A few days ago I tried to start putting down 2 years worth of scattered thoughts on how God seems to work in our lives — from my limited experience. And the conclusion I drew was that our planning role might not be as big (or shouldn’t be as big) as we like to think. That maybe God isn’t so much concerned with how we plan to do things, as He is with our obedience to His plan. I’ll talk more about how I think that looks, but let me tell you how I think planning on obedience works…
First, look at what’s in front of you. Do you have a job? Kids? Bills? Debt? A mortgage? Homework? A youth group?
There’s your 1 year plan right there. God wants you to be faithful with the little things – He put them in front of you for a reason. Work at those things, and do them well.
Second, and this may take some time, but it’ll be worth it: look at what God has built into you. When you’re in church, what sermon topics tug on your heart? What softens you, or makes your eyes water up a little (or a lot?) What things have you seen on TV or in the media that make you feel like you have to do something to change what you’re seeing? What are you passionate about, and what gets your blood pumping? What thing could you do all day long without ever getting tired of it?
Figure out what your passion is, and you’ve got your 10 year plan — that’s the thing you’re supposed to be doing 10+ years from now.
Between now and then, however, are going to be challenges and lessons.
Perhaps the first challenge is that you can’t find that thing or that topic or that situation that causes a righteous zeal to well up within your soul. May I suggest, then, that the author of your soul – your Creator God – cannot speak into your life, because you aren’t listening. Your first order of business, and the discipline you must develop for the rest of your life, is to draw closer to Him. The more you know His heart, the more you will hear His still, small voice whispering into your life.
Perhaps you are already drawing closer to Him every day, and you already cannot sit through a specific kind of sermon, or a certain song, or read a particular verse, without feeling a fire burning in your marrow, or tears streaming down your face. Your 5 year goal, then, is to find out what stands between you and the passion and burden God has placed on your heart, and tackle those things with all your being, knowing His strength and His provision will make a way for you to obey Him.
Maybe debt stands in your way. Maybe its education that you need to get. Maybe its a specific skill you need to develop. Maybe its nothing so tangible as any of these; and instead you are simply in need of His equipping, and His molding in your life. Whatever it is, work on it as your next step.
And the most important thing about this 1/5/10 plan? Don’t write any of it down. Because as you pursue Him, and are obedient to Him – in the every day, and in your life in general, He will transform your will, until the things you want out of life are the things He had planned for you to do since He knit you together… and those things might turn out to be very different than you had originally figured on.
But that’s OK, because it turns out that the plans made by our amazing God? Those plans are way better than anything we could have come up with on our own.