Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Plans that prosper

When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the Lord. ~Pr. 19:3

I was thinking about that a lot today. Notice that the verse makes it clear that it's the man's folly that is the cause of the ruin he experiences. Notice, too, that he rages in his heart against the Lord.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever thought, "Why doesn't the Lord answer my prayers? Why is my baby sick? Why did my husband lose his job?" It's easy to rage against the Lord and blame Him when we experience trials. It's easy, but it's also very foolish.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

We can plan all we want. We can do the math, save the cash, execute the plan... but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

We watched the story of Amelia Earhart this evening. She was determined to fly around the world, even though she was not qualified to re-fuel her plane in mid-air. She planned her route. She employed the best air navigator in the world. She contacted the ship near the island at which she was supposed to land. But all of her plans were to no avail; the purpose of the Lord came about.

Sometimes the things to pass just don't make sense. Why would God choose Saul to be king over Israel, knowing that his heart would turn from God, and that he'd end up falling on his own sword rather than being taken and tortured by the enemy? What a terrible end for the first king of Israel!

Why would God choose Judas to walk with Jesus for three years? He supped with Him, listened to Him preach, watched His miracles, and still chose to betray the Lord of lords with a kiss.

Why would God allow lying priests to assure His people during Jeremiah's day that nothing would happen to them, even though God planned to punish them with famine and the sword?

Jeremiah 14:11 The Lord said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people.12 Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”

Because God is God! His ways are not our ways. Yet at every moment of every day, He is executing His plan - His perfect, omniscient, omnipotent plan. He will bring it to pass.

Don't worry if there's a Judas in your life - a betrayer and swindler, greedy for gain, without compassion for the downtrodden. God will take care of him.

Don't worry if there's a Saul in your life - a leader without courage, eager for accolades and jealous of anyone who does better than he. God will take care of him.

Don't worry if someone has lied to you, trying to placate you and promise you nothing but health and wealth and joy and travels to exotic places. God will close the mouth of the liar.

Like Amelia Earhart, we do need to plan our trip, the next step on the journey. We need to count the cost and do the work, to persevere and proceed with courage. Yet, if the Lord chooses to stop us in our tracks, to give us a delay of four years (as He did with Paul, allowing him to be falsely accused and languish in prison) we need to bow to His will.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Don't bother raging against the Lord when your plans come to naught. His purpose WILL stand. Trust Him to give you a future and a hope.

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