Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 10, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
A few years ago I wondered about something that perhaps you have wondered about too: When someone has a dream or something they want to accomplish, is it okay with God to make plans? Maybe you are familiar with two popular positions related to this question.
Some people say that it’s not okay to make plans for anything. Instead, you should be like a leaf floating in the wind. You let God take you wherever He wants. You don’t exert your will or your desires. You just are. Others say that if anything good happens in life, it’s because you make it happen. After all, God won’t magically appear on your doorstep and offer you a new job, a new relationship, or a new life. He set the world into motion and then stepped back to watch it spin. Everything else is up to you. I found something in Scripture that addresses both of these positions. James 4:13 says. . .
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.”’
To begin, we can throw Position No. 1 out the window. Some people might think this passage is saying that you don’t make any plans at all, you don’t exert your will, your desires or hope into any situation. It is not. Notice it says, “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or that.’” God is saying, “It’s okay to have a ‘I’d like to do this or that’ in mind. It’s okay to verbalize it and make plans accordingly. But in all of your expectations, remain flexible and let Me have the final say.” There is no person who will suffer the disappointment and despair that comes from dashed expectations if they live with a plan in one hand, and surrender to God in the other.
Position No. 2 says that you make things happen: it’s all up to you. You are the maker of your own destiny—you are your own god. I have one word for that: baloney! It’s pretty clear that according to James, you can make your plans but God says yes or no. The real truth is that control is an illusion. No one really has any. We don’t even control our own breath or how long we live. The person who assumes that they have control of their life is, as the Scripture says, boasting—and boasting is evil. It is opposite of being God dependent. Only God has total control—and because He loves us, we can trust Him with that control.
If you have a goal, a hope, or a dream, pray over it. If you feel that God is giving you the thumbs up and it’s not sinful, go for it! Make your plans. Dream your dreams. But be led by God and always let Him have the final word.
Prayer: “Lord, please help me live my life in submission to you. Give me the confidence that you are always leading me to fulfill your best plans for me so it’s easier to surrender my plans and dreams to you. Amen.”
Application: Do you have a particular dream or plan? Write a letter to Christ today and pour out your heart to Him about it. Then tell Him that you will submit to Him no matter the outcome.
Related Readings: 2 Corinthians 5:15; Psalm 37:4-5; Philippians 2:10; Luke 6:46
Post/Tweet this today: Live with a plan in one hand, and surrender to God in the other. #WisdomHunters #GiveHimYourDreams
Worship Resource: 5 minute video- Gaither’s: Upon This Rock
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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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