WHAT’S THE PLAN?
Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Proverbs 16:1-4, 9,
The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble….
9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.
British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein was once visited in his studio by the eminent author and fellow Brit, George Bernard Shaw. Shaw noticed a huge block of stone standing in one corner and asked what it was for.
“I don’t know yet. I’m still making plans.”
Shaw was astounded. “You mean you plan your work. Why, I change my mind several times a day!”
“That’s all very well with a four-ounce manuscript,” replied the sculptor, “but not with a four-ton block.”
Like a master sculptor, the Lord Jesus Christ forms us into his image. Romans 8:29 says that those whom God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. This is a lifelong process, and God has a master plan to accomplish His will. Much like the astute architect, the Lord plots out a blueprint for our lives, but the problem is He doesn’t always let us in on it in the time or the way we would like. Life would be much easier if the Lord would just lay out the entire schematic from the beginning of our relationship so we could fully understand it….or so we think. In the midst of the uncertainties of life it is so easy to dig in and put our best plans together to bring our lives to our desired end. Family, job, retirement, ministry…you name it and we plan it out, but God laughs at our plans. Joni Erickson Tada once stated,
“Nothing is a surprise to God; nothing is a setback to His plans; nothing can thwart His purposes; and nothing is beyond His control. His sovereignty is absolute. Everything that happens is uniquely ordained by God. Sovereignty is a weighty thing to ascribe to the nature and character of God. Yet if He were not sovereign, He would not be God. The Bible is clear that God is in control of everything that happens.”
(Is God Really in Control, Joni and Friends, www.joniandfriends.org.)
Somehow God is the great conductor of the symphony of life. We play the notes of action, but He is guiding the entire orchestra. Our decisions matter, but somehow He rules and overrules above them all. Instead of asking the Lord to bless our best formed plans, we must learn to trust the one who formed the earth to give us His plan. God is not obligated to bless my well thought out machinations. He is the all knowing, all powerful, everywhere present Creator of the universe who sees the end from the beginning and heart behind the matter.
So, in uncertain times such as these we must commit our lives to the Lord and fully trust in Him, not commit the Lord to our lives and trust in ourselves. What makes complete sense to me just might be non-sense to God, and what looks like the right thing to do might be wrong by God’s master blueprint. He sits in a seat that no one else can fill and has a view that nobody else has. Add to that the fact that He loves us with a steadfast and extravagant love and promises to provide our every need. Child of God, rest in Him. Commit your work to the Lord. Let Him lead. Trust His heart. Wait on His timing. Don’t get angry or frustrated. Pray before you plan. Worship before you work. It’s at times like these that we learn just how faithful and awesome our God really is!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, You are the sovereign Creator of the universe. Even when I can’t see Your hand I know that I can fully trust in You. Forgive me Lord for asking You to simply bless my plans. I commit this life to You and long to do Your will. May your plans be established in my life. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 John 4:4
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.