Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who's Will?

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" James 4:13-15 NIV

I come from a background where goals and strategies dominated my way of doing business. I created a business plan, executed it and was rewarded for doing so. There is nothing wrong with makings plans or having goals; just don't make them God.

The apostle Paul had a goal; to preach the good news about Jesus. His strategy was to travel to every place he could and tell everyone who would listen. He even spread the good news in prison, while being a prisoner. I don't know if that was a part of his original ministry plan. But he submitted his plan to the will of God, resulting in the spread of the good news through the Roman prison system.

Here are some of the dangers of being so focused on plans and strategies. Your focus can drift away from God. Your plan takes the place of God. Your strategies take the place of faith. You can become self-reliant and overwhelmed. You can fall into pride.

I was the pastor of a single's ministry at a church in Colorado. I spent a lot of time preparing a complete ministry plan for the single's ministry. I even prayed. But God had other plans. The ministry died, only to be resurrected about a year later in a new way.

Remember, planning isn't a bad thing. In fact it is very good. The Bible writer James didn't say not to plan. He just said to submit yourself and your plan to God's perfect plan. In fact, God will prosper His plan for your life--when He's first in your life.

Like Jesus said; "Not my will, but your will."

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