Monday, February 15, 2010

"The Plans I Have For You..."

Every where we turn, there are those that want us to plan for our future. They all want us to decide where we will be in 2 years, five years, 10 years. How will we plan our finances to take us there- there where WE want to be in the future? It is easy, even as children of God, to get pulled into making decisions and commitments that take us far beyond the good stewardship God has called us to.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but the counsel (plan or purpose in the Hebrew) of the Lord will stand." Proverbs 19:21

It isn't that God doesn't expect us to plan for our lives, that he doesn't want us to look forward in our considerations. He does, however, expect His will and plans for our life to be the center of those considerations. Think of how many times in the New Testament that the disciples planned on going to a certain place, but God prevented them and sent them elsewhere.

That is the way God wants us to operate. We should be in constant contact with Him (1Thess. 5:17), praying without ceasing, constantly communicating with our God, hungry for his direction and eager to do his bidding.

When God called Abram, He didn't give him a playbook, an outline of the plan He had for him. God said Abram, pack up all your possessions, your family and your servants and head in this direction to a land that I will (after you get moving) show you. Now, let's look at this. Abram was 75 years old and I imagine he had amassed a few things. I think, just to get everything and everybody ready to go, it must have taken some planning. There must have been planning for transport of people and possessions, etc.

Before he left, Abram built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. When he arrived at the next place he was to travel to, the Word says (Gen. 12:8) "..he....pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord."

He followed God's directions to the letter and then, after planning for camping and probably food for the evening, etc., he prayed to God for further instructions. This is to be our relationship with God. We have all heard in church of our daily walk and that is what we should have. But it's not just doing what we think God would want us to do, sacrificing what we think God wants; it's praying to God at every fork of our daily lives and asking what His will is for our day.

If we follow the story of Abram just a few verses farther, we find that Abram decided to plan a few things without God. He decided he would protect himself by lying about his wife, by claiming her as his sister. If you don't remember what a mess that caused, read Genesis, Chapter 12. It's a perfect example of why God does not want us planning anything without consulting Him.

In Jeremiah 19:11-13 it spells it out for us.

"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

The key here is that God says "I know the plans I have for you." He didn't say that we knew or that He would ever give it all to us in one lump. Like Abram (Abraham) we need to take it as He gives it to us, acknowledging that He knows when we are ready. He has promised us peace and welfare and a future that He already has mapped out. And most of all, we are in possession of the Hope, the knowledge that this is not our home and that God has the best route to our eternal home planned out. All we have to do is plug in on a regular basis and update our GPS!