You Have a Plan…that’s cute.

You see, God’s plans for us are infinitely better than our own. But we, as humans, repeatedly and often, gum up the works. We get impatient, we think we know better than God, or we simply don’t want to listen to Him.

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Today’s entry comes live from Express Laundromat in Port Jervis, NY.  Why, well because it’s laundry day.  See this was part of my plan for today.  Last night, while we were running some errands, Catherine and I had a discussion about plans for the future where I let her in on the fact that I had a five-year plan.  She responded with a very convicting, “Let’s just get through the next few days.”  It made me really start to think about how often we make plans where what we plan may not necessarily be what the Lord plans.

Psalm 33:10-11

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.  11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.

Today’s reading really brought home to me the idea of not making long and extended solid plans.  I have OCD, not terrible mind you, but when I make plans and a wrench gets thrown into them, it throws me off.  It can be anywhere from a few hours to even days that it takes my mind to get right again.  All because I was so rigid in my own plans and didn’t consider mishaps, contingencies or simple human error.

Now, this is not to say making plans is not a good thing.  It actually is important to keep yourself organized.  However, let’s go to the Scriptures to see what the Lord has to say about making plans.

First we will go to the book of James:

James 4:13-15

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

And then in Proverbs

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps.

So what is the key here?  Well if you look at the commonality between the two verses, it should be obvious.  Our plans need to line up with His plans for us.  As I have said in previous entries, I often picture heaven as a giant office and every office has a planning department.  My personal planning department is filled with at least 1,500 dry erase boards.  Why?  Well I’m human.

You see, God’s plans for us are infinitely better than our own.  But we, as humans, repeatedly and often, gum up the works.  We get impatient, we think we know better than God, or we simply don’t want to listen to Him.  As Christians, we need to yield to His plans for us.  He loves us and knows what’s best for us.  We can’t get so caught up in our plans, that we don’t make sure they line up with His.  If we do, our humanity will get the better of us and the enemy will use that against us.  So before you plan, pray.  After you plan, pray.  While executing your plan, pray.  Continually make sure your plans are still lining up with His after all, Romans 8:31 tells us, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

Prayer Power

There aren’t many weapons we have against the enemy and his tactics, but as I said before, prayer and being in the Lord’s word are the most powerful.

As a general rule of thumb, I try not to post about super personal things in my life.  Sometimes I will use personal things as examples, but I won’t go into details about them.  Today I make an exception to that rule.

You have read on occasion me mentioning my girlfriend and the wonderful blessing from God that she is.  What I have never mentioned is that we pray together on a nightly basis.  Just before we say our good nights, we lift each other, our relationship and those we care for in prayer.  But here is the applicable part that ties into today’s reading, when we got away from that practice, which happened over the course of a couple of weeks, things became less peaceful, and we couldn’t figure out why.  It was only once we got back to that practice, which was at the end of last week, things became calm again, which is where we come to today’s reading from James 5.

James 5:16

16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Prayer is one of the most effective weapon we have against the enemy and his games, being in His word is another. It keeps us lined up with the Lord, plain and simple.  Many people will doubt the power of prayer, but see here is the deal, when all is darkest and there seems to be no solution to the problem at hand, watch and see as even the most stalwart and stiff-necked unbeliever will flood social media with prayer requests.  And for that person’s believing friends, the first thing they will do is drop to their knees.

Prayer is not a wish list either.  Prayer is a conversation with God.  As I said, it lines us up with Him, what He wants for us to do.  Sometimes it’s His to do list for us for a given situation, sometimes it’s simply a way to get us focused back on Him and the enemy really doesn’t want that.  And that’s why we as believers, need to do it even more.

Last week, you read me put out a request for prayer for myself and the tempest I was going through personally.  I didn’t go into specifics, but I believe many, if not all of you who read this blog did it, and I am grateful and thankful for it.  If you all ever need prayer, do not hesitate to make that request to me.  For all the support you show, it’s the least I can do.  There aren’t many weapons we have against the enemy and his tactics, but as I said before, prayer and being in the Lord’s word are the most powerful.  When you combine prayer and study of His word together, you have a power in your hands, provided by our Father, the enemy cannot withstand.  As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”