ODJ: a better plan

October 14, 2013 

READ: 1 Chronicles 17:1-14 

Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 14:11).

Many years ago my wife and I felt that God wasmoving us out of our comfort zone to ignite a new work within an established ministry. When we met with the ministry’s leadership, however, our plans were rejected. In essence, they said our vision was good, but our timing wasn’t. We were disappointed and asked God, “Why?”

A short time later we discovered that I had cancer. Extensive treatment was required. If we had been working out our plans for the ministry, my medical issues would have made for a difficult situation for all concerned. What’s more, our vision for the ministry did come to fruition many years later—not by our hands, but by God using others to work out His plans in His time.

King David wanted to build a house for God (1 Chronicles 17:1). His intentions were good, but God had a better plan. He told David through the prophet Nathan, “You are not the one to build a house for me to live in” (v.4). He then told the king that one of His sons (later it was revealed to be Solomon, see 22:6) would build God’s house, or temple. God also told David that He was establishing more than a house for him—He was going to create from him a dynasty of kings! (v.10).

Accepting God’s revealed plan over his own plans, David began making preparations for Solomon to build the temple (22:5). He then said to his son, “May the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow [God’s] directions in building the temple of the Lord your God” (v.11).

When God allows our plans to be altered and even squashed, how do we react? Do we respond with anger and self-pity? Or with humility and quiet confidence that God is working out what is best for us? (Jeremiah 29:11).—Tom Felten

Read Isaiah 55:8-9 and see how God describes the difference between His plans and our plans. 
What plans do you need to place in God’s hands—allowing Him to reveal what’s best? Why do we sometimes cling to our own plans too tightly?