All of my life I’ve been a “planner”. I’m one of those people who have a plan, a back up plan, a contingency plan behind that, and a level four emergency plan. I have tended to think in terms of five and ten years out at a time, and honestly, it’s usually helped me out a ton. I like having plans, because it has brought me a sense of comfort, security, and direction.
People around me have applauded my plans. They have told me since I was little that I was wise, that I was a leader, that the plans I had were gifts God had given me. And for whatever reason, God chose to be really kind to me and bless me in those plans.
But as I’ve gotten older, He has changed in how He is dealing with those ideas. At first, He simply asked me to pray before I made any plans. Then, a while later in life, He told me that I needed to hear his plans for me. You know the verse out of Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you….etc.” But recently, he has asked me to let go of plans all together, and trust Him. I’m not sure how to explain it. I still have teaching plans for the youth group. I’m still making schedules a year in advance for the ministries. I am working on ideas for where, and when, we will go this summer as a family. That isn’t what God is after.
He’s after the plans that “move” me somewhere else. The plans that further my own position, renown, fame, authority, etc. The plans that make me better known, more liked, more famous. I realize fully that many people don’t even deal with this idea. But planners like me do. It’s the dark side of the whole planning thing. It borders on scheming. I found it in the Bible today too.
2 Samuel 15 is talking about David’s son, Absalom. Here is what it says:
“1 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him.”
What’s the big deal, right? Well, this chapter shows how Absalom has decided that he wants to be king. So, he begins making plans on how to win people over. He’s really, really good at it. The whole chariot and fifty men running thing is a play to show his authority and power. Now, let’s be clear about something;
he has no power.
He is a prince. His dad is king. But he is engineering things to set himself up for a power grab.
And it works.
He takes over the kingdom in the next chapter. His plans work.
But they were bad plans. This is what God is working on me for. Am I willing to let go of the “climb the ladder” plans in life? Am I willing to be whoever God wants me to be, in whatever area of the world, doing whatever He wants me to, today? Can I be happy in that? Can I find real joy in my position as His son, and that be enough?
Well, yeah, I can. But it hurts. And it’s hard to do. And I don’t always like it.
But that is where I am at.
That’s God’s plan.
What about you? What plans are you working out, what “dreams” are you chasing, that are about you and not about God? Are they in the way? Are you having a hard time hearing God’s voice over the buzz you’re creating about yourself?