The Journey

 

 

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There are a couple of sayings I have picked up over the years about planning: "Plan your work and work your plan" and "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!"
They were learned years back in a business setting. Do they apply in a Kingdom situation? After all, we surely want to rely on the Holy Spirit and keep out of His way as much as possible, don't we? I used to think that too. Let me ask a hypothetical question. Which requires more faith, to say that we will not make any plans, we will rely on God when the time comes or to pray and ask God for His will, then plan to make it happen, then move forward towards the objective? I  believe it is the second. In the first case, whatever may happen can be attributed to the will of God. Anything can be shrugged off as not God's will or it was meant to be.
Without a goal the simplest obstacle can be avoided and allowed to steer or determine the outcome of an event or even your life. There is no motivation to fight, because you are not seeing something beyond the obstacle to motivate you to push through and overcome. In the second case, if it doesn't work out, you have to say, "I was wrong." That's sometimes not an easy or desirable option. With a vision in mind, and a conviction that you are pressing on for God's will, obstacles must be overcome, difficulties must be managed, effort must be applied. Let us not plan, it takes less work now and in the future!
Yet God makes plans all the time. He planned the cross  before the world began. He planned the resurrection to happen at a certain time. He planned church history to line up with feast days and moons. He planned your salvation, for just the right time.
So what about this idea that if we plan, we are ruling out the move of the Holy Spirit. Well, let's start by pointing out that the disciples were told where to be before the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came. They had to rent a room. They had to advertise it. They had to get together and pray.
For the Last Supper, Jesus had to get a room. Someone had to order or buy that food and wine. They needed to organize a plan for cooking that lamb and set a time to eat.
It is true that programmes can organize the life out of Christianity. Sometimes people are so determined to press on through their own agenda that there is no time for God to intervene or any recognition of when that moment comes and it is time to linger there with Jesus. The objective is a programme that will fill the time and the willingness to be diverted by God, but not undermined  by the Devil.
Recently we attended a national conference for our denomination. It was great. God moved so powerfully. The whole thing was scheduled, but free time was scheduled too. Do you think it is possible that God might let us know when He is going to burst out, so that we can allow a little more time in the worship schedule, ahead of the actual event? I think we can.
I used to think that organizing meant we would make less room for the Spirit to move. These days I believe that the opposite is true. Not organizing is lazy, less effective, less fruitful, and takes no responsibility for outcomes. It is shallow spirituality.

We love to quote Jeremiah 29:11, but there are other scriptures that apply too. Clearly God is one who makes plans. In all ways we aspire, according to the instruction of the scripture, to be like Him, yet in this one attribute some would say we must not be like Him, we must leave it all up to Him.
"I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord...."
Proverbs 16:9 is a good balance: "A man’s heart plans his way,But the Lord directs his steps."

 

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