Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
God has thought of everything when it comes to our life. He knows the expected end! Did you know that He has a perfect plan if you are submitted to Him? You may hope for the perfect ending for your life. You may have dreams for the future and pray for specific things to come. But God’s ultimate plan is for our good. Job said, “I know that your plans cannot be thwarted.”
God’s Word tells us HE sees and holds our future in HIS hands. We lesser mortals are finding our way, day by day, and sometimes? Moment by moment. We stub our toes if we wander in the dark. Scraped elbows and knees when we willfully try to journey alone without HIS light. We have general ideas of what God wants us to do and we have specific knowledge when HE speaks to us, but the more mundane tasks of our lives are left to us to handle. I need to brush my teeth, but HE doesn’t remind me to do that. I need to make dinner, but HE doesn’t tell me what to make. HE will provide but I need to go to the store, purchase the groceries and then go home and prepare the meals. If I accidentally pick up 2 cans of peas when I meant to get 1 can of peas and 1 can of beans, HE is not gonna switch that out for me so that when I get home, I have the cans of food I intended to purchase. Those little things do not affect the PLAN for my life. I will still get where HE is taking me and I will use that 2nd can of peas for another meal.
God looks at the big picture. HE cares about the fact that I use my mistakes to learn and grow. I may become OCD trying to make sure I get the right canned goods at the store each time and that might concern HIM, but HE really isn’t bothered with my little things. HIS PLAN is like the Road Map HE has created for my life. HE has marked my starting point, numbered my days, and a few ‘biggies’ I can’t miss along the way. My problem is the little detours along the way. I just want to get on the road and get where I am going, pedal to the metal all the way, baby. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, life just doesn’t cooperate with my philosophy.
What are some of those detours and when can they become problematic? Detours are all the little things that effect us every day and yes, that includes the people in our lives. Detours become problematic if we lose our focus. Before GPS, when my husband and I were on a road trip, the Atlas stayed with the one who wasn’t driving. Every little bit, we’d bring the Atlas out and we’d exchange updates on where we were, how much longer to the next stop, and “Wow, did you know there is a town called Tightwad in Missouri? Oh, and one called Unalaska in Alaska?” and “The Corvette Museum is just 30 minutes ahead on the left!” If we happened to stray off the intended route, we were gonna know pretty quickly. Without the road map, all we had was a general direction and we would be subject to errors along the way. Errors that would take up valuable time and energy. If we stayed focused, we usually arrived at our destination within an hour of our ETA.
Some detours we may want to take and they won’t hurt the PLAN. If we are weary, hot, and tired, suffering a little with black dog syndrome, a rest stop along the way to pause and refresh is called for and permissible. It’s for our good as are all things in the long run. But what about the detours we shouldn’t take? If someone is giving us directions and they tell us to “go up the road about 500 clicks, hang a Louie and then you are gonna come to a fork in the road” and the next words out of their mouth are “don’t take it!” what are we gonna do? Personally, I am not going to even try to figure out how far I have to go for 500 clicks. You have to ‘know’ the voice you listen to when it comes to the road map for your life. HIS voice! HIS Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. This means, HE directs each step and even which direction I should be going. If I turn back, I have just detoured of my own free will. I can’t blame God for my mistakes. I need to know that I know HIS voice in order to know the timing of where to put my feet on this life-journey.
Knowing God’s voice is your Atlas. Let HIS voice be your life-GPS. Sometimes, our schedule may change drastically, seemingly throwing us off course. Sometimes, everything we see and touch every day is suddenly out of reach. Sometimes, we are thrown for a loop because we didn’t see ‘something’ coming. Maybe there is a lesson we need to learn. Maybe HE wants us to trust HIM a little more. Maybe there is someone we need to meet and minister to or they have a Word from the Lord for us. It is all in HIS plan, even if we see it as a detour. God will place people in our lives who speak with His voice to encourage us and provide confirmation. They are using the same GPS. They can help us along our journey to provide nourishment, or a comforting embrace, a place of rest. Don’t become self-willed and refuse to listen to those folks. They are God’s gift to us.
So, how do we follow the Plan? Pray every day without ceasing. This is not optional. We wouldn’t consider someone a true friend if they only call when they are in a jam and need us to spot them some cash. We don’t want to be anyone’s personal ATM and neither does God. HE wants us to love HIM, trust HIM, and have fellowship with HIM. Jesus is here for us whether we know we need HIM or not. Why not foster a loving, constant relationship with Him? He knows our needs before we do. He wants to be our friend. And HE can provide so much comfort as we traverse the vicissitudes of life.
Update your spiritual GPS by staying in the Word of God. Our Bible is our Heavenly Road Map. It tells us specifically how to get from Birth to Glory. Enjoy the trip. There are fascinating things along the way for you to absorb and relish. There are hazard signs and warning lights signaling dead ends and roads washed out. There are points of breath-snatching beauty in the form of revelations. Save yourself some time, energy and pain by keeping your Atlas at hand.
Don’t forget to pause and build altars along the way. These are the hallmarks of our journey. They are the thanksgiving moments. The moment HE sent us the love of our life. When our unborn child arrived safely into this world after uncertain times. When we danced our way in praise through a battle with cancer. When we received devastating news and HE assured us HE was with us every step of the way. These spiritual altars are like the landmarks we can look back on and remember when.
We can’t get where HE wants to take us all by our lonesome. At the very least, we need God and if you are anything like me, a few Godly folks placed along the way at those ever important rest stops. HIS thoughts, HIS plan, HIS WILL, is peace!
I love you but Jesus loves you even more.