Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
- Psalm 37:1-7
“Don’t plan without God. God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account. We get ourselves into circumstances that were not chosen by God, and suddenly we realize that we have been making our plans without Him— that we have not even considered Him to be a vital, living factor in the planning of our lives. And yet the only thing that will keep us from even the possibility of worrying is to bring God in as the greatest factor in all of our planning.
“In spiritual issues it is customary for us to put God first, but we tend to think that it is inappropriate and unnecessary to put Him first in the practical, everyday issues of our lives. If we have the idea that we have to put on our ‘spiritual face’ before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (July 5)
Note the title says part one of three parts. After discussing God’s plan today, I will follow with a couple of aspects of planning over the next couple of days.
Rev. Chambers linked this Scripture with this quote. They fit together, but it seems that I could go in so many directions. The psalmist, in this case David, understands how the world works. In fact, to a great extent, the world is no different in its modus operandi today than a few millennia back in David’s time. The wicked have their schemes. Their schemes do not always produce fruit, but they often do. They get ahead while the righteous get further behind, because our plans, when not made by God, never seem to work.
Wow! Can I not relate to that!!!
And I did run my plans by God. At times, I prayed for weeks, and then when I did not hear a resounding “NO” I moved forward. What?!?! You are supposed to wait forever?! My kids were growing like weeds and I wanted them to have some nice things and do nice things before they left the nest. As it turned out, they left the nest to get away from the constant run of “bad luck.”
The biggest issue is that I never seemed to have the time to “wait unto the Lord.” I was moving too fast to grab something beyond my grasp before my boys grew up and left. We had Scouting and our boys were exposed to a lot and they had a lot of fun, but it might not have been the experiences that they wanted. And because Scouting consumed a lot of free time and available cash, we sacrificed in some areas, unable to do what their friends were doing due to either lack of time or money. And it was not always the wicked or evil friends that did all the fun stuff.
No, I do not think that I am alone in that I ran my ideas past God, waited a while, and then went forward with the plan without God’s true answer. It takes spiritual maturity to learn how to wait in a world that is always running far beyond the reach of your headlights. And if you have ever sped down the highway and hit a deer at night (or something not that large), you can relate to the analogy. Yet, wait on the Lord we must.
And while God should be part of every decision, and a greater part of every big decision, the one that we often miss is God’s perfect plan for our lives. It is one thing to pray about a new car, wait for the right time, right deal, and right financial situation and then the right car comes along. But we are talking about careers.
I knew when I was in junior high school that I wanted to write. I had no idea what to write or what genre to choose. I had no idea what ‘genre’ meant. I wrote and drew comic books. I wrote plays. I wrote short stories. I never was satisfied with my cheesy poetry. All before I entered high school.
Then my mother insisted that I become an engineer, because most writers never make a good living. I was good in science and math. Why not? My only choice was choosing chemical engineering, a career that could not be done within 2-3 hours of my hometown. And that put me on the bad side of my mother who wished to control my decisions forever. But in a way, that decision got me away from home so that I could start growing up. Sure, number one in my career field upon college graduation, and the highest paid engineer of any discipline that year, and commissioned as an Army officer in the same day, but unprepared to put one foot in front of the other in real life.
Who could make a life decision when you knew nothing about life?
But now, I am doing my first love, writing. God had implanted on my heart what He wanted me to do more than 55 years ago. And ‘deaf’ me did not hear the voice telling me to pursue that dream. But from where do I glean my writing material? Those 55 years of school and work that had me take the wrong turn at the beginning.
God must be a major part of the plan, and it must be ultimately God’s plan, or you will remain frustrated.
But, everything works for good for those who love the Lord. I think I read that somewhere (Romans 8:28). And all those wrong steps down the wrong plan dictated by the wrong person shaped me.
You can look at your mistakes and feel sorry for yourself. You can look at your missteps and live with regret. Or you can use those missteps and mistakes to glorify the God who is patient and trustworthy and faithful, the God who stayed by your side until you were ready to listen to His plan.
Except for some of my fiction, it is why I end my posts in the same way.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.