what may come next in the crashing surf of life’s situations and circumstances.
Identity is the key, but it is a tough concept to define if we depend solely on the philosophers, psychologists, or anthropologists to come to our aid. There are numerous studies and theories, but no simple definition. Add to that the proliferation of the Internet with social media like Facebook, Twitter, and countless online communities where we can anonymously be anyone we choose to be as long as we don’t get caught. Identity seems to be a relative term that can mean any number of things to different people. Therefore, it is essential that we construct a general definition of identity so that we are all on the same page, if we eventually hope to arrive at the same destination together.
You and I are unique. Every human being is. We may be similar with much in common, and yet we are not exact. There are no absolute or faithful and accurate copies walking around that perfectly mirror you. That’s the case even if you are a monozygotic (identical) twin, meaning you and your sibling developed from one zygote that split and formed two embryos. In spite of this, you possess quite a few unique qualities or characteristics that are extraordinarily different from your brother or sister. No one has your fingerprints or the iris pattern of your eyes. Your tongue has both geometric shapes and physiological texture that make it exclusive to you. No other dental records perfectly match the X-rays taken of that mouth full of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars that are embedded in your jaws. Even your DNA, although very similar in many ways to various other creatures, makes you distinctively you.
Yes, as human beings we all have similar characteristics, but no two of us are alike, and the reason rests within the heart of our Divine Designer. He was the architect of creation and with his voice spoke everything visible and invisible into existence, everything except us. We are made in his image and in his likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). God formed the man from the adamah—the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7) and fashioned the woman from a fistful of tissue, blood, muscle, and bone he took from the man’s side (Genesis 2:22). Each was unique in his or her own creation, yet similar. Consider this for a moment: God is so complex, infinite, and so beyond anything our finite minds can fully comprehend, that perhaps out of his love for diversity—in the creation of us as human beings—he put a pinch of his infinite self in the mix to make each of us a tiny bit different. There is no cosmic human cookie cutter that God uses to stamp out this diverse tribe we call the human race. As Homo sapiens, we are surprisingly and gratifyingly different. This distinctiveness is the structure on which our identity hangs.
An identity defines you as a person. Your personal identity is singularly you. It is who you really are and one of your most treasured possessions. It is composed of your own individual comprehension of yourself (meaning you realize that you are alive and exist—which is what Adam learned in the garden), those physiological traits that are exclusively yours, and certain information amassed over time that can be used to identify, contact, or locate you from among the other 6.5 billion human residents of this community we call Earth. That identity is a vital element of Plan A.
Adam never asked, “Who’s my daddy?” His first glance was up into the eyes of God, and the answer was obvious. Some might want to argue that this was simply a symbolic or spiritual familial illustration, but the words of Scripture document the paternity of Adam by divine creation and supernatural decree. According to the genealogy of Jesus found in Luke 3, the last four words of verse 38 seem to indicate far more than merely the use of symbolism or a metaphor to communicate a spiritual truth. It designates in simple, straightforward terms that Adam was the son of God, not just a son of God. The verse is unique in all of Scripture, because it is the only place where anyone other than Jesus Christ is called the son of God.
In the spring of 1956, a baby was born to a young couple at Carraway Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, in the wee hours of the morning. As an anxious husband and dad paced about in the waiting room (this was long before birthing suites and direct daddy participation), a doctor named Boulaware made a final check of both mother and infant, scribbled a few notes to confirm sex, weight, length, date and time of birth, and headed out the doors of the delivery room to give a waiting father the good news. I was that infant, and those notes the doctor made quickly found their way into my initial record—the paper trail that identifies me. The hospital issued a birth certificate stating my name, date of birth, my father and mother’s names, the city and state of birth, and the attending physician, along with other pertinent information that became a part of my identity even before I had any sense of my own existence (other than the occasional dirty diaper and the incessant and ravenous desire for milk). This official credential certified and verified that I was now a bona fide citizen of the United States, entitled to certain inalienable rights under the Constitution. A copy was mailed to my parents, and another was filed at the Jefferson County Department of Health.
Over the course of my life, my birth certificate proved to be the indispensable means of confirming I am who I claim to be. It was the required identification along with a certificate of immunization that ensured I was accepted into the world of public education. Later, that same identifying document was required to obtain a Social Security card, play high school football, and get a driver’s license. My Social Security card came with a number that verified my identity and allowed me to open a bank account, get a job, pay my taxes, obtain a passport, and vote. My driver’s license doubles as a picture ID and can be used when my identity is questioned, or I want to purchase an airline ticket, rent a car, or verify my ownership of a charge card. I also have a passport that allows me to travel to other countries and validates my American citizenship. Each of these documents is an essential verification of my identity.
Like Adam, I too have clear proof that I am who I claim to be. I have an identity that can be proven by documentation.
