When it comes to planning, I think there are 3 types of people. The first type is the people who wake up in the morning and have their day entirely planned and maybe even have it written down in a cute planner. The second type really likes the idea of having things planned out, but they end up figuring things out when it’s time. And the third has the mindset of “whatever happens today, happens.” Our different personality types put us into one of these when it comes to planning and scheduling our lives.
I am a planner and I like things organized to fit into my agenda. I like to know when, where and what time things are so they can fit nicely into my schedule. On paper, this sounds great. It sounds like I have life organized and my time efficiently planned out. But spiritually, what happens when my agenda gets wrinkled? What happens when something doesn’t go my way or according to my plans?
Whatever our style is when it comes to planning, things are going to happen in life that wrinkle our agendas and leave us scratching our heads wondering… “What now?” The truth is, we know nothing happens out of God’s control. So when something pops up, we know God is fully aware and will not leave us stranded on a desert island.
When I am tightly gripped around my agenda and the plans I have made, my flesh is going to throw a temper tantrum at what is out of my control. After that temper tantrum, my heart is going to begin to question God’s goodness and why He isn’t allowing what I had planned to happen. Because if God loves me, doesn’t He want me to be happy in my planned and organized world?
But here’s the thing, God loves me TOO much to let me live in a world that I have “perfectly” planned out. As a sin-natured human, I can only see life from my 5’4” earthly body. God sees my life from a totally different perspective, an eternal perspective that is full of His riches and His glory. When my heart desires this life to match my handwritten agenda, it cannot also be aligned to the plans and purposes God has for my life.
Lysa TurKeurst, the author of It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way, writes, “What if the comfort and certainties we crave today are a deadly recipe for complacency that will draw our hearts further and further away from God?”
I am wrestling through this in my life to this day and I am continually asking God teach me what it looks like to be a woman who is planned and organized for His glory, but holding the agenda wide open for Him to fill in those plans and devine appointments.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
These are 3 action steps that I m committed to living out when something doesn’t go my way or seem to fit into my agenda. I hope they challenge and encourage you like they do for me.
I must stop and realize that God has things in control. I cannot control my life. When I surrendered my life to become a follower of Jesus, I surrendered my plans and daily agenda too.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
After I have stopped trying to plan out the details of my life, I must ask God to realign my heart to His plans and His purposes. (Just like the importance of a tire alignment, but for my heart.)
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
3. PRESS ON!
When something comes up in life, it may feel like I am spinning out of control- but that’s the exact place of letting God work and get all of the glory. I must let go of the control I think I have and surrender it to the original owner. As a Christ followe, I must press on, walk closer and more intimately with the Lord and surrender my plans daily.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20