We are set to begin another year with hopes and plans for the year. Many of us have made some resolutions that we intend to keep this year and many others have drawn elaborate plan, to travel, buy a home, car change jobs etc. I too have made great plans for this year and when I shared it with some my friends they said please don’t tell it out loud for God must be laughing listening to your plans. I am sure he would be considering the kind of things I want to do this year as it is said in Proverbs, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9).
It is only natural for us to make plans and often it may seem to be right to us but in reality it may be utterly selfish and end up in a bad way. We see in the book of Samuel the people of Israel had a plan of their own and wanted a king to rule over them. The Lord speaks through Samuel the fate that will befall them but they refuse to heed the advice of Samuel and demanded for a king. The people realize how choosing their own path, place them in a situation worse than before. We also see in the New Testament how Saul had a plan of his own when it came to the believers. He sought special permission to persecute the believers but God had a different plan for Saul and that encounter with Jesus paves a different plan for Paul and he goes on to become the greatest evangelist of those time. These two incidences from the Bible shows that when God is in charge of our lives he has a better plan for us and He has every intention to change our plans for our good.
We see how when Jesus started to predict his death Peter vehemently opposes and goes on to say, “This shall never happen to you.” I am sure Peter like other disciples and followers had different thoughts regarding Jesus. Some thought Jesus to be the King to lead the people out of the Roman oppression while others thought of him as Messiah thus had their own plan and wishes regarding Jesus. And Peter was no different. We see Jesus strongly rebuking Peter (Mathew 16: 21-23). Here we see Jesus showing us the way that He lives by the plan of God and not man and that is what we ought to do as well. I am sure this is what Jesus meant when in Mathew 16:24 when he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” He wants us to deny ourselves, our plans and our dreams and follow God.
That is why when God changes our plans we must ask ourselves the question, ‘Why’ and meditate upon His design for us. So when God changes our plans, look for his blessing of something new and unexpected. While the pain of loss may be very real, God’s grace is sufficient to carry us into his next steps for our lives. For the “things of God” lead to life-giving plans.