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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Objective and Obstacle

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. (Jeremiah 29:11 VOICE)
Woody Allen once quipped, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him about your plans." It was meant as humor, but I honestly think I may have heard a slight chuckle on occasion from my heavenly Father when I have declared some lofty goal, plan, or purpose for something I am putting aside for later use.  He knows I have not always met my goals; my plans are sometimes a little too one-sided; and what I thought I'd use down the road somewhere just ends up going into the give-away pile at some point. There have been times when I have just sat back and listened to the plans God lays out, luxuriating in the moment when I let the desire to be in control all of the time just go; and then rising to really get behind those plans with all I have in me.  Those are the times I'd have to look back on and declare the plan really worked!
Plans of peace, not evil - to give us a future and hope. Plans of peace doesn't mean we won't face any hardship, just that it cannot affect our internal peace, hope, and confidence we have in a future in the presence of Jesus. A future is no good if the present is riddled with all manner of doubt and unrest of soul, spirit, and mind. We need our conscience to be at rest - not constantly niggling at us with some sense of guilt for what we have done, are thinking, or have plans to do.  We need our passion to be settled and consistent - not constantly moving us toward the easiest or fastest means to an end. These are the condition of a soul at rest - a soul that knows peace. Hope follows where peace resides. 
Most people realize that we "revise" our plans constantly - whether it be the route we take to get to work when traffic seems to ball us up in delays beyond our control, or the weather changes when we had planned an outdoor activity for the kiddos. We "alter" our plans because there are external influences that alter them for us! It isn't as though we made a "plan B" in our initially planning - we had to improvise with a "plan B" because life demanded it! One thing I have learned about God's plans - they don't need revision or "improvisation".  They are consistent, purposeful, and can be counted on - even when things get in the way of them being fulfilled for a while.
God's plans are referred to as "pre-ordained".  An architect lays out plans for the building he is commissioned to design. He takes into consideration all the factors as he lays out those plans such as the slope of the land, type of ground upon which it will be built, the purpose of the building, and even things like what type of weather it will have to endure. In making his plans, he has to consider the objective and the obstacles. I wonder what obstacles God foresaw when he looked at our lives, making the plans he has ordained for our lives?  If we keep in mind that he has already planned for those obstacles, we might find it a little easier to trust him with the plans - since he has already "figured out" how to deal with those obstacles!  Just sayin!