A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Are we willing to get messy?
My desire is to see God move Heaven and Earth, to touch the lives of people where He has called me to minister. I want Him to change the world! But being on the field and trying to be a good steward of time and resources, I create a schedule. I evaluate, re-evaluate, examine and plan. These things are necessary, for disorder cannot accomplish anything good. Planning, organizing, and strategizing are God-given things, just as long as we don’t plan Him right out of the schedule.
The most memorable days of my life have been days when I had one plan and God had another; when I went out with one purpose, and yet God decided to show up and do His thing. In the process people were saved, spiritual strongholds were destroyed, witchdoctors gave up their idolatrous practices and Satan lost his grip on lives. I would have missed seeing all of that if I decided to emphasize scheduling over being led by the Lord. This has been a hard battle, and I have no doubt missed opportunities in the past by being overly focused on my plans. What a shame! But the times that I do listen for His voice and give God permission (as if He needs it, but He does give us this opportunity) to throw my schedule out the window if He chooses, those are the times when life is the most exciting and ministry the most effective.
Last week we talked about listening. I believe the second first step (because it is equally important) in being led by the Holy Spirit is being willing to get messy. Are we willing to let God mess up our schedule, change up our carefully laid plans and take us where He would have us go?
If so, then we will see God do things that are greater than our resources. We will be submitted to the Living God, where we should be, and He will be free to move as He sees fit. We can buckle up for the ride of our lives.
Whether you are on the foreign mission field running a project, a stay at home mom in suburbia, or working in an office somewhere - this same principle applies. You can plan to the best of your ability, and be willing to have God do the most unexpected and wonderful things in and through your life.
What do you think?
How can you balance planning and letting God take over?
Is there somewhere specifically this week where you can ask the Lord to take over and throw your plans out the window if He desires?