Monday, June 13, 2016
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The youngest of our three children had the opportunity to observe what worked and what didn't work for his older brother and sister - especially when it came to getting or not getting their way in their social life. By the time he reached junior high, he had developed a very interesting approach to getting a "Yes" to what he wanted to do with his friends. He would come to us, he would lay out a thorough plan, let's say for this Friday night. He told us which five friends were going, where they were going, whose mother would drive them there, whose mother would drive them home, what time they would leave, what time they would get home. We had everything but photo IDs of the kids who were going. Although, I'm sure he probably would have supplied those upon request. Obviously, there was one problem with this exquisite planning. We weren't consulted until the plans were complete, and a "No" to him would be a "No" to five friends and two drivers! As a father, I'd give that boy an "A" for initiative, but an "F" for checking with your father before your plans are almost irreversible!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Your Plans, Not His."
When you make your plans and arrangements before you check with your father, that's kind of backwards planning! Especially if the father involved is your Heavenly Father! That's why He says what He says in our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 30 beginning at verse 1, "'Woe to the obstinate children,' declares the Lord, 'to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.'" God says, "You're making plans without consulting Me. You're figuring out ways to get it done that are not My ways of getting it done. And, as a result, you're just accumulating sin." Pretty sobering verses huh?
How often does God shake His head, and say to you or me, "Those plans aren't mine"? Being a planner as I am, being a make-it-happen person by nature, I have to really keep this passage right up front in my heart. Because people like me, and maybe like you, can do exactly what our son did when he was in junior high: figure out a way to get what we want and then presumptuously expect our Heavenly Father to sign off on it, even to bless it. It is just too easy to run ahead of God, to consult Him after we're already way down the road.
2 Chronicles 18 tells us about King Ahab's invitation to King Jehoshaphat to join him in a planned military campaign. Jehoshaphat gave some very wise advice, "First seek the counsel of the Lord" (2 Chron. 18:4). Well, that's good, "First, seek the counsel of the Lord." But when a prophet dared to give Ahab God's counsel - that this attack was going to cost him his life - the king ignored it and went ahead with what he wanted to do, what looked best to him. He did not come back alive.
I hope you will put that seven-word key to victory somewhere where you will never forget it. "First seek the counsel of the Lord" Do it before you make a purchase, before you begin a relationship, before you answer a question or a request, before you post on Facebook, before you start something new, before you hire someone, date someone, make a change, start pursuing your vision or your dream. Isn't this Proverbs 3:6, "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
Bob Pierce, who was the founder of the great world-wide ministry of World Vision, used to pray this powerful prayer - one I hope that you and I can make our own. "Lord, we ask not that You bless what we do, but that we do what You bless." Don't bring your plans to your Father after they're all done and virtually unchangeable. Start with your Father. Plans you conceive with Him are really unstoppable!