"You Who Carry Out a Plan, But Not Mine"
I have plans. You have plans. Here's a question worth meditating upon today: "Do my plans harmonize with God's plans?"
In Isaiah 30:1-2 the LORD delivered a message to his people through his prophet.
"Ah, stubborn children," declares the LORD,
__ "who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
__ that they may add sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt,
__ without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
__ and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!"
The people had plans. The problem? Their plans didn't harmonize with God's plans. The people had entered into alliances--alliances that were out of step with God's Spirit. The people had places to go and they were going... without seeking God's direction. The people had found refuge. The issue? They were looking to a mere mortal for protection, seeking shelter in the shadow of human civilization, and spurning the Ruler of heaven and earth.
"Ah, stubborn children," declares the LORD.
Would the same Sovereign in heaven who continues to make his sun rise and his Spring rains fall on the just and the unjust describe us in the same way?
We have plans. Do they harmonize with God's plans? We make friends, enter into partnerships, and come to identify with certain crowds. Are those "alliances" in step with God's Spirit? We have places to go. Are we seeking God's direction every step of the way? We continue to search for refuge, security, and peace of mind. "Some trust in chariots and some in horses" (Psa 20:7)... some in politicians, business moguls, border walls, and nuclear armaments. In all practical reality is that us? Or is our hope in the name of the LORD our God?
When we lose perspective, we walk by sight and not by faith. When we walk by sight, we "go astray in spirit" and sin is added to sin. I've been there. You've been there. What now? Take a look at Isaiah 29:24, the verse just before Isaiah 30:1 that was quoted above.
And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
__ and those who murmur will accept instruction.
If I want to avoid being described as a "stubborn child" by my Creator, I must seek his will. If I know that I have gone astray in spirit, I must submissively seek to understand and apply his wisdom. If the storm clouds of murmuring, restlessness, and despair have darkened the horizon of my life, I must return to the light of his instruction.
By all means, let's plan, partner, build, and accomplish everything we can today, doing so with the understanding that God's plan--for our individual lives, our marriages, our careers, our parenting efforts, our congregations, our futures--God's plan should be the defining influence on our hearts and that our great calling is to keep in step with his Spirit (Gal 5:25).