I remember where I was when I said I planned to never move away from my home town of Woodstock, GA. I was 21 and newly married. I had many friends, a great church and a good job. I was content and happy. But, God had other plans for us. Months later my wife and I moved out-of-state to follow God’s plan. We started off on a terrifying but exciting journey of serving God and his people in church ministry. It wasn’t the plan I had for my life. But, I’ve found my plans rarely go as planned.
We all make plans that don’t turn out the way we hoped. When that happens we can respond in two ways. Our first and most natural response is frustration. When our plans fall through we argue with God, pout and get discouraged. That option rarely turns out well.
The reason we get so frustrated easily is because we are trying to control something we ultimately have no control over. Proverbs 16:9 says…”We make plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Frustration comes from trying to control things you have no control over. The Bible says you really have no control over your plans. God has ultimate control over the steps of your life. It’s humbling but true. You aren’t in control. God’s in control. When you finally realize that and embrace it you will find peace. Peace is what we want when our plans fail and things seem uncertain. In those times you can be certain God is in control.
When things don’t go well you can get frustrated or you can choose a better option. You can choose to have faith. Heb 11:1 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” You can be confident and assured God is in control. He is directing every one of your steps in accordance with his plan and purpose. Have faith. God’s got it! Knowing God is in control frees you from frustration and leads to peace.
There’s a way to make plans but not get frustrated when things fall apart. When making plans submit your plans to the Lord but hold on to them loosely. You don’t have to stress about making the perfect plan or missing God’s will. He’s directing your steps. He’ll get you where he wants you. I have a saying I use with the teams I lead. “A plan is what we do unless God wants to change it.” You see even James the brother of Jesus said we should not boast or be so confident in our plans. He said in James 4:13-16 “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 and 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 in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.'”
In all your plans acknowledge God is ultimately in control. Then when things don’t go your way, loosen your grip on your plans and embrace his plan. Remember God really is working “all things for the good of those that love him and who are called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28 You don’t know what tomorrow holds but you can be confident it’s going to lead to good.
When things aren’t going according to your plan your options are frustration or faith. I’ve found faith is always the better option. I’ve never regretted trusting God’s plan. His plan has led me to wonderful people and places I would have missed had my plans worked out. I’m grateful he’s guiding my every step.
What are you feeling frustrated about today? Why are you trying to hang on to your plans? What’s the worst that could happen if you trusted God’s plan? How can you let go of your plan and embrace God’s plan today?