That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:10–12—NKJV)

Plans, plans, plans—we seem to be always making plans. Some of our plans are well conceived and executed; they work like a charm. But the greater percentage of our plans tend to be not fully vetted, run aground on unforeseen situations, and, in the end, prove to be half-baked. “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” as the Scottish poet Robert Burns said.

If your salvation depends on the careful planning of the best of men, let alone yourself, you better believe that something would be overlooked and all would be lost. It is not in man to save himself nor be the author of his own salvation. Romans 3:10–12 instructs us, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside, they have together become unprofitable.”

Thankfully, your salvation, in its entirety, rests fully in the hands of God. Hebrews 12:2 exhorts, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I believe this is one of the big reasons why our Lord is called the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” in the book of Revelation. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Salvation, as Jonah says, is of the Lord.

This divine counsel of His will, referred to in Ephesians 1, is an all-encompassing purposed plan that includes the very finite details of your personal salvation. 2 Timothy 1:9 reads, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Ephesians 1:10 identifies the wonderful fact that this all-encompassing plan, that created all the wonders in all the universe, was accomplished in an orderly, precise, infinitely thoughtful, lavishly supplied, brilliantly executed, and mightily worked manner as is plainly seen. That plan also included your eternal salvation (also accomplished in an orderly, precise, infinitely thoughtful, lavishly supplied, brilliantly executed, and mightily worked way). Wiersbe said that the God of the chosen is also the God of the universe—meditate on that!

The next verse examines this plan a bit more. Believers are claimed—not only chosen (Ephesians 1:4) for God’s inheritance portion, but are actually made so—having been designated a heritage. How does this happen? By predestination, literally setting the boundaries and limits beforehand. Then Paul teaches us that this predestination was not arbitrary or capricious; rather it was purposed. This means that God’s mysterious act of your predestination is for reasons both intelligent and deliberate, known to Him. I am thankful that my salvation did not originate from my mind, with my planning, and with my execution of it. How much better to have the entire plan of my salvation fully resting in the capable and deliberate hand of God! God works all things (absolutely all) according to the measure of the counsel of His will.

The purpose of all this is stated in the last of our verses. He works what He works to the end that those who trust should be to the praise of His glory (the Jew first and the church age saint as well). The Greek word translated “should” carries along with the privilege the general concept of obligation. Being a recipient of God’s careful planning and flawless execution comes with the ethical obligation to do all in your life, in all of your days, for the purpose of bringing praise to the glory of God!

Are you rejoicing in the grand plan, the glorious blessing, and the inestimable worth of being an object of divine love? How can you bring greater praise to the glory of your Savior after all He is doing for you? Trust and obey.