Do you plan things? Or wing it?

I tend to plan things to the last detail in the church prayer ministry I lead.

But, like most people, I have learned that my efforts often don’t turn out as imagined.

Many others don’t plan at all.

What’s God’s view?  What does he want us believers to do?

I have been thinking of this as I reflect on Solomon’s well-known words in Proverbs 3:5-6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)

This suggests to me that I should have a goal in mind – the goal that God has for me.  This also tells me that there is a specific path for me.

My task is to bring everything to God and seek his guidance and leading.

Does this mean that I should abandon any planning?

I don’t think so.  But I should be flexible.

And I should not be disappointed if my plans don’t turn out the way I wish.

I am struck by the way early Christian leaders responded to God’s leading.

Peter had every right to believe he knew what God wanted.  Jesus had once commended Peter’s faith by saying he – Jesus – would build his church upon that faith.

But God had to almost forcibly seize Peter’s attention in a vision the apostle had at his prayers in the middle of the day.  As a result of the vision, a reluctant Peter agreed to meet a non-Jewish man who was a seeker after God.

That encounter led to the Christian faith spreading beyond the early Jewish believers.

Philip, another leader in the church, was in the midst of a very successful evangelistic campaign when the Holy Spirit directed him to drop everything and speak to an Ethiopian official on a nearby road.  The official was reading the prophet Isaiah on his way home to Ethiopia but did not understand what he was reading.

Philip spoke to him and explained the passage which spoke about the Messiah – Jesus.  The official believed and eventually the Christian faith spread to that African nation.

The apostle Paul altered his plans according to the Spirit’s leading.

I think my problem is that I get too focused on what my logical mind tells me.

I believe some planning makes sense.  But my plans should not be a strait jacket.

Like the early Christian leaders, I need to be constantly listening to God.

He will speak to me through scripture, other people, circumstances, prayer and – ultimately – the Holy Spirit.

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