Thursday, December 18, 2008

Planning by Faith

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives. Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established. The LORD has made everything for its own purpose...
Proverbs 16.1-4

I am futuristic. And like "overthinking," it can be either a booster or a dragger. I would question myself: am I losing "faith" by planning so much? Isn't God Himself a planner (Jer 29.11)? Is there a line between planning and faith?

No.. in fact, I think the answer lies in Planning BY Faith. If you are not an overt planner like myself, that sounds like common sense. If you are like me, planning by faith sounds like an oxymoron.

Faith will forever be an issue, as long as we are non-omniscient, as long as we are human. It takes a lot of endurance just to hope for what we can't even see, to anticipate the unknown, to wait patiently for Someone we've only caught so little of.

So, how do we "planners" learn to exercise this God-given gift, and plan by faith?

First, seek His heart. This is an opportunity for intimacy - to know His heart and His intentions. It's different to say "Do whatever You want," and ask, "God, what do You want me to do?" While both statements are valid, the first statement infers that you are a guest uninvolved in the Master's affairs; the second one says I belong in this House You have made for me, and I want to know what You have built. The Psalmist says, "The LORD confides in those who fear Him" (Psalm 25.14). This is your opportunity to seek out what His plan, and then make it Yours.

Secondly, seek wisdom. A wise man not only knows and understands a situation, but possesses the proper pro-active, reactive, or inactive response. We walk by faith and not by sight. But if our means of "closing our eyes" equals an arrogance that has stuck our noses so high in the sky, we'll fall into pits. Seeking wisdom recognizes that as a planner, you depend on the ultimate Counselor to teach you all things (John 14.26).

Thirdly, seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34.14). To plan by faith means to plan in Sabbath mode, knowing that His peace is a manifestation of His glory. Faith means that we do not doubt His voice, and trust that "in Him we live, move, and have our being." Although we cannot see all the pieces fitting perfectly, we can still walk forward in faith - knowing (not doubting) that He guides our steps, and makes them firm. Worrying is an indication that you've stepped off of faith (Faith and worry cannot co-exist).

In essence, planning by faith means that every step of the planning process, you are trusting God to reveal His heart, guide your steps, and protect you with peace. Planning by faith shows God that you are a good steward of the time and resources He has given you, and yet, it is the recognition that all things are subject to change - and it's okay.

God ultimately has His way, but He never messes with our will, and it all comes back to who we trust more - Him, or ourselves. And to trust Him means to plan by faith.

You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Psalm 16.11



The unimportant Backstory.
I'm planning again, and it's a fight against my mind not to step into the realm of worry or doubt. I ask myself: should I have been in the educational or medical field? Some have told me that art is so self-indulging, and the only way to make it 'useful' is through education or therapy. I can't help but wonder, have I been wrong about my career choices? Maybe these choices are stepping stones, to teach me character traits, and perhaps, will lead me to my "true calling."

So now I'm back at the place asking God what really matters to Him, and finding the passions that He designed me with. Because if it means I must step my feet back into school for it, at least I can say I am doing it for His purposes.

And if God so purposed that I return to university, but I stopped myself because of money, well, then I've made money an idol. I'd rather step into His will, empowered by grace and faith (and knowing that He is fighting for me). But when 'planning' gets the best of me, I stay 'safe' - I compute the loan-repayment output with numbers I can see, and take the controls away from God. We know that equals disaster.

Dear God- teach me how to plan by faith.


1 comment :

  1. encouraging to say the least.
    couldn't comprehend it all
    but i'm glad that this won't be deleted. haha.
    i can re-read anytime i want =D
    great insights my dear
    n exactly what i needed.
    thanks for allowing God to speak (or type) through you.!