Posted On May 21, 2017

When God Changes Your Plans

by | May 21, 2017 | The Gospel and the Christian Life, Featured

We women often spend our lives filling up calendars and planning every minute detail. I can relate to this because I am a chronic planner. I love to write things on my calendar and see the days fill up. Then, I go about planning my plans asking myself questions such as:

  • How will I accomplish this?
    How can Pinterest help me plan better?
    What will we eat, and what will I wear?

I find comfort in this painstaking process because it gives me a sense of control. I know in my heart that it is artificial control, but I cling to it because my sinful heart craves authority and power that only my day planner can give me.

Proverbs 19:21 reads, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” This verse speaks of God’s sovereignty, His unchangeable and perfect will. When my plans are threatened, and I lose control of them, I often feel lost. But I find that God often uses these moments to remind me of Proverbs 3:5-6 to trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.

When Kevin and I bought our first house in Reno, we knew we were going to live there for a very long time. I found a job that I loved, and we were very active in our Church. We spent every spare minute in Tahoe skiing or lounging. From our perspective, our lives were perfect. Our 30-year plan was in place.

We didn’t plan that my company would sell and I would be looking for work. We definitely didn’t plan to move away from Reno and certainly not to Las Vegas. My plans were disrupted so unexpectedly, that I never had time to formulate a backup plan. I walked into a planner’s nightmare. But, God drew near in my storm. One night, in desperation, I cried out to God that He would direct our path and show me the plan that He had for our small family. I didn’t need to give God control because He already had it, so I repented of my sinful desire to know the future and plan its every moment.

Dr. James Macdonald in a relatively recent article titled “Gripped by God’s Sovereignty” wrote, “Submitting to God’s sovereignty develops unshakeable confidence, as fear leaves and anxiety crumbles. Even when life is hard, you know that God’s got it. He has guaranteed He will work every detail for your good and His glory.”[i]

Well, in just two short weeks from that fateful night, I would accept a new job, we would pack our moving truck and move into our Las Vegas home. I have never felt more peace and direction than I did in those weeks. Through it all, God had a plan for our family. The biggest plan through all of this was to bring us into a deeper and more reliant relationship with our all-knowing, sovereign God.

God knows the plans He has for us. He loves us intimately, so much so that, as Psalm 37 tells us, he delights in every detail of our lives. Not just parts of it, but every detail. It is because of this that we find comfort knowing that we can go to God in prayer with every part of our lives knowing we and our life issues matter to Him.

John Calvin, in the Institutes of Christian Religion, wrote about the importance of prayer in light of the Sovereignty of God. He said, “It is very important for us to call upon him, that our hearts may be fired with a zealous and burning desire ever to seek, love and serve him, while we become accustomed in every need to flee to him as to a sacred anchor.”[ii]

I love the image of God as our anchor. We are like ships in the sea that are swayed by the waves, but our God is solid and strong, unchangeable and faithful. Even when our plans fall through and our storm seems rough, God is sovereign. He knows the plans He has for you, and they are for your good and His glory.

If we fill ourselves with His word and focus on Him, we can look beyond our circumstances and see God’s promise: our future hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure, in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the plan that He has for us, a future with Him. He directs our feet here and now to lead us on a path toward Him, despite our day planners for His glory!

[i] James MacDonald, “Gripped by God’s Sovereignty” August 29, 2014, accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/teaching/devotionals/2014-08-29/
[ii] Quote by John Calvin taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book Three, chapter XX).

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