I hope your weekend provided great opportunities for rest and relaxation and that you are having a fantastic Monday! I’ll dispose with my usual pleasantries and jump right into this week’s note.
Here we go.
I cannot possibly tell you how far reaching my mom’s influence is in my life. I often find myself quoting her maxims. If you look closely, you’ll find my mom’s influence on the way I do business, the way I see the world and other people, how I take on projects and so much more. My mom was and is a pretty tough cookie, but the lessons she taught me as I grew up stuck.
Probably the most influential thing my mom taught me was to have a plan. She would always tell me “Have a plan - and not just one plan. Have a plan A, B and C!” That’s how she always does things. She always has an idea of the direction she wants to go and how to get there. My mom has really impressed upon me a penchant for planning. Because of her, planning has become something that is very important to me.
As I’ve gotten closer to God and gotten more intentional about reading and thinking about his word, I’ve discovered that plans aren’t just important to me. They are important to God! The more I read the Bible, the more clearly I see that God has an intricate plan for each one of us.
Reading the book of Jeremiah, I was really struck by how often God talks to Jeremiah about his plan. Jeremiah starts off his writing telling us that God had a plan for him - an intimate and amazing plan. Jeremiah says God spoke these words to him:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
- Jeremiah 1:5
Not only does God reveal that he has an individual plan for Jeremiah, he also tells Jeremiah that he has a plan for his people. Later on in the book he tells Jeremiah to pass this word along to the nation of Israel:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
- Jeremiah 29:11
Reading this book has been really interesting to me. What I’ve found is that God’s plan is often hard to swallow. His ways are so much higher than ours. While we often find ourselves wondering why he does things the way he does, we can’t possibly hope to understand all of the intricacies of his designs. His plans are bigger (and sometimes much more tiny in detail) than we can conceive.
Maybe this is why he so badly desires and pleasures in our complete trust in him. Maybe this is why he is so offended by our impetuous actions - our planning and moving without him. Maybe this is why he warns:
Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin
- Isaiah 30:1
What I’ve learned from my time with God over the past weekend and the reading of Jeremiah is that God’s plan is infinitely important. In fact - it is the ultimate in importance. Because of that, my planning should always consist primarily of consulting God’s plans. This require an ever deepening humbleness to come under the directorship of God and subordinate what I want to what he wants. His plan is bigger and ultimately important. My plan better fall in line or the results of my planning will be ultimate failure.
As we go into this week, let’s pray together for God to outpour more of his grace into our lives. In that outpouring, let’s pray that we find grace to be more trusting and submissive to God’s plans. Let’s pray that we can learn to create our own plans in such ways that they always advance his plan.
My mom's right - planning is very important. I'm just starting to understand just how important it is!
- How do I construct my plans?
- Do I ever consider God’s plan when I am constructing my own?
- Have there been times when my plans have ultimately failed? What was I planning toward? Did I consult God’s plan in those instances?
- How do I go about synchronizing my plans with God’s?
- What is the role of humility in my planning?