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How Do We Know if Our Plans Are God’s Plans?

October 15, 2016

 

direct-my-steps

We had a plan.

Emphasis on we, meaning hubby & me. I’d reach a certain age, retire, then work in our business. It was a good plan, we thought. But it didn’t quite happen that way.

Things changed at the company I worked for and the above plan launched too soon.

Because the original plan didn’t go as planned, things happened we hadn’t planned on.

Has this happened to you?

We can make all the plans we want and planning is a good thing. But we have to accept our plans may change because of circumstances beyond our control or choices we make along the way.

Or both.

After years of doubting, I can clearly see the plan we hadn’t planned on is a better one. The new plan is better because it’s God’s. I know this because I never could have dreamed up the series of events on my own. They weren’t random in the least.

Another reason why I know God was definitely in the new plan? I prayed fervently for direction.

So what happens to the plans we make and the dreams we have? Are they meaningless and null and void if God has already made our plans?

Be encouraged. Scripture provides the answers:

Without counsel, plans go awry,
But in the multitude of counselors they are established.  Proverbs 15:22 NKJV

God directs us to seek wise counsel in our plans.

Commit your works to the Lord
And your plans will be established.  Proverbs 16:3 NASB 

God directs us to commit our works and thoughts to Him. When we walk in His will our plans will be fruitful and established. The NLT versions says our plans will succeed.

 In their hearts humans plan their course,
 but the Lord establishes their steps.  Proverbs 16:9 NIV

Our plans will do well when our ultimate goal is to please God. Sounds easy except for one thing.

We’re human. We can’t always trust our hearts to do the right thing.

I don’t know about you, but for years the ultimate goals of my plans were to benefit me. I wasn’t focusing on how my plans were going to please God. What a win-win when we set our goals on pleasing God, because when we do, our benefits are far more than we could dream up on our own.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

When we trust God and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He directs us in the way we should go (or not go). He won’t have us doing a U-Turn in the middle of nowhere or drive us off a cliff like that GPS we place so much trust in.

The most well-known and quoted scripture on plans is Jeremiah 29:11. What plans does God have for us? A future and a hope. Plans for no evil or calamity, but for peace and for our welfare.

How should we make our plans going forward? Here are a few options:

  • Seek God. Plan. Succeed.
  • Plan. Fail. Seek God to fix it.
  • Plan. Succeed by world’s standards. Don’t include God and we won’t know what we’re missing.

We wonder why there are people who never seek God, may not even believe in God, yet appear successful and lacking nothing. It can seem that way when we base success on the standards of this world.

But I don’t want to be in the “don’t know what we’re missing” community. If we miss seeking God and including Him in our plans, we’ll always feel there has to be more. We’ll always want more. There will always be something, or rather Someone, missing.

Therein lies the lacking of those who seem to lack for nothing. A misdirected hunger for things of this world.

When we hunger for God, He can satisfy like nothing else can.

To You Lord, we commit every single step.

Let’s invite God into the beginning of our plans. Let’s map out our plans with the ultimate goal of pleasing Him instead of pleasing ourselves because when we do, we will be delightfully surprised.

Let’s make pleasing God our ultimate plan in life.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced a change in plans?

 

What I Want for You

November 19, 2015

How are you today? No really, how are you?

Daily demands we women face can be a bit overwhelming, ok, a lot overwhelming.

Cheerful givers we are, but sometimes the cheerful is a stretch.

We’re pulled in different directions, like rubberband girls, as we balance hats stacked on our heads. There are hard times, and there are just-doing-life times, and don’t we want more abundant life times?

Do you feel people always expect something from you?

Well, I want something for you.

I want for you to know, when you feel like giving up, when you’re tired and you’re weary, that everything you do matters.

I want for you to know, you are important, significant, and special, no matter how unimportant, insignificant, and not-so-special you may feel. I don’t want you feeling that way, and God doesn’t want you feeling that way either.

I want for you to know, those plans God has for you? They’re not just thrown together, like remnants in the pantry we try passing off as dinner. God’s plans were formed long ago with perfect faithfulness.

Now consider this:

What if we could overlay a transparency graph of our life, atop of the graph of God’s plans for our life? How closely would the lines line up? It would show times when our own plans veered us off track. Then hopefully it would show times when the lines became one, when we’ve drawn near to God, and listened for His voice and direction. How many lines would we see today?

You know what makes me sad? When those lines don’t line up. You know what makes me sadder? For some, those lines will never line up. I don’t want to be that person missing opportunities to help someone’s lines line up. I want to be the woman God calls me to be, to share His love and grace with others, and I want that for you.

I want to live my real life, not a palatable version I created in my head. I want to live who I’m really supposed to be, not who I think I’m supposed to be. I want me to be me, and I want you to be you.

I see hurting people, struggling with a life of addiction, lies, darkness…

That’s not supposed to be their life. God doesn’t create a work of art to waste away.

I want for them to live their real life, and I want for you to live your real life too.

I want for you to feel joy, and love, and peace, and I want that for them. Sometimes the them is us, because we all fight battles and we all fall down.

I want for all of us to see ourselves the way God sees us. That it isn’t us and them, we are all just us.

Be encouraged today. Did you ever notice when we encourage others, we are also encouraged?

We can’t afford to leave our calling and our purpose on the table like crumbs from breakfast.

Our real life was bought and paid for by Jesus Christ, and I want for us to live that truth. When we follow Jesus, we are living our real life. We’ll still mess up, but I am me and you are you. The real me and the real you, not a version the world tries to convince us we should be.

Let’s speak that real life truth to encourage others to live theirs.

I want for you to hang tight to faith, and know you make a difference in this world. The world wouldn’t be the same without the real you.

Are you living your real life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whose Shoes Are You Wearing?

May 29, 2015

 Remember when life was simpler?

When having a bad day meant bubble gum in your hair?

I remember those days of digging through mom’s closet, slipping on heels, and putting on plays. Then I blinked, and my daughter was digging through my closet.

Our younger self dreams of growing older. Middle school, high school, driving, dating, college, wedding, kids…

Our older self dreams of when we were younger; before all this crazy stuff like mortgages, bills, health insurance, taxes, aches, pains …

Truth is, some days our older self feels like throwing in the towel, staying in bed with the covers over our head.

Maybe we dream too much of what we hoped would be, or maybe we dream too much of what used to be.

Maybe we dream too much. Let’s open our eyes and see what is.

God has plans for us, He tells us so. Our divinely designed plans, flowing into His great plan, like rivers flowing into the ocean.

If we want to relive our youth, we can buy shoes five sizes too big, and shove a wad of bubble gum into our hair.

But going backwards stops the flow of our plan, and I want my plans flowing forward. How about you?

Ever wish you could walk in someone else’s shoes? Fill someone else’s shoes?

Stop wishing, cause their shoes won’t fit.

Because to God, there is not another like us in all the universe. Uniquely, fearfully, and wonderfully made.

He loves us, not only as a whole body and bride, but as that child He knitted together in the womb.

To God, there is nobody else who can fill our shoes. Not because we’re awesome, but because He is awesome and He created us. Do you believe that?

It’s time to believe it.

So let’s stop trying to walk in someone else’s shoes, and start walking in the plans God created for us.wearourownshoes

We can’t walk forward as world-changers for Christ if our shoes keep falling off.

Let’s wear shoes that fit, our shoes.

Right where we are, however young or old, mortgages and all.

Or maybe we can just go barefoot.

For those of you into hashtags:

#wearourownshoes

Finding it hard to wear your own shoes today? Share about it.

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
    the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11

Enough Said

September 4, 2014

Love my dreams