Planning with God
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
- Proverbs 19:21
All of us have plans!
Travel plans, school plans, career plans, housing plans, etc.
Planning is what we do.
However, in the hustle and bustle of making plans, we should never forget to include God! The author and finisher of our faith, the maker of our universe. Because without Him, our plans are nothing!
Whenever I was younger, I had my entire life planned out! I thought I knew everything about everything regarding what I wanted. I had my life planned to the T, and I was super confident in my abilities to make my dreams a reality. I was simply trying to be organized and ambitious, however, there was something terribly wrong with my plans; they weren't submitted to God (biggest mistake ever)! I assumed since my plans did not consist of anything illegal or ungodly, they were perfectly aligned with God. However, I later realized that since God is the center of my world, He needs to sign off on every little plan I make regardless of what they entail. I wasn't truly surrendered to God at the time, therefore I was hesitant to wholly hand my life over to Him. Because I knew that giving Him my plans would involve some mystery. Which seemed like an issue at the time but it's a great thing that God’s plans don't look like ours!
God's plans > Good plans
You see, there is a difference between good plans and God's plans! Good plans can flourish, however, they must be built and carried out with our strength. Whereas, God's plans have a supernatural element and require God’s touch, wisdom, and guidance. God's plans are also big, unusual, eye gazing, and utterly out of this world. You and I can't possibly carry out God-sized plans without God. I believe we were handcrafted by God to live out our wild and crazy God-sized dreams. To experience things that are beyond our reach and far fetched without our Father's guiding hand. Because you and I will never be satisfied living a life that is less than what God has prepared for us.
So when did I realize that I was chasing good plans instead of God's plans?
Around my junior year of high school, right after I retired from the busy world of planning and thought I had it all figured out. God began to speak to me. I didn't hear an audible voice, but I had various revelations about my purpose and what I was called to do. Things that were outside of my comfort zone and truly offensive to the life that I had pictured for myself. Before that season of spiritual exposure, I had envisioned my life one way. But God made it clear to me that there was so much more. As I left high school and entered college, I began to truly submit my plans to God and trust Him with my entire life. I no longer desired some of the things that I had wanted, and I found myself gaining new desires along the way. I also began to dance with possibilities instead of settling for less.
So, what now?
Over the past few years, I’ve witnessed God change my outlook, interests, and preferences. However, none of them have been random changes, just a result of a meaningful unfolding. Me discovering who I was called and created to be. Which has made God's plans less intimidating and unrealistic, but rather admirable and relatable. Of course, I am still terribly young (22 at the moment!), so I have much to see, do, and learn. But, I've already had many changes to my plans and, I'm excited to see all that God has for me! As referenced in a past post Dreaming with God, I'm not where I'd thought I would be, but I'm in such a better place! I thank God for changed plans, failed plans, and rearranged plans! Because all of them have led up to this moment, which will lead to many others as I continue to trust in Him!
Why is it important to plan?
As Christians, I believe that planning gives us a unique experience that other religions don't provide. An opportunity to work hand in hand with God! Our plans are God’s way of partnering with us. There's only so much that God can do without our “yes”, so He needs us to yield to Him so that He can move in our lives. Planning also allows us to collaborate with God, and take part in the process.
Hey! Check out my latest book, “Disrupted by God”. A life disrupted is a life to be expected! God uses disruptions to steer us in the right direction, and get us headed down the right path. Without disruptions, our lives don't amount to what they were created for. So will you step back and allow God to do His thing?
So in a practical sense, how does one plan with God?
Here is a short formula!
1. Come up with plans!
Dream big dreams, get a feel for what you want/like, think realistically yet without limitations! I had a season where a lot of my plans burned and went up into flames. So I decided to give up on planning altogether because it seemed like a waste of time. Then the Lord coached me on the importance of having goals and dreaming. Believe me when I say that God wants us to plan, so get planning.
2. Hand all your plans over to God!
I have conversations with God about my plans daily. Although, He knows all my thoughts and desires I find it helpful to talk to Him because I can ensure that I'm not moving ahead of Him. Whenever we submit our plans to Him, He’ll determine whether or not they are aligned with His will.
This is the most challenging part, but wait for God to respond. He may say “yes”, or “no” either upfront or much later. So make sure that you pay attention so that you can hear him when He responds. Also, keep in mind that God may not respond with words, but with a dream, or vision. He may even speak to you through a friend, leader, or even a stranger (practice discernment). Other times, you may not hear/see a thing, but God may instead open and shut doors on your behalf (which will make things quite plain).
In the end, it’ll all be clear and you will see God’s plans for you come to life! Just remain obedient and patient in the process. God doesn't reveal everything to us at once, because He loves surprises and wants us to have faith on this ride with Him. But you will experience His great plans for you in due time!
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
So we don't plan on our own and it’s not up to us to finalize plans. But that's not because God is some tyrant who doesn't want us to have our way, it’s because He knows what's best for us. Before we were even formed in our mother's wombs God had plans for us! He knew exactly what we were here to do before we even had any cells or membranes, seriously how crazy is that (This is why abortion is a sin)!? So imagine how we look when we try to live off of plans that are opposite of what our father, designer, and maker, has for us! God’s had plans for us since the very start. So instead of trying to start from scratch and create blueprints for our lives. We should lean on Him, and simply follow the path that He has kindly laid out for us! It is inadvisable to mess with God’s plans, first of all, because He’s God! But second of all, because living a life that is contrary to His wishes can come with unprecedented consequences. If you remember nothing else from this post, remember this... God has amazing plans for you!
A closing prayer!
Thank you, Lord, for the plans that you have for my life! You've been intentional with me from the very start, and for that, I'm very grateful! Amen.
Now if you would like to not only plan with God but live with God for eternity, say the following prayer!
A Salvation prayer!
Thank you, Lord, for the plans that you have for me. As I continue to live my life I want you to be a part of it! So I accept you as my savior today! Reign and rule in my heart forever Jesus, Amen.
If you accepted Jesus as your Savior let us know! Welcome to the family : )