Monday, January 6, 2014

Whose Plans Are You Making For 2014

It is an exciting time of the year.  We are able to cast our eyes back on the year which is behind us before we set our eyes instead on the hope of a new year which looms promising in front of us.  It is usually easy to be able to list the ways in which we could improve our own lives in the new year.  We are unfortunately all too aware of our own shortcomings.

Could it be we might want to lose a few pounds?  Do we want to join the gym and get fit?  Do we want to spend more time with God or reading His Word?  Do we want to be better at keeping in touch with family and friends?  Do we want to spend more one on one time with each one of our kids?  Do we want to work on our marriage?

All of these are good goals.  We should always be striving and growing in our relationships and taking care of the only body God gave us.  We should be working and striving to have a healthy marriage and training up our children in the way they should go.  However, I think the most important question which needs to be asked as 2014 begins to unfold is this.

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO IN 2014?

Now that, my friends, is a question.  Is it important to be working and striving for biblical standards in all areas of our lives?  Yes, but if your plans override or overlap or interfere with what God wants you to do, do you think He will be pleased?  For example, what if your fitness plans take up a night where God wanted to use you to serve at church?  What if the day you volunteer in your child’s classroom is the only day that the person He would like for you to mentor could meet with you?  I don’t want my plans to be so solid or rigid that God can’t come in and change things up.  So, this year I made some minor goals and then I laid them at Jesus’ feet and said, “These are some of my thoughts.  What do you want me to do?”

Psalm 127:1 (NKJV) says, “Unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain who build it.”  If I were going to build a house, who would I rather build my house?  God who made the world and all of its fullness, Jesus who was a carpenter, or me who can put together a piece of furniture following IKEA stick drawing instructions.  Hmm, let me see, because that is a tough one.

All sarcasm aside, it is a no brainer.  There is no contest.  God needs to be the one who builds the house.  I can see my life incorrectly or in selfish ways when God is seeing it all from His perspective.  Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) says, “There is a way which seems right to a man but its end is the way of death.”  It is pretty apparent that God’s plans for us will always be better for us than what we could plan for ourselves.

I am currently reading two books right now.  One is Experiencing God by Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King.  Another is Believing God by Beth Moore.  It is amazing how God is meshing the readings together so perfectly.  Experiencing God deals with the fact that God is always working around us, and He wants us to join Him in His work.  Believing God deals with not just believing in God but believing that He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do in His Word.

My eyes have welled over with tears as I think about the control I like to have over my life.  I set my eyes on things that are focused on self, not necessarily always on God.

The image I thought of several times this week was to imagine the scenario that you are starving.  God presents you with a large, piping hot pizza which is your favorite kind of pizza.  It smells wonderful, but you tell him you just want to take a small pinch of dough or only one slice.  Who would do that?  The truth is that most of us do that every day of our lives.  God wants us to join Him in His work.  He wants to give us the whole pizza, but we want to do it our way.  We want to be in control.  We turn our backs.  We want to pick and choose what parts we will take and not take.  We are afraid we will have to give something up when the truth really is that we could gain so much.  It is a lie.  It is a huge, fat lie!

So, this year, whose plans are you making for 2014?  Are they your own, or are they God’s?  I pray that you would seek God with your ideas and see where He leads you.  There is no one who could build a better year for you other than the Lord Almighty.  I pray you would glorify Him this year as you obey and serve Him.

“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’” Luke 9:23-24 (NKJV)

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