The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, wrote:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
What happens when our plans go askew? Better yet, what happens when God’s plans go askew?
Galatians 2:21 (KJV) 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
I realize that I may offend some sensibilities, here. But the truth of the matter is that because God gave man dominion — that is, delegated authority — we have the ability to upset God’s plan. Let me clear things up a bit — while God’s plans may be frustrated, His purpose never is.
God’s plan has always been to manifest his unconditional Love and unlimited Grace in the world. Mankind — by the leading of the adversary — has operated in pride and selfishness.
2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God desires that none perish but all come to repentance. He desires it — which is His plan but the unbelief of of men thwart the plan. However, His overarching purpose — creation and redemption — faithfully comes to pass.
Jesus went about healing everyone who needed healing that He came in contact with. Because He is the express image of God, we can come to the conclusion that it is always God’s will to heal. That’s His plan — but even though the plan doesn’t always come to pass, the overarching plan still continues unabated.
Here’s the point — you may have a plan. However, many of our plans depend upon others. What happens when someone misses an appointment with you. What happens when all your plans don’t line up? Does the fact of the failure of a plan thwart the truth of your purpose? Do you allow failure to be final? Do you allow setbacks to be cemented?
Contrary to popular belief, humanity has the ability to limit God. The psalmist wrote about this in Psalm 78:41. We limit God by testing God instead of trusting Him. We try to test God by showing how “good” we’re behaving or how “sacrificially” we’re giving. When we try to curry favor with God through our works, we limit God’s ability to work in our lives.
This ties back to today’s core Scripture — when we depend on works, we actually turn back to the law and frustrate (nullify the power of) Grace in our lives. Turning to the law when we claim to be saved by Grace, we become double-minded in our thoughts and actions — and double-mindedness limits God’s ability to work in our lives.
Notice, I say “God’s ability to work in our lives,” not “God’s ability.” God can do anything but lie and violate His Word.
Now, there are some people who call Jesus, “God’s plan B.” But Jesus is more than God’s plan, Jesus is the revelation of God’s purpose. Jesus is the revelation of who God really is. Jesus is the revelation of how God wants to relate to us — and how He wants us to relate to Him. Jesus is the earthly manifestation of His Love and the personification of His Grace.
Jesus didn’t simply come to redeem, restore, and reconcile us. He came to give us life — His life. Giving us His life gives us new life and a perpetual newness of life. He came to give us eternal life — a life that never grows old or stale. He came to give us the life that the law never could. He came to give us the life we could never attain. He came to give us the life that no resolution could ever produce.
Jesus came to replace our spirit with His Spirit. He came to make us one with Him and, thus, make us one with the Father.
See, plans are subject to change. Even God repented (Exodus 32:14). But your purpose should never change — because God’s doesn’t. God’s purpose has always been to reveal Himself to us in the form of Jesus — the embodiment of His unconditional Love and unlimited Grace!
When God told Jeremiah of the plan He had for us:
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
He wasn’t revealing some super-spiritual plan for prosperity — He was revealing the overarching purpose of the Savior.
Life — abundant life — has always been God’s purpose. And even though the plans of both God and man are subject to change, the purpose will never be frustrated.
So when your plans seem to be failing, go back to your purpose. Go back to your divine “why.” Your purpose will position you to replan, if necessary. And make sure you write your plans in pencil because they are always subject to change. But never let your plan derail your purpose.
© 2017 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)