“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
(Proverbs 19:21, NIV).
Today I read a profound statement: “You can’t fit God into your plan—He fits you into His plan.” However, we often try to fit God into our plans by saying, “God, will you bless this project?” “Lord, will you give me favor on this book I’m writing?” “Father, will you lead me as I step into this new position?” We ask these questions when we have moved forward in a direction that was not ordained by God. Instead, we should ask, “God, show me your plan for my life.”
This weekend, my husband and I are on a Sabbatical. We are laying everything we do before the Lord. Nothing is off the table. And we are willing to give up something if it is not a part of God’s plan. We are also listening for how the LORD wants to lead us in the future. My husband is praying about work strategies. I am lifting up ministry work, and as I near the end of my doctoral schooling, I am praying that God reveals how He wants me to use this education.
Are you willing to relinquish your ideas and plans for something better—God’s plan?
God’s plan doesn’t always look like what we imagined.
But once we go where we are being divinely led, we should plant roots.
In the Bible the father of the Israelites, Abraham, made a peace treaty with Abimilek, the king of Gerar. Abraham had been guided to Beersheba by God even though it was on the edge of the Negev Desert, probably not the most beautiful place in the world—dry and sandy—and most likely hot during the day and cold at night.
Scripture says Abraham remained in that area, Beersheba, a long time and Abraham responded to this leading by planting a Tamarisk Tree. The Tamarisk is a tree with a deep root system, and symbolizes God’s enduring grace, faithfulness, and provision.
The Tamarisk Tree also secretes salt on its leaves and drips water in the morning. I believe we can look at this as God’s provision during a dry season, allowed by our heavenly Father for spiritual growth and for a purpose that is not always revealed at first.
Genesis 21:33 says after Abraham planted the Tamarisk Tree, he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. Abraham’s planting of the tree represented his willingness to make an investment in this place where he had been led, and where there was now peace.
I have learned that when we surrender our plans to God, He may lead us into unknown territory, but as with Abraham, He will give us peace in the midst of a strange land or a new calling. He will always be with us, even when we find ourselves in the desert for an extended period of time.