“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer 29:11
Anyone who is going to build a building of some kind, if they’re smart, will make sure that they have a good set of blueprints. And then they will make sure that they actually read and follow those blueprints. If the architect was good and thorough, then following the blueprints will result in a beautiful and stable building. But if, the architect was bad, or if the builder just didn’t follow the blueprints, then the building will not turn out so good, and will probably fall over. Crash. Burn.
Jesus told a story one time about two guys who both built houses. One guy dug deep to build his house on a rock-solid foundation. The other guy didn’t see the point in all that work, and simply build his house on top of the sand. When the storm came (a storm will ALWAYS come), one of the houses fell, and one did not. Can you guess which?
He has the perfect plan for the building of our lives. If we learn to find out what that plan is, and follow it, then we will build, not only an awesome and beautiful life, but a life that will stand when the times of testing come.
But the sad truth is that most people do not follow God’s plan. They don’t like the idea of God’s way, and think that their way is better. This is an astounding phenomenon. How can it be that a being with very limited knowledge (us humans) could know more than a Being with infinite knowledge (God)?
Thomas Edison once said:
Its obvious that we don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything – Thomas Edison
We have very limited knowledge about anything! Thomas Edison was a very smart man, and during his studies he came to the conclusion that we hardly know anything. If this is true, how could we trust the plans of our lives to ourselves? Would you hire an architect who told you that he only knew less than one millionth of one percent about being an architect?
I’ve seen ALOT of people who trusted the plans of their lives to themselves, and without fail, I’ve seen their lives fall apart. Of course, their lives never fall apart immediately, just like the man who built his house on the sand enjoyed his house for a time. But it never fails, over the process of time, storms begin to come, and the water beats up against the house, and down goes the house.
I remember a girl who thought she had her plans laid out just perfectly. She was in love. Her parents may not have approved, but she was convinced that this was the guy she was supposed to be with. Sure, she wasn’t doing it God’s way, but she had it all figured out – after all, she had to follow her heart, right? She followed her heart into a relationship that started out good. She moved in with the guy, things seemed ok, but after a while things got rocky. Soon she found herself in the midst of a very abusive situation. After suffering every kind of abuse there is, she finally escaped many years later, lucky to even be alive. She learned the hard way that her plan was not the best plan.
It’s true, He does. The bible says, “what man knows the things of a man, except by the spirit of man that is in him?” In other words, who you really are, and what you really desire is holed up deep inside of your spirit. Only the Spirit of God Who created you can search that hidden part. The people of this world live by the faculties of their mind. But the mind doesn’t know our deepest desires. Only the Spirit of God can bring up those desires so you can understand them.
For example, as a teenager I was always interested in two things: girls and video games. (Video games seemed to like me a lot more than girls, but that’s another story). Throughout my teenage experience there were a few girls that stood out to me as exceptional. A couple of them I even dated for a time (they both dumped me…). I thought about how if I could only be with one of these girls, how they would bring so much happiness to my life! But now, over 10 years later, after doing my best to follow God’s plan for my life, I find myself married to a completely different girl, whom I love dearly and am still attracted to after these many years. As for all the other girls, I’ve been able to find them all on Facebook. Without going into any details, it’s safe to say that I KNOW I would not be happy with any of them! Thank God that my own plan didn’t work out!
Many times, doing things God’s way is going to be hard. Really hard. And there is good reason for that. God isn’t interested in just giving you an awesome life, but He’s interested in building you into an awesome person. And because of that you are going to have tests and trials, things that will grow you as a person. So following God’s plan is making a conscious decision to step in a direction that you know is going to be more difficult. The lives of those around you may seem care-free and easy, while your life is full of battles. This is because they have chosen the broad road, leading to destruction. It’s the easy road to travel, but the destination is Hell. The narrow road is God’s plan. It’s the difficult road to travel, but it’s destination is well worth the effort.
Anyone can sit in an arm chair with a bag of potato chips, a cold soda, wearing a wife-beater, and yell at the tv when the referee makes a bad call. But only those that choose the difficult path will actually be on the field, making the plays.
In the bible, a man named Joseph went through some seriously hard times. At times I’m sure that he felt as though God had forsaken Him. He was betrayed by his own brothers, sold by them into a life of slavery. As a slave he was falsely accused of rape and sent to prison. He spent 13 years as both a slave and a prisoner in a egyptian dungeon. If anyone could complain about having a rough life, it was him. But despite all these hard times, he was able to keep a good attitude, and he was able to keep believing that God had a plan. He couldn’t see it, he couldn’t understand it, but he still trusted in His God. And then, all of sudden, one day it all made sense. All in one day, God decided that his days of testing was complete. In one day, he came out of the prison, got a hot wife, a sweet set of wheels, and became the second most powerful person in the world. But even better than all that, he was able to rescue his family from starvation during the famine. Glory to God! (Read all about it in Genesis chapter 37-50).
We must learn to trust Him. If we don’t trust Him, we do so to our own sorrow.
In the bible we also see another man. His name was Saul. God had an excellent plan for his life, as well. God made him king and had plans for his dynasty to last forever. But instead of trusting in God, he became too concerned about what people thought about him. He gave in to the pressures of others in order to make life easier for himself. He began to walk down the dark path of trusting in himself and his own ideas rather than trusting in God. It ended up costing Saul everything. He lost the kingdom. He lost his sons. He eventually lost his own life. Listen to what God said to him:
You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of theLord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. – 1 Samuel 13:13-14
Saul did it his own way, and it turned out bad for him. The same is true for us. When we choose to trust in ourselves, and to lean on our own understanding, we start to go down a dark, slippery slope. But when we choose to do it God’s way, when we follow His plan, things will go well. It doesn’t mean that we will never have difficult times – indeed, difficult times will be more abundant. But it does mean that we will have a life that is built upon a solid rock. It is a life that is being built up into a magnificent temple unto the Lord. It is a life that is sure and steady, that will not falter when the storms of life come our way. It is a life of honor. It is a life that leaves an everlasting legacy to those that will come after us. And most importantly, it is a life that leads to everlasting life, where will will join our blessed Creator, to be with Him forever and forever! God is good!
Learn now from the great proverb. Those who follow Him, will never be disappointed:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine – Proverbs 3:5-10