I am great at making plans! Good ones, too! I spend time considering the pros and cons and weighing all my options. I pray about it (although I do a lot more telling God about my plans than listening for his guidance). Sometimes I ask people for advice (especially if I think they will say what I want to hear). I even convince myself that my plans are being confirmed and I’m on the right track. So when I move forward and my plans don’t end up working out like I thought they would, I feel defeated and I wonder what I did wrong. It’s time for me to stop plotting and start waiting.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hand. – Psalm 138:8
From before I was conceived, God had my life all figured out. (Psalm 139:16) He even planned for my failed plans. And God’s good plan for me will never fail! Even if nothing about my life at any given moment seems to make any sense, God’s purpose is still right on track. He started something in me the moment he created me that he promises to complete! (Philippians 1:6) All my passions and talents; all the opportunities he gives me; all the experiences I have (good and bad) are all part of the grand plan. It is all part of the refining process, making me more and more like Jesus and aligning me more and more with the will of God.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
It would be pretty easy to read this verse and think, “If I love the Lord and do all the right things, he’ll give me what my heart desires.” But a long time ago I came to understand that this verse was more about the desires of my heart changing when I delight myself in the Lord. When the desires of my heart are in line with his original purpose for me, then the Lord will automatically be giving me the desires of my heart as he works out his plans in my life.
I have so many ideas for the way I want things to go in my life, and many of them are good and God-honoring. But if I start to focus more on the plans I’m trying to make than on the God who makes the plans, I will end up losing sight of the direction he’s moving me in and missing the fact that it’s all working out exactly like it’s supposed to be.