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::Devotional:: ‘Plan Ahead With Flexibility’

July 27, 2009

There’s a little cross-stitch picture where I work that says “Plan ahead; it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark”.  I stopped to think about it the other day and although it is a simple cross-stitch, it holds the key to a very big question.  How do we make plans for our lives and yet still make sure we are not headed in one direction while God is headed in another?  I’m not 100% sure but I do know that if I have any hope of understanding any of this, it is going to come from the Truth of God’s Word.

I am at a point in life where I’ve come to realize I’m holding on way too tight to what I have planned to do for God.  Just the other night God reminded me through His Word that certain things I had written off as impossible in various situations was foolishness on my part.  The Bible says “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  Luke 18:26  Now, as I wrestle between what I feel in my flesh and what I am being urged towards from the Holy Spirit, I am driven to God’s Word to remind myself of what it says.

A Plan Much Bigger Than Me

There is not a person on this earth who is able to see God’s big picture and sometimes I find myself thinking that somehow what I see is all there is to see.  Have mercy upon my foolishness Lord; my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak.  It is not possible for me to sit down and plan my life out according to the big picture God has created.  I’m not able to say that because God is going to do A I will plan and make sure I am ready for B.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

A Plan Much More Important Than Mine

My wife and I often joke when we see decisions made that we don’t agree with and say, “the world would be a different place if we ran it…” buy yet we are not foolish enough to believe that and we keep ourselves in check by ending the statement with “….it would be in a lot worse shape.”  What is important in my life is not what I want to do for God, but rather what God wants to do through me.  I could plan to become a Pastor, plant churches, open orphanages, champion a teen ministry – and many would look upon those things and think that they were excellent goals and accomplishments in life.  Yet if God was not directing me to them,  I would be out of the will of God.  I would be working from my plan rather than His.

The Plans God Allows Me to Make In His Word

Obviously I can’t plan out my whole life and think that God is going to bless it because it is “good”.  However, there are things that God’s Word tells me that I can plan for in my life that He will bless, because they are from Him.

  • I can plan on being used by God as He originally designed me, to do good works.  Ephesians 2:10
  • I can plan on my mind being transformed and renewed to a point where I am better equipped to discern God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2
  • I can plan on anything I store up here on earth will eventually be destroyed, but anything I store up in heaven will last for eternity.  Matthew 6:19
  • I can plan that by seeking God’s kingdom first (before even my smallest physical need) He will provide for all of my needs.  Matthew 6:33
  • I can plan on the Word of God being a turn off to those who only want to listen to people who will tell them what they want to hear.  2 Timothy 4:13
  • I can plan on receiving teaching from Holy Spirit when I study the Word of God if I am willing to listen.  John 14:26
  • I can plan on receiving wisdom and understanding from God to help me be discerning in my decisions if I will simply ask of Him.  James 1:5
  • I can plan that my life as a believer is going to require my decisions to be based on faith if I truly want to experience God.  Hebrews 11:6
  • and I can plan that apart from living a Christ-centered life, my life will not bear fruit and will not bring glory to the Father.  John 15:5

Planning to Be Flexible

Jesus is my savior, my redeemer, my hope, my strength, and my Lord.  He has purchased me with the price of His blood and by my salvation I have committed myself to serving Him under His Lordship.  I am no longer my own.  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20  As I live and plan my life according to what God has said in His Word that I am permitted to plan for, He will come to me and reveal opportunities for me to participate in what He is doing and working out from His big picture plan.  I will need to be flexible and moldable so that He can work through me and conform me more to the image of His Son.  Pray for me.

-Stay Rooted Col 2:7-

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Janie permalink
    October 5, 2009 9:35 am

    Thanks, Tony! Oh how many times through by 53 years (gulp; that sounds so old) have I had the opportunity, the privilege, to see in hindsight how God wove together the fibers to create the present. In the midst of the time, the fibers seem so jumbled–just like the back of that cross-stitch might be–that I cannot, for the life of me, see any rhyme or reason. But, as my vision becomes clearer, or as maybe I begin to see through redeemed eyes, I begin to glimpse the real side of the pattern–the front side, maybe the heavenly side.

    One of my difficulties is seeing God working in the midst of a situation. It’s only afterwards that I can see, or say, that He did it. When I’m in the midst, I often cannot tell if it is Janie working or God working, or God working through Janie. Only afterward can I see with any confidence that it was God.

    Maybe just a jumble of thoughts–like those on the back of a tapestry….


  2. Tracey Thompson permalink
    October 5, 2009 2:13 pm

    Thanks Tony, I don’t normally stop to read but today I’m glad I did. I needed that.

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