I have always been a planner.
In middle school, I wanted to be an exercise trainer.
In high school, I wanted to be a doctor.
In college, I pursued being a doctor (decided that was way too much schooling!), so I wanted to be a mental health counselor.
Now, I’m finally surrendering to the Lord’s work in my heart. I’m finally letting Him lead my steps and establish my dreams.
But this didn’t happen without a lot of doubting from my weak heart…
Have you ever pushed so hard to get your way only to realize that wasn’t the best plan anyway?
That’s been the past few years of my life. Okay, maybe that’s been my whole life until recently.
I’ve been convicted of my lack of trust over and over again. Reading the Bible causes that kind of conviction. Studying the Word and the meaning of the Word causes even more of that kind of conviction.
And so, in my defiance to follow the Lord’s lead, He has reminded me of several things that I must remember when I’m in the midst of doubting God’s plan for my life.
Maybe your life isn’t turning out quite like you expected. Maybe you find yourself living in a totally different life, with totally different dreams, than you ever imagined. And maybe all of that is cause for some doubt on your part.
I get it. But when you’re doubting God’s plan, these three short stories are truth to rest in…
- God defeated the mighty Midianite army with 300 Israelite soldiers. (Judges 6-8)
Can you imagine the fear creeping up the neck of Gideon? Me, God? Seriously?
“Then the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?’
So Gideon said to Him, ‘Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’
And the Lord said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.’” (Judges 6:14-16)
And He did. Gideon defeated the Midianite army – freeing the Isrealite people – because the Lord was on his side. Because God was with him. Because he obeyed.
The mega army was defeated by 300 weak men because Gideon trusted more in God’s plan than his own.
- God brought Daniel out of a fiery furnace & delivered him from the mouths of lions. (Daniel 3, 6)
This story. I just love it.
Daniel and his buddies are thrown into a burning furnace because they refused to worship false gods. And this is what Daniel says in the process of being thrown right into flames…
“…our God who we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you that we do not serve your gods, nor will be worship the gold image which you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)
And a few verses later.
“Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (vs. 25)
Then, as if Daniel hadn’t been through enough, he was thrown into a lions den. God continually shows his faithfulness.
“So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.” (Daniel 6:23)
Daniel was delivered from a furnace and a lion’s den because he trusted in God’s plan more than his own.
- God saved the Jews from destruction using the life and obedience of Ester. (Ester 1-10)
“And Mordecai told them [messengers] to tell Ester: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Ester 4:13-14)
Basically, Ester’s uncle is telling her that she needs to speak up and be bold for her people. He’s telling her that she very well could have been created for this very purpose.
Uh, talk about a little bit of pressure.
Ester’s response is this…
“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; if I perish, I perish!” (Ester 4:15-16)
And a few chapters later in Ester 8, the king decreed freedom for the Jews to protect themselves from their enemies – to save themselves.
The Jews were freed once again because Ester trusted in the Lord’s plan more than her own.
I could go on and on. Really and truly, Scripture is full of stories like this – stories that remind us that God’s plans and purposes and ways are higher and mightier than anything we could imagine.
I think about Noah, Moses, David, Ruth, Martha, Mary, Jesus…
I think about the stories of God’s faithfulness sprinkled generously throughout Scripture. And I’m reminded, dear friend, that I can trust that God’s plan is so much better than my own.
When you’re doubting God’s plan, doubting His faithfulness and His purposes, spend some time reading through stories like the ones I’ve shared above.
Open the Word, devour the Word, trust the Word.
God will do amazing things because you trusted in the Lord’s plan more than your own.
Colossians 2:6-7 tells us, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”
This verse is one I pray frequently for the blog. I pray that this place would be rooted and built in Jesus, that it would encourage women (and men) everywhere to establish their faith.
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