30 Days in the Bible, Day 21: Proverbs 16:1-3
There is a dangerous temptation in a church to assume that because we plan to do things that are meant to benefit the kingdom of Jesus Christ that He will automatically bless the plans we devise. We look at a situation we are facing, come up with our best ideas, discuss each one, and finally make a decision. We pray that the Lord will bless what we plan to do, and use the proposed plans to further His kingdom. As a result, we feel like we’ve accomplished something good for Jesus.
All of this will be a waste of time if we don’t have our focus in the right place. Instead of trying to come up with our best plans, we need to ask the Lord what His plan is. Prayer should be the primary step in planning: the first step, the last step, and a whole lot of steps in between. Every part of our decision-making process should be designed to discern and implement the Lord’s will for our church.
It isn’t that people aren’t capable of making good decisions, or that we would completely ignore genuine spiritual concerns in our discussions. God has gifted each of us with various skills, talents, and abilities, and He expects us to use them. Our chief concern, though, ought to be to please and to honor Jesus, so we must put all that we have to His service, and seek what He wills rather than what we will.
Our commitment is to Christ and His kingdom, and our greatest asset in discerning His will is the Holy Spirit. When our desire is to please the Lord, and we earnestly seek the Spirit’s wisdom and guidance, we can expect to develop plans that He will bless. That may mean we have to do something differently than we would like, step outside of our comfort zone, or even put a desired outcome off to the future until the time is right. If we are willing to this, we will find that our plans end up looking like the ones God has for us.
This doesn’t just apply to churches. In our individual lives and in our families, seeking the Lord’s will and the Spirit’s guidance first and foremost will enable us to live the way God has planned for us to live. We will learn what His will is for us, and we will learn to set aside our own plans not only to please the Lord, but also because they just aren’t as good as His. Our skills, talents, and gifts will be used to further His kingdom rather than our own, and we will find greater blessing in our lives as we see Gods plan for us unfold. It may not be without its bumpy roads and dark nights, but as we faithfully seek to serve Him we will see the Lord at work in and through us, and will see, step by step, His work go on before us.