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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?

 

Why Are We Afraid of Change?

June 21, 2014

We were out of milk. We were out of bread.

A short window of time and a decision to make, I had two options: hit the closest grocery store where I shop less often, or drive farther down the road where I could shop with my eyes closed. Surely the advantage of knowing the exact location of every item would make up for lost travel time, right?

A few minutes after reasoning myself past store #1, I was entering my favorite store #2.  All was according to plan, or was it?

To my surprise, the milk aisle had vanished. Let me rephrase that, the aisle was still there, but the milk wasn’t.

Suddenly, I felt lost in what used to be familiar territory.

So what I’m trying to say is this:

Change is uncomfortable, so we run to the familiar, only to find our familiar has changed. Nothing in this world stays the same forever.

Look forward to change, be excited, and do not fear what could be the greatest growth spurt of your life.

God uses change to help us seek. When we seek, we will find Him.   tweet it

He changes relationships; environments; jobs; ministries…

Whether our change is huge like moving to a new country, or small like moving our milk, one thing never changes: God. He is our constant.

When we face change in the midst of unfamiliar territory, our Unchangeable God holds our right hand.

Trust Him, He knows where the milk went.

You have heard these things; look at them all.Will you not admit them?

“From now on I will tell you of new things,
    of hidden things unknown to you.”  Isaiah 48:6

What changes are you currently experiencing?  How has God caused you to seek Him?

Change Seek Milk

What Are We Hiding? It’s Time to Seek

June 7, 2014

 

jeremiah 29

What was your favorite childhood game?

Hide and Seek tops my list. Talk about adrenaline rush; hiders frantically  scattering as the seeker shouts   “one, two, three,… ten; ready or not, here I come!”

Stifling nervous giggles with hand over mouth, I’d slip behind a tree, or scurry inside and nestle tight between winter coats in the front closet. The goal of course, was to elude the seeker. The goal was to hide well.

As women, isn’t it true we’ve done more hiding than seeking? I think you’d agree, we’ve learned to hide things well.

We’ve become quite good at hiding what we dare not expose; we stuff it in closets; sweep it under rugs; throw slip-covers over it. We hide it from others, and try to hide it from God.

The baggage isn’t always the kind we can slap a luggage tag on; hurt, shame, addiction, worry, debt, abuse, pride…  As we know in Hide and Seek, either we’re hiding or we’re seeking; but what if we could do both?

God knows we are hiding; when we seek Him, He becomes our hiding place. Instead of hiding from Him, we can hide in Him.    Tweet that

“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7

In Jeremiah 29:12-13, God guarantees we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. He doesn’t say we might find Him; He doesn’t say if we’re good enough we’ll find Him; He says we will find Him.

He’s not the one hiding, He’s right there. He’s right here.

“Then you will call upon Me and go 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.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Call, Pray, Seek, Search, Find. The difference is “pray,” it’s the step we leave out in the game Hide and Seek.

So here I am, all grown up and back in the closet; only this time I’m not hiding, I’m seeking.  If I giggle it’s not because I’m afraid of being found; it’s because I once was lost, but now I’m found. You can be too.

Go giggle in the closet.