Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Jane’s plans to become a speech therapist ended when an internship revealed the job was too emotionally challenging for her. Then she was given the opportunity to write for a magazine. She’d never seen herself as an author, but years later she found herself advocating for needy families through her writing. “Looking back, I can see why God changed my plans,” she says. “He had a bigger plan for me.”
The Bible has many stories of disrupted plans. On his second missionary journey, Paul had sought to bring the gospel into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus stopped him (Acts 16:6–7). This must have seemed mystifying: Why was Jesus disrupting plans that were in line with a God-given mission? The answer came in a dream one night: Macedonia needed him even more. There, Paul would plant the first church in Europe. Solomon also observed, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
It’s sensible to make plans. A well-known adage goes, “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” But God may disrupt our plans with His own. Our challenge is to listen and obey, knowing we can trust God. If we submit to His will, we’ll find ourselves fitting into His purpose for our lives.
As we continue to make plans, we can add a new twist: Plan to listen. Listen to God’s plan.
How can you submit your plans to God today? How can you listen to His plans?
All-knowing God, give me the faith to listen to You when my plans are disrupted, knowing that You have a greater purpose for my life. -Our Daily Bread for today, March 5th, 2020
Looking back on the last 7 years of my life, this devotional rings oh so true. We have sometimes such a keen sense of what we think the immediate future should be like.
8 years ago my future in the place where I worked was thrown into total chaos, at least from my perspective. A new Supervisor brought in clearly to disrupt and force changes. People left. More importantly learned knowledge of the product that spanned hundreds of years worth were gone. Then I found myself transferred to another department without my knowledge. To me, it was horrific to watch everything that I was a part of creating, systematically being destroyed.
Someone meant it for evil, but as Scripture says He will turn it around for good. His good.
About this time last year I was convinced, and others had me convinced that a book was in my future. Putting together all my posts from Facebook on the things that God was having me write.
Then something powerful but small happened. God simply telling me that I wasn't thinking big enough. A book that could potentially go all over the world wasn't big enough? He then shows me how. A blog. Then shows me how it will be affordable. Then tells me that He will give me things to say but it will be up to me to say them. In my constant reading of my Bible, it came to me that I was being commissioned as a Scribe. Remembering something from the Old Testament, the watchman on the wall and his responsibility. That's where "A Scribe on the Wall" came from.
In this first year I have been endlessly amazed at the messages God has brought to me every single day. They are never ending. They begin after my time in His Word and my devotionals. The words come until it's time to go to work. Then I post whatever it is. Even I am amazed by what is covered.
That passage from Proverbs certainly applies to the direction of my life. I also remember another passage. Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts"
I also think on another from Proverbs. 16 verse 9 "The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps."
I think a lot as many of you already know. But it amazes me how quiet my thoughts get when in this time of writing. Words just flow. I have dozens of books started. Can't seem to seal the deal on finishing any.
My thoughts on serving certainly aren't what He has in mind. This blog has gone places no book ever could. I look forward to hearing from Him on just who had their life changed because of it for Him.
8 years ago I was sunk into a deep depression and 7 years ago I had a breakdown on the way to work. Financially we were going to be ok for a few months. God saw to that. Then He began my new journey to being restored. He kept His promise to never leave me nor forsake me. In the rest of that time between then and now He healed more of me than I knew was damaged. There were Spiritual surgeries. More or less that means He showed me aspects of me that He was going to change. To be healed it was necessary. He was directing my steps.
Then shortly less than 2 years ago I made contact with an old friend. He insisted we needed to talk. Today I find myself back where I left. But I am not the same man that I was back then. The mountains that had so blocked my way in terms of people were all gone. The culture that had damaged me so was gone. He had spent the last year rebuilding my confidence there and using this blog to spread His messages around the world.
I really understand that part of this devotional where it mentions Paul and his direction being changed. Hindered from going somewhere with the Gospel because God needed it somewhere else first.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight
This had been my journey and it can be for you too. Don't get frustrated by comparing your life with Christ with that of others. His plans for you are for YOU. Success is measured by Him. Not by what we see or think we should see. It's not measured by any worldly standards. It's measured by obedience and trust in Jesus. What you do now, you will be giving an account for before Him. Do you really want to be standing there talking about all the things you did for you and have little to nothing to say of what you did for Him?
We can easily be ingrown people. Only looking at our woes, our problems. Our limitations. God is THE Creator. He can do anything that fits His plans. Join Him in what He is doing. Ask Him what you can do and leave the choice to Him.
He's not going to care about your hobbies or sports teams or your retirement. When we give an account it will be about the people we touched for Jesus.