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Finding the Gear for God’s Plan

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah. 29:11 (NIV)

We had a serious climb on a recent trip up mount Haleakala (which translates “House of the Sun”), and an even tougher one back down. It’s actually a record-holding slope for the greatest incline from sea level to 10,000+ feet. We traveled through 36 miles of the steepest imaginable climb up and down, and went through more than 36 distinct climates. On the way down, I drove our little vehicle in manual mode, shifting the gears down for steeper parts and turns. The problem was, I grew up driving a stick where from first to second, then again from third to fourth pulled the stick down, and this vehicle had a pseudo manual mode to push up to raise a gear, and pull back to lower a gear, so the first couple of turns, I wanted to push up into a lower gear like my early days with a stick… Trust me, I was cured quick. :)

Sometimes I get things backwards. Maybe you can relate.

I can have all kinds of plans for God. I often have great ministry plans, plans for how I should serve my family, plans for how our needs for security, for our livelihood, for my work, for health improvement, sermons I’ll deliver, financial management… Even for this devotional!

But many years ago, God showed me Jeremiah 29:11, and said quite plainly to my soul amidst my suggesting all kinds of plans, “I KNOW the plans I (already) have for you.”

It was a clear rejection of my plans, even though I was “submitting” plans in faith, was dependent on God to accomplish them, and eagerly sought God’s direction for my life, family, and career. The problem is, he’s already got a plan.

Faith is not submitting your plans to God, but submitting yourself to Him and His plans for you.

In fact, presenting your plans to God is often the opposite of faith; it’s a lack of trust in Him altogether. If I trust God – believing His infinite love, power, and understanding toward me – then I won’t need to make my own plans for how God should meet my needs. Instead, I will anticipate Him meeting em perfectly based on His ideas and methods, not mine (His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, after all).

“The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God’s victory over him. – A. W. Tozer

So what do you do with your plans? Call them what they really are: your WANTS.

Tell your Father what you want, it also tell Him what you’ll choose. Jesus did. He told Abba God He’d like to not have to drink the cup before Him, paying for the Sin of the world by dying AS sin, that we might be righteous. He told God He’d like a different plan for our redemption.

Jesus asked God NOT to do as He wanted, but only as God wanted.

So, here’s the plan of living as a true child of God:

Tell God what you want. Tell Him not to do what you want. Tell Him to do exactly as He wants.

That’s the difference between submitting a plan to God and actually submitting to God Himself and all He has planned for you. He’s really got a great plan for you, and it’s got His Name – for His glory and by His grace – written all over it.

You really don’t want it any other way, because God following your plan would be a lot like living life in the wrong gear… Anything less than God’s plan is a bad plan.