God’s Plan or My Plan?

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

Very much of the time I live unconsciously thinking that the world pretty much revolves around me.

Much of the time I’m thinking about what “I” want to get done this afternoon, what “I’m” going to do this Friday night; who “I” need to call; etc.  Often I unconsciously believe that my plans are really the most important plans on earth.

In reality, my plans are not important at all, especially compared to God’s plan.  It is God’s plan for the world that matters.  God’s plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory. God’s plan is to bring multitudes to himself through his Son.  God’s plan is that his name will be great among the nations and the incense of worship will ascend in every place from redeemed people delighting in him.  That’s what really matters to God.

It’s important to plan, but we must hold our plans loosely.  I personally am a bad planner.  I’ve struggled with planning and organization all my life.  I tend to set unrealistic goals like, “Learn Spanish and Klingon this month.  Jog 500 miles this week.  Learn to love my dogs.  Read 3 books a day.  Eat 800 grams of fiber and drink 6 gallons of water daily, learn to make Wedding Soup and use Maritime signal flags.”

I start off the week with a flourish, learning some important phrases in Spanish, such as “Donde el-bathroom-o?” and “Donde el coffee shop-o?”.  Then I jog a half-mile, choke down some oatmeal and flax seed and a glass of water…I’ll have to learn to love my dogs later.

By day 2 of my week I’ve given up on all my goals and decide to spend the rest of the week watching television.

Actually, I’ve gotten a little better at planning over the years.  But even when all is going according to plan there are always interruptions -  unexpected calls, a ride I need to give one of my children, someone in need who stops by.  Can you relate?

Our plans are important only as they fit in with God’s big plan.  If our plans aren’t fulfilled it doesn’t matter.  Only God’s plan matters.  If we spent more time thinking and praying about God’s plan than our own we’d be much more joyful.  Let’s be more concerned about God’s plan and rejoice that he’ll fulfill it, even if he doesn’t fulfill our plans.

photo by jurvetson

  • http://www.wellspringsg.org TimK

    Mark:

    Nice seeing you last month. I'm currently fueled with home-brewed Peet's, so pay attention.

    1st, I'd advise against these goals: "Eat 800 grams of fiber and drink 6 gallons of water daily". Seriously. One of the rules in setting goals is to make them achievable. Shoot for "Eat 4 packages of Tasty Cakes and drink a quart of chocolate milk. Before lunch". Much better, eh?

    2nd, it would be great to have another Klingon-speaker …

    3rd, in terms of plans, the Wellspring team plans to fly to Africa today for 2.5 weeks of serving in South Africa and Mozambique. We pray that our plans fit with God's and to the degree that they don't we joyously want to defer to Him. Soli Deo Gloria!

    -tim

  • http://www.photosandquotes.blogspot.com YellerDaisies

    That was a very needed reminder. Thank you!

  • http://www.judahupdate.blogspot.com Briana

    This was great…a lesson God has been teaching LA and I for quite some time now. I was just praying this morning for eyes of faith through which to see my circumstances…that it is God directing my steps for my good and His glory, and that I would take great delight in that rather than feeling thwarted in my efforts to carry out my plans.

    Thanks for a good laugh as always at reading your grandiose plans…and I thought I was ambitious with setting out to get all my laundry done on the same day. :)

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  • http://racheldulaney.blogspot.com Rachel Dulaney

    Haha! I totally understand and have been exactly where you are. Things can get so crazy so quickly, and yet we are called to, like Mary, sit at Jesus’ feet and worship. Why is it we so easily forget that? Oh, that’s right: we’re human. “And even we who are filled with the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” This comes at the perfect time, as things are starting to get crazy for me. Thanks for the reminder!
    P.S. You are very funny! :]

  • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Mark Altrogge

    Thanks Yeller.

    Briana, I’d be happy to get our laundry done in a single week….

    Tim, I think I could actually accomplish the Tasty Cake goal – I think I’ll add that to my list. I pray the Lord will prosper you guys on your trip. Thank you for serving the Lord this way!

    Rachel, great reminders yourself. Thanks for your encouraging comments.

  • http://worshipfulreader.blogspot.com Ron Reffett

    Wow! I thought that I was the only one who’s plans were important!! haha!
    I totally relate, my wife and I are sooo bad about organization and planning. Like the other day, I had a horrible day at work and in my mind, I saw myself sitting out on the front porch with a book and a cup of coffee, and every time I went to sit down, our phone would start ringing and when I finally did get to sit down my neighbor and his 4 year old son showed up and wanted to chat. Sometimes it’s a hard lesson to learn but it’s truly not our world that we’re just passing through!
    I truly am thankful for God’s grace and mercy, where would we be without him? I shudder to think!

    Blessings

    Ron Reffett

  • http://www.theblazingcenter.com Mark Altrogge

    Hey Ron,

    I feel your pain…nothing worse than having book and coffee time disrupted. Yeah, where would we be without him? I probably wouldn’t be alive. Thanks for your comments.