You probably have all or at least some of these same documents. Each one is a treasured benefit of living in this country—a part of what it means to be a United States citizen. Each of these documented details confirms our personal identities as citizens of this country and gives us access to specific benefits and liberties. This access enhances and protects our ability to conduct business and take care of our families. It allows us the privilege of writing and cashing checks, as well has having a savings account or a credit or debit card. It enables us to pay only the debts we incur and allows the proper amount of taxes to be withheld from our earnings.
It is essential that we have access to these documents and understand their value and worth. It is our responsibility to know how and when to use them. We must take the initiative to guard and protect them. It is mind-boggling to think about where I would be right now or the things I would have missed if I had never accessed each one of them. It would have been absurd not to have properly obtained each one and preposterous to have received them but never to have opened the envelope they came in. Any of these actions would have seriously crippled my ability to enjoy the quality of life and the freedoms living in this country affords.
Sadly, when it comes to one’s spiritual identity—who we are in Christ, which is God’s original intent—this is the crippling dilemma that the vast majority of Christians find themselves in at this very moment. I’m not talking about misplacing one’s driver’s license or Social Security card. Nor am I referring to the loss of one’s passport or voter’s card. Thank God we are not required to have a spiritual set of those. I am talking about your spiritual birth certificate. Spiritually speaking, do you really comprehend its value? Are you intimately familiar with the rights and privileges it affords you? Do you really understand who you are in Christ? Do you know who you are, whose you are, and why you’re here?
I am not questioning if you know Christ. Only you and the Holy Spirit can answer that. I am asking if you know who you are in Christ, and if you are living out of the benefits and privileges of that identity on a daily basis. Far too many believers are living light years below the spiritual poverty line. They are scratching out a meager existence, scrounging through the leftover crumbs of another person’s experience with God, instead of having their own. They are frustrated, hungry, and ready to give up. They are picking through the scraps of some empty theology that has been perpetrated in a pulpit but not substantiated from the Bible. Or worse, the enemy has lured them into his own garbage dumpster and convinced them that what they are choking down is the best that God can provide—camouflaged with a devilish forgery the serpent has designated as God’s Plan B.
Instead of living in the victory of the cross and enjoying a life-giving relationship with Jesus, many of us have gulped down a belly full of religious Kool-Aid, which promised everything but delivered little, and now we suffer the pangs of poisoning. Many have chosen to be victims of circumstance and happenstance—gorged on helplessness and despair, existing but not really living—rather than partners with God, having access to all the riches in the heavenly realms in Christ. This is not about “health and wealth” or “name it and claim it.” This is about opening the rest of the gift you received when you were born again by the grace of God. That precious gift of salvation contains far more than a celestial fire insurance policy that provides you with one free get-out-of-hell card and entrance into some narcissistic retirement community with the guaranteed satisfaction of your every whim. It’s time to spread the plan on the table and take a closer look at the blueprints. It’s time to open your gift box from God and find that the devil has deceived you into accepting far less than what God has provided. The time has come to examine and claim the rights and privileges contained in the same Plan A God offered to Adam.
Before you read further, please consider the following statement made by Jesus to his disciples on the night before his crucifixion and to us as well: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father” (John 14:12 NLT). Faith in Jesus is the only prerequisite mentioned in this verse. Faith in Jesus is required for salvation. Therefore, if we are saved, we should be doing the works Jesus did and even greater ones. That’s what Jesus said, and that’s what he meant. That’s a part of God’s Plan A.
Simple question: Are you doing the works Jesus did and even greater ones?
Before you answer, I know most of the excuses because at one time or another I’ve used them. You know the ones—God no longer does that…or that…or that. The only problem with that is it won’t stand up under the scrutiny of the Scripture. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Forever reaches back past the creation of Adam, before time began, and into the far horizon of eternity. He is the same God who scooped the clay, formed it into a shape, and jump-started it with a breath of his Spirit. He has not changed, nor can he change. To do so would forever alter and destroy his immutable character. There cannot be one plan for Adam and another for you or me. The same plan—Plan A—is still in effect. What was possible for Adam has already been assured for us in Christ.
Our problem is unbelief, and this unbelief has its roots in our ignorance of who the resurrected Jesus really is and what he has done for and in us. We have believed the same lie—that God has another plan—and we have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.
Here’s the invitation: If you love Jesus and you hunger to know him in a deeper way, so that you might become all he says you are and be able to achieve all he says you can do, consider pondering prayerfully the following chapters. If your world is marked by confusion or chaos, and the fists of fear, insecurity, or uncertainty pummel you unmercifully into the dust, this may be the cool sip of water and mind-clearing moment of biblical truth that will help you regain your balance and swing back. If you sense there’s something missing, this may help you find what you’re looking for.
if you’re satisfied with who and what you are right now, content with the
person you have become, put this book down. It’s probably not for you. If you
have become secure in yourself, there will be little interest in who Jesus says
you are anyway. Receive this sincere warning in love: satisfaction with
yourself and the enemy’s tool of confusion are virtually indistinguishable.
I loved Joy’s first book, Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, so I have been anxiously awaiting Weddings, Willows, and Revised…