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Man’s plans and God’s move

December 22, 2009

I recently was riding in the car with Pastor Mike and we were discussing planning and preparing for church services.  He made a wonderful comment that I think is the essential balance between our planning and God’s move.  He said, “I always plan, but I’m always prepared to abandon my plan.”

There is this fight in some church circles that contains comments like, “don’t plan the Holy Spirit out”, or “God can speak to you 2 weeks ahead not just in the moment”.  It gets really ugly and divisive sometimes.  I have seen God move so powerfully in the moment and I’ve seen him use things we’ve planned months in advance as well.  I think that Pastor Mike’s statement is the  balance.  We need to do our best to plan with the information we have at hand and the resources we have stewardship over.  We then, in the moment, need to be prepared to deviate from that plan if, IF, IF God leads.  We don’t need to plan to deviate.  Remember our plan isn’t the end goal.  The results are God’s business!  A couple of passages come to mind:

Proverbs 16:9 ~ “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”.

Colossians 3:17 ~ “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

There is a great peace in knowing that God is sovereign.  He is in control.  This whole deal does not depend on me and you.  Someone once told me that God is after your “want to”.  He doesn’t need us.  He just wants to use us and He wants us to want to be used.  It’s a relationship.

We’ve planned really hard for months for our annual Christmas Program.  We had to cancel it yesterday because of snow.  Major bummer.  You know all the planning in the world just couldn’t account for or control the weather.  But my eyes and hope are upon the one who does control the weather.  When I take His perspective I don’t see months of planning messed up.  I see a team that has worked together and grown, one that has had fellowship and enjoyed the process.  Simply we have grown, performance or no performance.  It’s about the relationships we have built.  We’ll do it later and it’ll still be great.  We planned, we had to deviate, and it’s all God’s business ~ we just declare it’s all for Him!

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3 Comments
  1. Brittany permalink

    I like that because when i had to deviate from a planned lesson I was like umm God you do it because well i don’t know how to do this… and it was my first time doing a lesson… agghhh it was fun though because at the end of that day God told me that He got exactly what He wanted to get accomplished. 🙂 thanks!

  2. Doesn't matter permalink

    I wrote this on my phone just as a journal entry, but maybe it will encourage some others here… Scott I know that you know the Father’s heart for us, but this is just a response that I had to the wording, so just take it for what it is, my own personal musings.

    “Someone once told me that God is after your “want to.” He doesn’t us. He wants to us and He wants us to want to be used. It’s a relationship.” Scott Hobbs, from blog post on planning and letting Spirit have freedom in services, Dec. 22, 2009

    I read this and something bothered me about it. I mean sure, I guess God doesn’t need us, if He is altogether sufficient and is “Holy, holy, holy” like the angels so vocally emphasize. But the word “want” just didn’t seem to cut it. If God just wanted us, then it would be like the way that I want a Snickers bar after a 2-hour workout (something I’ve never actually done, to be truthful)… I don’t REALLY care whether I get it or not. I might get in my car and drive 10 minutes to the nearest CVS or gas station, wait another 5 minutes in the check-out line and blow 2 bucks just to get the thing. But if I wait long enough, the craving will subside. I’ll probably even forget about the strength of my desire, those cramps in my overworked abdominals that beg for compensation for what they’ve just endured.

    The funny thing about God is this: He never stops wanting us. And though we have to treat Him like God and say that He has it all together, His want is more like our needs: he wants us as often and as passionately as we need to eat, sleep, and drink. His existence doesn’t depend on it like ours, but he loves us so much that wants us to take part in the relationship of knowing us.

    Like an elephant in the dry African safari who is so desperate that it will gulp gallons of mud to get the sweetness of water from every drop, so God longs to take us, with all of our sin, and drink of us as we become One with Him. Jesus prayed that we might be one as He is one. God’s desire to be one with us goes the same for filthy sinners as it does for His only begotten Son. And when He takes the mud, He cleanses us and makes us pure as we submit our lives to Him. May we discover the weight of God’s love for us in spite of our depravity in relationship to Him! It truly is Amazing Grace.

  3. Dear Doesn’t Matter,
    Thanks so much for the response! Actually, you cut to the heart of what I mean by that phrase. Great post!

    Hears a clarification of the two sets of “wants” that I mention in the post.

    1. Our desires, our wants often are so fleshly and selfish. The scriptures say “That God looks at the heart”. He is after our motivation. Heart transformation. New creations! That our fleshly selfish desire would become Spirit led God desires. That’s what I mean by our “want to”

    2. When I say God wants us. I certainly mean that in the “God sense”. It is a perfect desire of His heart. We are not needed by Him. We are desired by Him. He gave His all to pour His grace and mercy out upon us that we might be adopted as His own. God doesn’t want us in the “snickers” sense. He wants us so much He gave His life.

    I would agree that the Word want applied to God’s desire is woefully inadequate in the human sense.

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