This weekend in the message from church on Sunday and in conversation with some people whom are close to me, and whom I respect their direction, I have come again to be reminded of something that is very simple, but yet overlooked so very often in our lives as believers in Christ.
Often times we want to take our lives, our desires, our families, our friends, and definitely our plans...and try our best to make them good or set things in motion the way we would want them. Then after we have put our own plans into action...we want God to bless that...or more prudently, we want to put God into the plan we set in motion. Now, I'm not judging the 'rightness' or 'wrongness' of our plans in life...as I'm sure that all people do what they believe is right...and do what they believe is doing their best. So, those things aren't in question.
There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
But I think that real 'success' in managing life, and having abundant life (as well as avoiding tons of sins and snares), comes from putting God first in our lives...as a real Lord of who we are. Putting him in front of our families, our friendships, our work, our hobbies, our desires, our hopes, our dreams, and our plans. If we do this...and get our value, worth, and love from Him first...then that overflows into the rest of the pieces in our lives. And in terms of plans...it may open our eyes to what plans God would like us to be part of...and perhaps that would change our minds about our own plans in many things. Of course if we don't do things that way...then the likelihood of us not being fixated on our own ways and plan is pretty much nil.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge...
Everything trickles down from there....our acknowledgment of God is the beginning, not the middle, and not an afterthought to try to get blessed.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
And I don't believe that just means myopically 'being saved'. This is the outpouring for us to live this life in His Kingdom...even here.
So...when we think that life is not good...or that life is taking control of us...or that we are just being swept up in things...or that we must be doing something wrong. Perhaps we have, indeed. Perhaps we are merely reaping the consequences of the life, or plans, or ways, or even sins...that we chose. It doesn't seem so 'mere' after you realize that you've been living on your own, only inviting Jesus in when it is convenient for you, or when you are ready to share your plans with him. Put him first...and let him guide your paths. Not the other way around.
Anyway, my friends...this is what I've been learning with pain in my own life and with 'my' plans. We to be transformed by Him, and take all thoughts captive, and be blameless in our actions, and express love that points people back to Christ, not away from Him.