Monday, March 24, 2014

godly plans & god's plans...

"We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right to answer...
Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed...
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps...
Those who listen to instruction will prosper, those who trust the Lord will be joyful...
We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall..."
Proverbs 16: 1; 3; 9; 20; 33
My day is filled to the brim, and I assume that yours is as well. My calendar beckons me to coffee dates, counseling sessions, staff meetings, and a to-do list that is longer than the laws of Leviticus. Not to mention, the quiet goals of my character, the silent struggles within my own heart that crave my attention and my prayers. The plans of the day and the plans of the week and the plans of the month and the plans of the year and the plans of the future... SO MANY PLANS. And in the deepest parts of my heart, in that place that the Bible references as "the innermost parts" (which reference the liver and kidneys, I mean, what?!), I question what is ahead.
My desires, my goals... are they really going to come to fruition? Am I really going to become this person? Am I really going to attain this career? Am I really going to be a wife and a mother someday? I evaluate my desires, and my life, and they are good things, normal things, admirable and godly things even. BUT, just because I make godly plans does not mean that they are necessarily God's plans. I plan to start a career within student affairs, I plan to get married, I plan to have children, I plan to serve the Lord in ministry all the days of my life, I plan to travel and share Jesus in the dark places, I plan to adopt children... I could keep going. And that's the problem; I could tell you all about MY plans, but not about His. None of these plans and desires are evil, or against the Lord. These plans are godly plans, things that would sanctify me and reveal who He is to me more deeply, but are they God's plans for me? Is it God's plan for me to marry? To have children? To adopt children? I don't know. I honestly don't. And that is the mystery that I am learning to embrace.
We are reminded in James 4, a widely known passage on Christian business ethics, that we are not able to boast in the idea of tomorrow.
"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow... you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil..."
James 4: 13-17
My only hope is in Christ, my only boast is in Christ. I cannot hope in my plans, because they are faulty and fleeting. I cannot hope in the idea of tomorrow, for it is not guaranteed. I can hope in the plans that Christ has for me, boasting in the path that He has me on today, in this moment.
If I am inherently evil, and He is inherently and infinitely good, why would I not trust Him with the plans of my life? Why would I let my seemingly good plans, plans that come from a wicked heart, get in the way of His pure, lovely, rich plans for my life?
Godly plans are not always God's plans. I am learning to make peace with that, and to plan in prayer, committing this fragile life to He who gives it strength.

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