I’m not much of a planner. I have the more go with the flow mentality. So when people keep asking questions like, what’s your 5 year plan? What’s your 10 year plan? What’s your plan for marriage? Do you have a financial plan? Have you tuned into God’s plan for you? Uhhh… cue blank stare. I tend to freeze in the moment.
Here are a few personal problems I have:
- The Sarah Planning Complex
When it comes to God’s plan for me, I really want to know what it is – concretely. Sometimes, God chooses not to hold our hands, hinder our faith and work that way. Ok, so I have to admit, I’m a little like Sarah. If God told me a plan, that at first seemed to be preposterous, but I ultimately believed because God is funny like that sometimes, I would no doubt take matters into my own hands.
I’m not gonna lie, if things seem impossible, I’d go as far as sinning to execute what I thought was the will of God. I mean really look at the story. God told Abraham that Sarah, who was barren, would conceive a son. Sarah laughed at the idea that in her old age, she would be able to give birth to a son and therefore, thought it would be a good idea to play match maker with her slave and her husband.
Now, do you think it’s a part of the plan for us to sin to accomplish the will of God? Heck no, but how else am I gonna do it? This is how we think, right? “Sorry God, I got this one because I know the best way to accomplish Your own plan.” Silly me.
2. The Jeremiah 29:11 Planning Complex
Let’s put the cherry on top with the famous verse, Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you…” We quote this verse several times without referencing that God’s people were in exile at this time. We intend for this verse to be a source of encouragement, but it fills my thoughts with more ambiguity. The pastor points you out and says, God has a plan for you. And your mom, who is always trying to set you up for marriage keeps saying, ‘God is teaching you patience and it’s all a part of His plan.’ And when believers don’t really know how to encourage you practically, they often say hang in there sport, it’s all a part of the plan.
How does everyone seem to be in on this plan for MY life except me?
So once again, I’m at the point where I’m trying to decipher the plan. Piecing clues together that I’ve concocted in my own mind. Believing that I’m hearing things from the Lord, when really I’m just talking to myself. Taking every step in life with caution because you don’t want to screw up “the plan.” And then ultimately, acting outside of the boundaries of God to make the plan work.
So I gave up.
Or just refocused my thoughts.
Instead of focusing on His ultimate plan, I really began focusing on God’s will for my life. Well, isn’t this the same thing? Maybe not so much. In my study on this, I found that the two are different.
“In most all of our English New Testament translations, ‘ thelema’ and ‘boulema’ are translated as ‘will,’ but to translate them both as will is not accurate enough for most applications. ‘Thelema’ expresses an active choice (God’s or man’s), and in most cases can be translated properly as will. ‘Boulema’ though, is more of a predisposition from which an active choice proceeds; a plan, and from God’s perspective, a plan that is even inclusive of man’s disobedience to His will.” (Source: God’s Plan vs. God’s Will from King David’s Table)
Based on this premise, I am making an active decision to make God’s will my will. I cannot control His plan but I can control my actions. A part of His will or His desire for me is to be more like Christ. How can I be more like Christ?
I can choose today to obey His commandments… all of them. Not just the ones that are convenient for me.
I can choose today to actively dive into God’s Word and study it.
I can choose today to actively pray and commune with God.
We have the Bible for us to show us to be more Christ-like and the Holy Spirit to help us. I have the free will to act according to God’s Word or take a sinful detour. Regardless of which way I choose, I cannot screw up His plan. I can however, yield to the Spirit and allow Him to transform me.
It is indeed His will for us to be holy or set apart. By focusing on becoming more like Christ, guess what, you’re executing the plan!