God’s Plans

“So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:11-12a NLT)

Nehemiah was the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes and had apparently done a great job, because when Nehemiah shared with the king why he was sad, the king pledged his support of the project the Lord had laid on Nehemiah’s heart. The details of his plan to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem was fairly straightforward but would cost lots of money the returning Jews didn’t have.

It’s not unusual for God’s plans to be expensive, but He always makes a way if we’re sensitive to His leading. There are a few key ingredients to God’s plans that give us guidance to determine if – A. Is it truly God’s plan? And B. Has He given us a strategy to follow when we’re sure it’s God’s plan. Has God given you a plan? Are you sure it’s God’s plan? Has He given you a God-ordained strategy?

Photo by Maria Paula Medina on Pexels.com

The Lord has given me a mission to reach my neighbors. There are about 120 homes in my little neighborhood and I’m believing the Lord for the salvation of every person in every house. A pretty tall order, right? Not for God! So, the first question I have to answer is – Is it truly God’s plan? The two Scriptures that come immediately to mind are Matthew 28:18: “Jesus came and told His disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…’” And Matthew 22:39: “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

His commission isn’t a suggestion, it’s a directive to reach the people in our spheres of influence, not in our strength and ingenuity, but in His authority. It’s going to look differently for each of us, as God has gifted us in different ways, so our strategies will vary, but our mission is the same. So, yes, I’m convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Lord has commissioned me to reach my neighbors.

So, secondly, has He given me a strategy? Yes, He’s unfolding a strategy that is bearing fruit and will continue to reveal itself as I step into its process. One word of caution here: God’s plan and strategy for me is for ME, not necessarily for you. If you can use some ideas or plans that the Lord has given me and you’re confident He’s leading you to use some or all of what He’s showing me, that’s fine. But don’t let the enemy bog you down with guilt, because you can’t do what He’s enabling me to do. You can follow God’s plan for you to reach those in your spheres of influence. It may look different, but will be no less effective.

E.M. Bounds said: “All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them.” Regardless of how He leads you at least two things will be true of the mission and strategy He gives you: they will be sacrificial and unselfish. They will require sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading and determination to allow your desires to be put to “death” in an effort to exalt and honor Jesus in and through, not only what He leads you to do, but how He fills and empowers you to do them.

If you’ve ever heard me preach, you know I’m not a great preacher. I sought to be thoroughly prepared and true to Scripture, but I’m not a powerful orator. He has, however, given me a sensitivity to His voice that enables me to be a decent writer. So, my strategy has been to write notes to my neighbors. But He’s also given me a heart to pray, so, as opportunity affords, I pray with and for my neighbors.

One thing the Lord is laying on my heart as I read His Word is to take Him at His word and allow His Spirit to flow in and through me in powerful and practical ways. I’m believing God for healing as well as salvation for my neighbors. With few exceptions physical healing accompanied spiritual deliverance in Jesus’ ministry. You and I have been given His authority to carry out His ministry – should we not believe He will give us insight, wisdom, understanding, and power to carry out exactly what He instructs us to do?

Food for thought.

Blessings, Ed 😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: