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Monday, November 4, 2013

Who is calling cadence in your life?

Planning is a good thing, except when we do all the planning without consulting what God might just have in mind for our lives.  Plans are a way of arranging things so a particular "scheme" comes about - we make a "schematic" of sorts.  As we formulate a plan, we are really gathering a whole bunch of thoughts around all our options.  Man does a pretty good job of gathering their thoughts, but not always the best job of sorting them out.  It is in the "sorting" process where the right answer, or best plan on how to proceed actually comes about.  Gathering thoughts is really doing nothing more than getting them all accumulated and into a place where we are ready to do something with them.  As you may well imagine, some of this "gathering" on our part is just to formulate any kind of plan so we might actually muster the strength and faculties to "deal" with the thing at hand. God expects us to do the "gathering" of all our thoughts, formulation of all our plans, and execution of the same with his oversight, not his intervention once we discover what he had planned fell short of meeting the needs of the circumstances.

Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.  Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place. We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. (Proverbs 16:1-3, 7, 9 MSG)

An inward glance by God is really it takes to begin this process of determining the soundness of our plans.  God examines our motives - the things which cause us to act a certain way or choose a certain path.  Our own inward glance does not always focus on the motives - therefore, we may seem okay to proceed in our own eyes, but in reality, the steps we are about to take are a little shaky and really need some further "sorting out".  God is always looking at what causes us to act - not so much the moment of choice that went into the actions, but the plans which lead up to those actions.  

Scripture defines an element of safety in our plans - when they are committed to his oversight.  To commit something to him, we are actually putting him in charge - not just of putting the finishing touches in place, but of also redoing the "schematic" if it is not the right one for the outcome he knows needs to be accomplished.  We entrust him with the oversight, but also the "redesign" where needed.  In truth, God expects full access to all the "schematics" of our lives.  I think we might just hold a few of them back, though.  We think we have things all worked out, every detail thought through so well, and then we just act upon the schematic without another thought.  Can anyone see the danger in this other than me?  

God expects we will allow him full access into every area of our lives - full access grants certain privileges no other has.  The most awesome thing about what he accomplishes with his "full access pass" is the protection of each of us from the harm we might experience when we choose to just go off on our own.  He is "putting in order" our steps so we walk INTO safety, not away from it.   One thing which keeps him from having full access is our pride. It not only gets us into all kinds of unforeseen hazards, but it actually repels God.  He resists the prideful and draws near to the humble.  

His unfailing love and his awesome faithfulness cover our failed schemes (we might just call those sin).  His mercy is an outflow of both his love and faithfulness.  Why we ever resist his intervening into our "schemes" when the basis of all he does is founded on his unfailing love and unfailing faithfulness, I will never know.  The most amazing part of his control in our lives is the ability to take our "well-planned" steps and place them in the right order.  We might know we want to get from point A to point B, but he puts those steps into the best order so we get from one point to the other under his watchful eye.

It is never wise to be outside of God's timing or his purpose.  It is a challenge for us to learn to walk in step with him.  As I went through my military training, one of the things they taught was the ability to "march in step" with the rest of the company you were with.  The guy or gal in front of you, beside you, and behind you, all had to learn the same things - begin with the left foot, never losing step with the cadence being called.  One person called cadence - no one else was allowed to direct the steps of the group.  All remained "in step" because of the oversight and correction of the one calling the cadence.  

If we were out of step, we were soon corrected so as to come back into step. The one calling cadence assured this occurred.  Too many "missteps" and he would stop the entire company of men and women.  Why?  One person out of step meant the entire company could eventually be confused or become out of step.  Maybe this is why God takes such care to deal with our pride and our missteps.  He is concerned not only for us, knowing when we are "in step" with his "cadence" we are at our best, but also for the overall effect our steps will have on the company we keep.  His immediate correction of one misstep often kept others from following suit.

Our plans - at best are flawed.  His "cadence" helps to keep us in step with the best of plans.  Just sayin!