Friday, October 20, 2023

Driving Your Heavenly Daddy Batty

Suggested Reading: James 4:1-16

When they were very small, both of my children went through a phase when they insisted on doing everything for themselves. Most children go through this phase at some point, but my children nearly drove me crazy with it. They wanted to do everything for themselves whether they were actually capable of doing it or not. And if I tried to help or (God forbid!) to do it for them then I would hear, "I can do it myself, Daddy!" At times, I got so frustrated with their stubborn refusal of my help that I started saying, "You're gonna drive your daddy batty!" Eventually, though, they both reached the point where they realized that wasting two hours on something Daddy could do in thirty seconds wasn't worth it until they learned to do it a little better.

Sometimes, because we are all children, we treat our Heavenly Father the same way, arrogantly insisting that we can do things ourselves, especially when coming up with our own plans for life. Jesus' brother James warned us, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil (James 4:13-16, HCSB). There is nothing wrong with making plans for the future. In fact, it's a responsible thing to do. But boasting about our own plans or stating for a fact that we will carry out our own plans means we have forgotten two very important things. One, we have forgotten that God probably has plans that far outshine our own and, two, that we are children of the Father and must do what our Father wants.

Making plans is good. Learning to account for variables and strategize and plan is one of the many ways we can grow into becoming more and more like God. But we must constantly be comparing our plans to God's, listening for the changes God would make and obeying so that we can improve our own planning, slowly becoming more and more spirit-led in our planning. But learning and growing in that manner demands a humility from us which recognizes that our plans are neither perfect nor certain.

What plans have you begun banking on?  Do you have plans that have become so important to you that you no longer seek God's guidance, afraid that God will change them? Have you been getting frustrated that your plans keep falling through? Perhaps you need to remember that your planning skills don't yet match your Heavenly Father's. Perhaps God is trying to warn you that your own plans have become too important to you. Or maybe you just need to remember that God is the master planner and has a plan waiting for you if you are willing to follow it.

Don't get hung up on your own plans. Make them, but then take them to the Master Planner and learn how He would improve them. Don't waste years doing your own planning when God could help you through it.

What Did You Think Was Going to Happen?

Suggested Reading: Judges 16:4-21 or Judges 16 (the whole Samson and Delilah story) I may lose some readers over this statement, but.....