February 10, 2023
Allow God's Purpose To Interrupt Your Plans
Lee en español
"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
I knew my parents would be a little disappointed. After all, since my early childhood they had both wanted me to go to a specific college - the same college they’d attended. After we toured campuses, the Lord gave me a desire to go to a different school.
This wasn't just any other school: It was one of my parents' rival schools.
My mind and heart were conflicted, but God ordered my steps, and my parents eventually gave me their blessing after much reservation. I still remember my dad calling me on the first day of classes to remind me it was not too late to transfer. The thought crossed my mind, but I knew it was God who had interrupted my plans.
After four amazing years, making the best friends a woman could ask for, and even meeting my husband, I look back on that time in college and see why God redirected my steps.
Years after my graduation, my father called me to say he was glad I chose a different path than he expected. I smiled. I could see that whenever God interrupts our plans, it's always for a greater purpose. The wisdom in Proverbs 19:21 explains it this way: "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
I love that this scripture says we don't just have some plans - we have many plans. I know I do. I have lists, notes and memos full of ideas of things I want to try, books I want to read, and goals I want to accomplish. At times, it can be frustrating knowing that I actually don't have enough time or energy to pursue every plan that comes to my heart.
There is no guarantee we'll see our plans come to pass perfectly. This often leaves us to face the sting of what feels like failure when our many plans remain lists in our planners, scribbles in our journals.
But what if we choose to look at our unaccomplished or interrupted plans not as failures but as opportunities? What if God is using what we call "failed plans" for His greater purpose?
Think of some of Jesus' disciples. Matthew planned to be a tax collector. (Matthew 9:9) Andrew, Peter, James and John planned to be fishermen, but an encounter with Jesus interrupted those plans for a purpose that would spread the gospel to all nations. (Matthew 4:18-22)
Unfulfilled plans are often pathways to God's greater purpose. When our focus is on God's purpose over our plans, we are freed from the pressure they create. We release the urge to do everything at once and the frustration when we realize we can't.
Plans are what we intend to do, but the effects of our purpose in Christ grow far beyond our intentions. No matter what plans come to pass - or not - this year, we can always have peace when we know that even if plans fail, God's purpose always prevails.
Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the many ideas and plans You've placed on my heart for this new year. I pray for the faith to trust You with each plan and to trust that Your greater purpose will prevail. Thank You for Your peace in all circumstances no matter what path You take me on this season. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Praying for your husband (or future husband) doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. But sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Especially when it comes to our most important relationships or deepest desires, like our relationship with our husband or our desire for a husband we don’t have yet, it's challenging to figure out what to say to God when there's nothing specific to pray or when we find ourselves frustrated. That’s why we created these two resources just for you. Click here to download "15 Prayers for Your Husband" or here for "15 Prayers for Your Future Husband."
For more encouraging, faith-filled posts from devotion writers like Christina as well as a community of devotion readers across the world, join our "Encouragement for Today Devotions Community" group on Facebook! We can’t wait to meet you there.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Proverbs 16:9, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps." (NLT)
What plans can you trust God with today, knowing that no matter what happens, His purpose will prevail? Let us know in the comments.
© 2023 by Christina Patterson. All rights reserved.