Wednesday, August 1, 2012

20 year plan--really?

photo by Gordon Watts

I had to laugh when I read it. But really, I was more disturbed than amused.
I was reading an article where a church was revealing its 20-year plan.
20 years! My small children might be married in 20 years! How am I supposed to know what God wants to do in 20 years?
I come across this thinking often when leaders try to merge business concepts with church leadership. I am not saying all business leadership concepts are wrong—I just think some of the concepts should stay in the corporate world.
Often, the thinking with church leaders who plan 20 years goes like this: “If I plan it out and pray really hard then God will bless the vision.” In other words, my will, with hard work, will become God’s will.
It reminds me of Proverb 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes His steps.”
Again, let me say, I think we should have vision, plan ahead and set goals. But sometimes I see people dream their dreams and try to get God on their agenda rather than getting in on God’s agenda.
Obviously, we want to have God establish our steps. How do we do that? We want to be in on God’s plan and live it out. How do we seek it?
Proverbs 16:3 helps us: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
The word translated as “commit” literally means to roll away. It reminds me of a game I used to play with the boys. We would sit across from each other and roll a ball to each other in order for them to learn how to catch something.
When we commit our ways to God, we are rolling them like a ball to God. We are giving them over to God and letting Him do whatever He wants with it. He could keep it and say no to the prayer. He could change it and roll it back. He could roll it back and say yes.
Committing our ways to God means giving our concerns, our issues and our dreams to God. Only when God rolls them back can we ever establish our steps. Then we pray even more and trust that God will be true to His promises. The timing is His.

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