It seems like plans always change, even great plans seem to often not pan out the way we want them to. I’ve been thinking a lot about when plans to serve the Lord fall through.
I don’t think I can even count anymore how many people I know who have gone through missionary training, so excited to bring the gospel to unreached people around the world only to have something happen to stop their plans. Finances, health, a family death, so many things that are out of their control. The Lord says “No, I have something else for you” or maybe “Not yet”.
This can be devastating, for some even faith shaking.
If our plans are godly and especially if we have prayed about them, felt lead by the Lord to take those steps (sold homes, changed jobs, moved, gone through extra schooling, etc.) and had godly counsel saying yes before we start (or even started a ministry) only to have things come up that force us to stop. Why would God allow these things to happen?
If God does not want anyone to perish and tells us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” why are so many people willing to go to the mission field and trying to go but God tells them no?
I think it comes down to a few things:
~God is in control (of our finances, our jobs, our lives) He “owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10), he “knows the plans he has for us” (Jeremiah 29:11)
~I think sometimes we also need to be reminded that God doesn’t NEED to us. Even to reach the lost he doesn’t need us. He could reach the lost any way he wanted even creation shows him. “For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So that they are without excuse. For although they knew him as God, they did not honor him as God….” (Romans 1:20-21a) We should count it a huge privilege that he chooses to use us.
~Ultimately God’s greatest desire for you is to see you become more like him, to see you sanctified. For some of us that means that he will start on a path then stop us maybe many times. Trust me, I know how hard that can be to live through and to watch others go through.
~ Our time pursuing God’s plans is never wasted. God is in control, God knew his plans for us while we were still in our mother’s womb. He knew exactly what he has for us and is not going to lead us astray.
In the Christian life, often times the journey is as important as the destination. There are things that God teaches us in situations that we may think of as setbacks that will be vitally important later.
I read (or heard) somewhere recently again that if we knew what God knows, if we could see the whole picture the way he does we wouldn’t have problems trusting him. If only that was easier…. 😉