Finding Purpose in the Plans
Have you ever made your plans for the day and it just seems like everything you did multiplied or mushroomed into one issue after another? I must say that pretty much sums up my day yesterday. I knew there were things I had to do, need to do, and then wanted to do. I am a goal setter and often set the goals unrealistically. I attempt to keep God in the loop but often find myself forging ahead without giving full consideration to everything as I move forward.
YesterdayÂ was a day of doing and catching up on some much-needed chores and maintenance aroundÂ our home. The day began after I completed my morning Bible study and time with God. I prayed that morning about this week’s writing because although I knew what the verse was to beÂ I wasn’t sure what I would be writing about. So I asked God to please provide direction so it may help others to know and understood His word better.
So armed with my mental “to do” list I began my day. First on my list was to replace theÂ GFCI plug by the garden pond. I had done this twice before and knew the steps to proceed. The standard turn off the electricity was first in order as I gathered my tools to head outside. The first obstacle I ran into was that someone had not placed the batteryÂ for the screw gun properly on the chargerÂ so it could charge causing me to move into a manual operation. Determined however not to be dismayedÂ IÂ armed myself withÂ the screwdriver, quickly reviewed the directions, and out I went.
Well the task was a bit more difficult than I anticipated because the plug’s location was difficult to maneuver around. I managed in the end to hang upside down, resting my knees on the rocks,Â constantly shoving my glasses back up on my nose and changed out the plug. Now for the testing of the plug to make sure everything was as it should be.
I returned inside the house to turn the electricity back on and then returned to test my plug. My test promptly failed so I had to refer to my instruction sheet in the trouble shooting section. It was becoming evident at this point that my plans were going astray.Â The instructionsÂ suggested I make sure the connections were properly wired. What this really meant was to begin again so back in the house I went to turn back off the electricity. I then returned outside to unscrew everything again to determine the issue.
To make a long story short IÂ ended up stripping out the screw head on one of the screws and couldn’t get the plug unhinged from the box. I tried everything from every size screwdriver to pliers of every sort to attempt to get that screw to loosen up but nothing worked. My frustration level was increasing as was my body heat, my knees throbbed from the rocks, and I was ready to fling my glasses into the pond.
I went back into the studio and in a desperate measure took the Dremel tool out that had a cutting disc on it andÂ prepared to simply cut the head of the screw off. As I arrived back to the pond I felt a strong urging telling me to test the plug with something else beside the pond pump so after turning the electricity back on I plugged in the Dremel tool and lo and behold it powered up so now I knew the plug worked great so I quickly put everything back in place and cleaned up as now I had a bigger issueÂ for I knewÂ the pond pump probably needed to be replaced. Three hours later I was researching and ordering a new pump and had lost hours of time on my very loaded “to do” list. So far my plans for the day were not going so well.
Needless to say my next adventures didn’t go as I planned either. It seemed each step I took sent me in twenty different directions making my progress slow and very frustrating. In fact it took me about three-quarters of the way through the next projects as everything I did seemed to create further issues before I realized that my many plans of the day were falling apart and as I cried out to God for help He gave me my answer.Â I began to laugh as I realized this was God’s purpose. Now do not get me wrong I am not saying that God made a disaster of my day because admittedly I did a good job of that on my own as I added to my self-made plans as I went but suddenly I knew the events of the day andÂ my carefully laid out plans had now given me the necessary means toÂ illustrate this week’s focus verse as God’s purpose had prevailed.
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. (NLT)
Be Sure to Include God in the Plans First
We often make plans for the day or our life and forget to include God. Sometimes we think we have included God but forge ahead without anticipating the twist and turns that might intervene in our plans. It is difficult sometimes to discern God’s plans from our own emotional and self-willed guidance but if we maintain a strong relationship with God the plans seems to reveal themselves as we move forward. We must remember that God is trustworthy, good, and loves us so much that He doesn’t intend harm to us. James 1:17 and Romans 8:28 reminds us of this. As we look at this however we also must remember that we live in a sin-filled world where God allows free will so just because we are believers doesn’t mean we will remain untouched by troubles of this world. If this were the case everyone would be a believer out of fear for wanting a perfect life. It is often in the troubles of this world where we experience and see God’s greatness touch our lives and strengthen our relationship with Him. Our purpose on earthÂ is to glorify God and it is through His plans and purpose that this will occur. This will not change as Psalm 33:11 tells us;
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. (NLT)
Plans should begin and end with God in mind. It boils down to belief and trust that God will do what is right in our life as we explored this past week in our focus verse of 1 Peter 5:7 He cares about us! If we believe this we will be able to move forward in all circumstances finding peace amidst the turmoil. Now this is not to say we sit idly by hoping for a miracle as we have to do our part as discussed in Humble but Not Helpless. We must work however with God as it says in Proverbs 16:1;
We can make our own plans, but the Lord givesÂ the right answer. (NLT)
We should have and maintain a partnership with God. I recently heard a story about a man who was driving through the countryside andÂ passed a beautiful farm.Â He was overcome with its beauty that he felt compelled to stop and tell the farmer so. He parked his car on the side of the road and walked up to the farmer who was laboring in the sun and said, “This is a magnificent place God and you have here!” The farmer looked at him and replied, “Yes it is but you should have seen the place when God had it by Himself.” God wants and expects us to co-labor with Him as it helps fulfill our purpose to glorify Him. He fully expects us to use the minds He gave us and to seek advice from knowledgeable people as we plan. He expects us to plan as it would be foolish to set off on a task or venture without direction and plans. As we planÂ though we have to remember to co-labor with God by asking for His advice and guidance before we begin. If we make our plans in this way we will be acting through the will of God. This leads us to the advice of Proverbs 16:9;
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (NLT)
We must move forward and trust that God is directing our plans. God’s way is usually not easy or logical to our thinking so we must stay in close contact with Him as we move forward to stay on the right path and follow His plans.
I pray that each of us remembers this week to consult God at the beginning of each day as we make our plans remembering that our purpose is to glorify Him.
Love in Christ,
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you seen and experienced God working in your life through the plans you have made? Have you watched God turn bad plans or the interferences of the sin-filled world into good? Do you struggle with making plans because you fear God is not with you? Join us in discussion.