Author | Steve
I’ve been noticing something for about three years now. It’s completely frustrating. I can’t plan.
For all you fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants types, you go-where-the-Spirit-blows types, I know this doesn’t compute. But for all my first-born, OCD, uber-structure-freaks you know this is truly terrifying.
For a while I thought I had lost the ability to plan – the ability to survey my complex surroundings and compute a best way forward. But then I started to be concerned that God Himself was the reason I couldn’t plan. What if that was the case? In good Lutheran fashion I had to ask, “What would that mean?”
I started to be concerned that God Himself was the reason I couldn’t plan.
As I look back over the past few years I truly believe that God has been the culprit – for my benefit. In His pursuit of me, He noticed that I tend to trust my plans more than Him. He loves me too much to let me continue to function that way. I believe He will let me plan again some day, but He’s more concerned about my heart than my ability to make a good plan. So for now, He is schooling me in trusting Him day-by-day with everything. It’s actually a very freeing place to be.
But I’ve also been noticing something else more recently: a lot of very smart people I know, and a number of whom I don’t personally know, are also struggling to plan for the future. Why is that? Why is our collective vision of a way forward so clouded right now?
A lot of very smart people…are also struggling to plan for the future.
Lawsuits about wedding cakes, race-baiting and race-riots, terrorism and purposefully provoking others – our world is spinning so fast with information and hate and confusion. And where are our churches? Are we stuck in our old plans? Are we stuck in our old debt? Are we stuck in meetings about buildings and finances? Are we working our 5-year strategy from 5 years ago while the world has completely changed around us? Are we formulating a new strategy that sounds cutting edge but is actually the same old structure that keeps us safe and comfortable?
Sometimes our plans go to hell because God loves us too much to let them “succeed.” I think a season of refreshing is coming from the Spirit of Jesus, if we have eyes to see it. Not a season of “easy,” but a time where we are refreshed to boldly sacrifice for a world the desperately needs Jesus. It’s gonna look a lot like my plans falling apart, or even the inability to make plans. This isn’t to say that God doesn’t give some of us to be planner, structure-type people. But it seems that there are times when God kind of wipes the slate clean (think of Noah and the ark, or the Reformation) – when He doesn’t allow us to see very far down the road so that we return to that basic, core relationship with Him.
Sometimes our plans go to hell because God loves us too much to let them “succeed.”
So it’s worth asking, “Is this You, God? What does this mean?” Because maybe, just maybe, God is against our plans. Maybe He is freeing us from all kinds of red tape to be people who live and love simply and boldly in the name of Jesus as His Spirit fills and leads us. Maybe God is inviting us to trust Him more than our intellect, more than our traditions, more than our comfort, more than our Facebook defenses of Him, more than…
Maybe the new world unfolding in front of us that scares us to death (if you don’t think the church is scared look at our FB and Twitter posts), maybe it needs way less of our plans, and way more of our faith and the object of our faith – Jesus. Because Jesus isn’t scared of this world. He sacrificed Himself for the world to redeem it. To save it. To make it completely new.
And that future is not in doubt!
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~ Proverbs 19:21