A funny thing about plans, they never seem to work the way they were supposed to. How often have you thought, “Today I am going to get THIS JOB accomplished.” Then a child gets sick, the phone rings, your spouse yells from the bathroom that you forgot to buy toilet paper, so off you go to the store – QUICKLY, especially if the porch is not comfortable sleeping quarters…
Or maybe the plan is, “I am only going to eat THIS today.” And then your BFF surprises you with your absolute favorite dessert ever, after telling you that you have just won a dinner for two at THE most popular new restaurant, you know the one that has been sold out since it opened and it is a five week wait for a reservation. Oh, and they are known for their HUGE servings.
Possibly the plan is “I’m never going to watch THAT again.” And the first website you visit at work has hacked and there THAT is on the screen, practically begging you to come take a peak.
The thing is, there are all kinds of plans we can have, and there are all kinds of things that can go wrong. Some of those things have important spiritual overtones or consequences if we call Jesus Christ our Lord. And those of us that are the truest form of the word “Christian” – Christ-like and Christ following in EVERY aspect of life – we have an enemy. That enemy knows our every weakness and he will use every one of them against us. He’ll make it look good, even worthy at times. But when that punch is delivered, it is like a punch from Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey hit you from the blindside.
Down you go, and all that you can think about is, “I failed again. I can’t believe I did that.” It’s going to happen. A lot. I know because it happens to me all the time. Sometimes I am tempted to just say, “Enough. This is just me. I’m a loser, I might as well just accept it and move on from down here.” But what I need to do is get back up and look at my plan again. How much of it was MY plan? Was I depending on how strong I am?
I need to remember that Christ MUST be in the plan. He is the one who gives me strength. He is the one who has the mighty power that He wants to unleash in me.
I need to get back up, get ready, and know that I am going to be hit again. But I counter with Christ’s strength, not my own. And one day, one day I am going to be able, thru Christ, to deliver that knock out punch and it is game over for eternity.
If any of this is at all relevant to you, remember these verses:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Things That I Write About
But my number one goal, my mission in life, is to glorify God in everything that I do and all that I am. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” That’s it. That is my mission. God has assigned that mission to me (and to all followers of Jesus) and I have chosen to accept that mission.
But because I want to glorify God, and to honor Him with everything I do, I invite Him to search my heart, my thoughts, every single day. The things I’m anxious about, the times when anxiety or even depression seem to overwhelm me, I want God to see those thoughts so that He can handle them for me.
I have many new friends who probably have never seen this and/or don’t know why my birthday (yesterday, August 17) is always so bittersweet for me. It’s hard to believe it has been 48 years since that fateful morning. I can remember those details so clearly. It really doesn’t seem possible it was that long ago.
Psalms 119: 66-68 I believe in your commands, now teach me good judgment and knowledge. I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. You are good and do only good; teach me your decrees. I was raised in the church. I was dedicated to the service of…