Can Our Sins Derail God’s Plans For Us?

Sin can really mess up our lives.

Sin has serious consequences. A healthy fear of the Lord leads us to pray “lead us not into temptation,” and to flee temptation and sin. 

Our sins play havoc with us, and sometimes we wind up eating the fruit of our disobedience for years. Sometimes it can seem like we have derailed God’s design for our lives and now he has had to opt for plan B. But that is simply not true.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

God causes ALL things to work together for good, including our sins.

God is in no way responsible when we blow it, for God is not the author of sin. But somehow even our worst sins and mistakes fall under the umbrella of his supreme plan for our lives.

God is so infinitely awesome, powerful and wise, that he can take even our sins and failures and use them to accomplish his purposes. When Jacob duped his father and swindled his big brother Esau, God used it to fulfill his prophecy that the older would serve the younger. When Joseph unwisely boasted of his dreams to his brothers, God used his foolishness to provoke his brothers to sell him to slave traders who dragged him to Egypt where God exalted him to spare thousands from starving, including his scheming brothers.

When Jonah fled in the opposite direction from where God commanded him, God used Jonah’s rebellion to reveal himself to pagan sailors on the ship he had taken:

Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. (Jonah 1:8-10)

David began his relationship with Bathsheba with adultery, deception and murder. Yet God took their sin and gave them Solomon, author of Proverbs and one of Israel’s greatest kings. Not even the worst sins can stymie God’s purpose.

Regret can easily slide into self-pity. And excessive regret is an insult to God, because we are saying what Christ did on the cross was somehow not enough to remove all our guilt. Excessive regret is also an insult to God’s sovereignty, because we are saying that our sins are too hard for God to turn to good.

Paul makes it very clear that we should not take sin lightly because we are under grace:

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. RO 6.15-19

We should never presume upon God’s grace, thinking God will use it for good. For sin has painful consequences. But if you believe your sins have ruined God’s plans for you, know that the cross of Christ and the power of God is infinitely greater than your offenses.

If you believe your sins have ruined God’s plans for you, know that the cross of Christ and the power of God is infinitely greater than your offenses.

Maybe you are suffering consequences now for sins you have committed. But God still has a plan for your life, which he will fulfill. Psalm 138:8 says:

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. PS 138:8

The Lord has a purpose for you, a plan which he had from all eternity. He will fulfill that purpose. Nothing can stop him, not even your sins. Even if you feel you have derailed your life through sin, turn back to the Lord. Ask him to forgive you and fulfill his purpose for you. Even if you are suffering consequences of sin, ask the Lord to help you and use you. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to thinking your sins have ruined your life permanently.

And never think that your failures or sins have separated you from God. If you have trusted in Jesus, then nothing, not even your sins, can separate you from his love.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. RO 8:38-39

When we sin, we can lose a sense of God’s love. We can feel separated from God’s love. But when we confess our sins, God cleanses us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 JN 1.9

We may feel like our sins have derailed us, and in a sense they do. They often bring devastating consequences. But it is never too late for us to turn from them, confess them, and experience God’s forgiveness and cleansing.

God will fulfill his plan for each of his children’s lives. Remember: The Lord WILL fulfill his purpose for you. PS 138:8

 

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.