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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Thursday, April 22, 2010

If You Want To Make God Laugh...make a plan

Some years ago, I made a staggering discovery: I'm not the one in control! I have to admit, I was taken aback by this revelation, always having thought that my penchant for planning and organizing was a "spiritual gift". It wasn't until I had the rug jerked out from under me that I finally became aware of just how insignificant MY plans were in the light of God's plan. Oh, it wasn't like I was thumbing my nose at God and defiantly plowing ahead, demanding my own way. I just wasn't listening. I read articles and heard sermons and attended women's Christian workshops that spoke of "following God's leading", and I thought that's what I was doing.

When God finally placed me in the position of having to be still and listen (I had no other choice), the whisper of His voice penetrated my soul, and I saw my plans for what they were--an attempt to usurp God's authority in my life. I didn't do it on purpose. But the realization caused me to rethink some things, not the least of which was asking God to sharpen my awareness of His presence and His voice.

Don't misunderstand--I still believe the best way to accomplish things decently and in order, "Let all things be done decently and in order" 1st Corinthians 14:40 is to plan accordingly. We've all heard the admonitions: Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part and If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail. Planning is a prudent thing to do. But any prudent practice done to excess, including careful planning, is like trying to micro-manage God. So even though I still exercise my "gift" for planning, I go about a different way.

My reasons for planning have changed. Instead of making control an idol, I established new goals. If I desire God's will to guide my steps, then my steps have to lead somewhere. That place is a sanctuary in His presence. When I am aware of God's presence, I can hear His voice better and pay closer attention to His leading. With this goal in mind, I re-set the way I plan.

1) Plan prayerfully. As I am jotting things down on my calendar or my To Do list, I talk with God. I tell Him, "Father, if any of this stuff isn't what You want me to do today, change my plans. I'm listening."
2) Remain in constant communion with God while you are carrying out your plan. Ask Him continually to walk with you, and rearrange the plan as He sees fit.
3) Adjust your plan according to God's leading, even if it seems inconvenient or impossible at the time. If God is in it, He'll make it happen. If His will is to change you, He'll show you. Stay flexible and teachable.
4) Yield your will to His scrutiny. Ask God to examine your motives and reveal anything to you that goes against His will.

As any of my friends can tell you, I'm still a planner, an organizer. I like to know exactly what I'm doing and stay ahead of schedule. Planning is the best way to get things done, as long as I P-R-A-Y first, and make certain that my goal isn't to be in control, but rather to be in God's will and give Him glory.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.


Linda said...

Me? I'm so rebellious I don't dare plan much. I deliberately sabotage my own plans. I do, however, ask God to order my steps so my natural rebellion doesn't get in the way of God's will for my day. Make sense?

Dorothy Adamek said...

I love that acronym! Adjust and Yield should be my daily cry :) Thanks for sharing Connie.