Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Step by Step
Last summer someone asked me what my five year goal or plan was. After giving it some thought I kind of sheepishly replied, I don't know. I actually felt a bit embarrassed thinking, should I have a five year plan? Am I missing something here? As this was something that remained on my mind for several days afterward I thought I'd better see what God's word has to say about this. Though there are verses that imply we should have a plan, I haven't seen anything about a 5 year plan. As a matter of fact, most of the time what we see in the bible is quite the contrary.
In Psalm 119:105 it says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." If you've ever taken a walk at night with a torch or flashlight (for our American friends) you'll know that the torch only gives enough light to be able to make out the next few steps ahead, not miles ahead.
There are many stories in the bible that go along with this but the one that sticks out to me right now is in Acts 8 where we find Phillip having a very successful ministry in Samaria and then God sends and angel to tell Phillip to head out into the desert. Now if many of us were in Phillip's sandles, we would asking God, are you kidding me? I've got this amazing ministry here and I've been thinking about building a huge megachurch with plasma screens in the sanctuary, a big chapel just for weddings and a nice big gymnasium for our Good Sam basketball team. But, God had other plans in mind which to the man centered mindset, made no sense at all.
I'm also reminded of Paul in Acts 16 who had set out for Bithynia and the Holy Spirit redirected them eventually to Macedonia. If Paul were not open and obedient to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, the gospel may have never reached Europe.
The day I took the picture above I had originally intended to ride the bus but God had other plans for me that day as I ended up walking and seeing some of the most amazing scenes I never would have seen from the bus. It was also during that walk God reminded me of the 5 year plan. Five years ago I would have never imagined we would have been to New Zealand and living in Scotland. It has been challenging at times (just as that walk was) but an amazing experience beyond my imagination.
So I guess we all have to ask the question, are we open to the Spirit's guiding, or are we just setting up our plans and asking God to bless it. God may have something bigger and better in mind than you would have ever dreamed.
I wonder what God's got in store for us in the next 5 years...