MAN PROPOSES, GOD DISPOSES; AND YOU WILL WANT THAT

MAN PROPOSES, GOD DISPOSES; AND YOU WILL WANT THAT

Yesterday we saw that

“When a prophet or visionary gets up in your community and gives out a miracle-sign or wonder, and the miracle-sign or wonder that he gave out happens and he says, “Let’s follow other gods” (these are gods you know nothing about), “let’s worship them,” don’t pay any attention to what that prophet or visionary says. God, your God, is testing you to find out if you totally love him with everything you have in you. You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life!” Deuteronomy 13:1-4 [MSG]

So in the face of whatever situation that we are facing, we should always walk after our Father, listen to His instruction and depend on Him.

Today, I would like to continue down that path and have us think about the best laid plans of mice and men.

“You saw the fields laid bare and wasted
And weary Winter coming fast,
And cosy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Until crash! the cruel plow passed
Right through your cell.

But Mousie, you are not alone
In proving that foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes (plans) of mice and men
Go oft astray (oft go awry)
And leave us nothing but grief and pain
Instead of promised joy!” Robert Burns, To a Mouse

Have you ever been there before? You made the most elaborate plans to bring your family out. You bought the tickets to the best rides and the most popular attractions way in advance so that you don’t need to waste time in the queue. You prepare the food in advance, planning the menu so that the food will both be nutritious and easy to eat. The bags are all packed, you are ready to go, and then it pours. The roads get flooded, the amusement park and attractions announce that they will be closed because of the bad weather and all your plans are wasted.

Or, you have your career all planned out. You struck a deal with your bosses to progressively give you certain projects at certain times so that your portfolio will develop comprehensively. You have even started to network with rival firms so that in 5 years, your contact can recommend you for that senior position which will be vacated because the guy who sits there now will retire then. Then the markets collapse, the company folds and your career plans get thrown back to the stone ages.

Indeed, the saying is true; ‘man proposes, but God disposes’.

And for the longest time, this thought has always left me feeling a little jaded; because I used to think that God is this big old dictator who isn’t open to new ideas. Been around those kinds of people before? Whatever you suggest, they can think of a million and one reasons why it won’t work. And the worst thing is, instead of explaining to you why, they just say, ‘been there, done that, move on.’

But beloved, if you are thinking like that, stop. Like me, you’ve got God all wrong. You see, our Father is not a stubborn old man. Yes, it’s God’s way or the highway, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Let me show you why.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

Yes, alright so God wants to profit us. So why block that business deal? Why stop me from getting that job? Why put things in the way of me starting a relationship with that person? Well, beloved, read on.

“Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12 [AMP]
And after that I guess God is going to mock me and tell me what a stupid idea I had, right? Patience beloved, read on.

“I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’” Jeremiah 29:14 [AMP]

Why block that business deal? Why stop you from getting that job? Why stop you from starting a relationship with that person? It’s obvious really, isn’t it? It was not going to give you a hope because there was no future there. And it would have done you more harm than good.

Beloved, our Father is not a big meanie. He’s not a stubborn old man either. He is a loving Father, who hears us when we call. Not ten minutes later, not the next day; He hears us when we call.

And He is not out to smite us. Instead, He wants to restore our fortunes. If you have suffered loss at the hands of the enemy, He wants to see to it that those fortunes are restored. If you have been put in bondage to such things as financial debt, emotional blackmail, or anything else that is taking away your freedom, our Father wants to set you free from that. If you have been kicked out of your rightful home, He wants to bring you back to where you belong; and please always do remember that the first place you belong to is not your earthly home, but right there by His side.

You see beloved, Jesus said,

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21

And who is he who overcomes?

“…whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5

For indeed, because you have believed in Christ,

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

So our rightful place is right there, next to our Father, where Jesus is right now.

Now think. Would God give us the place of highest honor with Jesus just so that He can make sport of us? I don’t think it would take a rocket scientist to know that that logic does not hold water. So if our Father gathers us to Himself, it must be to love us, it must be to bless us, it must be to give us all the benefits we could ever imagine, and then some.

But have you ever had your children ask for things that were no good for them, just because they didn’t know any better? And when you finally gave in, did they regret it? And how did you feel? Yes, ‘I told you so’ did come to mind. But wouldn’t you have traded the world for a way to make them see reason, rather than experience it?

And so it is the same with our Father. Sometimes the things we ask for won’t benefit us, but we just don’t see it. So our Father says ‘no’.

But at the same time, some things we wanted, we were influenced into those desires. There was evil in the intent to make us want those things. There was evil in the intent to make us ask our Father for those things. Because, I mean , think about it, when we get what we asked for and it is bad, what would be our response? That’s right, ‘ if You knew all along, then why did You give it to me in the first place’, right? There’s just no reasoning with us, is there? No wonder the writer of Proverbs says,

“People ruin their lives by their own stupidity,
so why does God always get blamed?” Proverbs 19:3 [MSG]

God has plans for you, plans to prosper you, plans to give you a hope and a future. That is God’s purpose. And isn’t it comforting to know that even when we know no better, He will always see to it that it is His purpose that will always come to fruition?

Now, that does not mean that bad things won’t happen. But if you look back on your life at all those bad things that happened, did they not serve to prosper you in the end? Did they not work to give you a hope and a future? They may have been painful lessons, but if not for them, would you have learnt enough to be where you are today? And so it is for anything that comes in the future.

Indeed, we should do well to heed this advice,

“Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction,
That you may be wise in the time to come.
Many plans are in a man’s mind,
But it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand (be carried out).” Proverbs 19:20-21 [AMP]

Walk after our Father. Listen to His advice. Follow in His footsteps. And when He allows you to learn a painful lesson from the choices you have made, see past the pain and accept the correction,

“For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

And take heart that no matter what evil had been planned against you, it is only our Father’s plans and purposes that will prevail and be carried out.

So beloved, look at our Father with different eyes today. He is not a stubborn old man but a loving Father. He has your best interests at heart, so trust in Him, for

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

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