Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. — Proverbs 16:3-4
There was a time I worked very hard to capture and record the best moments around me. I calculated all of my assignments and shoots down to precise moments in hopes of capturing “the moment” worthy of memory. I planned, schemed, outlined, and developed each move. I was very intentional and proactive when it came to my life. I had plans for college, for finding the perfect job, getting married, and starting a family. I had it perfectly outlined into achievable units of conquest and victory. Step by step, I had methodically calculated my life down to each and every significant milestone. I was obsessed, wanting to control everything. After all, making plans and setting goals are the foundation to success in any endeavor we may undertake in life, right?
Or so I thought.
Time and time again, the plans that I made, the moments I was so determined to capture, and the control I thought I had always, seemed to fall flat. Sure, I had achieved some of the things I set out to do, but I had never factored into my plans the unexpected and troubled feeling that I was doing something wrong… that something was missing.
This was not the success I had imagined.
When I could finally take a step back and get real with myself, I had to admit that my way of planning out life was sadly lacking. There had to be a better way. And the clear and obvious answer was the right one. I had been relying on my plans more than I relied on God’s. I wanted the course I had set for my life more than I wanted God’s design and purpose. It was my will and not His.
Why are we so surprised when our plans leave us feeling empty?
Anyone who has been raised with any sort of Christian upbringing has been taught that the only true joy is found in following God’s will for our lives — that His plans are so much more fulfilling than anything we could dream up.
But still we doubt. And we plan.
And like a college freshman returns home in the summer suddenly smarter than everyone else around him, we think we know better. Until one day, when we realize we don’t.
A life void of God’s will reminds me of a picture grossly out of focus.
No matter how stunning the subject is, how carefully the composition has been prepared, how perfect the lighting is, if the lens focuses on an obscure object in the background, you miss the entire aim of the photo and are left wondering, what’s the point?
In your life, who is holding the camera? Who is arranging the scene? Who is deciding on the focal point? We certainly should not be passive players in this life we live, but neither should we take the role of primary planner. Instead, can we recognize our role as the subject of our story and let God be the director? When I let go of my carefully laid out plans for my life and decided to let God lead instead, sure, He surprised me with some of His choices. In fact, He shocked me with several of them! But as I stepped out in faith, abandoning my will for the thrill of following His, I discovered the empty places in me were filled. The flatness in my soul became fizzy with excitement. And the blurriness sharpened into a clear focus as I began to see what really mattered in life.
Who is planning your life?
Here are some of the soul-searching questions I asked myself. I challenge you to ask them of yourself.
Who is the primary planner of my life?
- Do I really want to abandon my will for God’s, or do I just say that to sound spiritual?
- Does my sense of success include the endorsement of God’s will?
- How is God present in my current plans? How do I (or can I) include God in my planning process?
- Am I willing to ask Him what His will for my life is?
- And then, am I willing to abandon my plans in favor of His?
Let’s surrender our plans to the will of God and seek to understand (Ephesians 5:17) His will, be filled (Colossians 1:9) with His will, and prove (Romans 12:2) His will, so we may ultimately see God and ourselves differently.
Watch the Video for Framing Faith
Excerpted with permission from Framing Faith Devotional by Matt Knisely, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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Come share some of your answers to Matt’s questions above on our blog! We want to hear from you about releasing your plan for your life in favor of God’s plan! ~ Devotionals Daily