We like to make plans. We have our own ideas of how we think things ought to be in our lives, and when things don’t go the way we plan, we get upset. This article is to show that God always has a better plan than our plan, and when we learn to submit to His plan, it is then that we experience victory in our lives.
As humans, we may think we have a good plan, but God knows the future, He knows what is best, so His plan is always a better plan. Just like children may get bright ideas about how they want things to be, sometimes their plans differ from our plans because we, as their parents, know what is best for them.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
Consider the following Biblical examples:
–When Israel’s 12 spies returned from checking out the land God had promised to give them, the land of Canaan, they made many of their people afraid by telling about the giants that lived in Canaan, so much so that the people planned to elect a new leader and go back to Egypt! Yet, God’s plan all along was to give them this land as their own, and He would see to it that it was done even when it seemed impossible. (Numbers 14)
–Gideon planned to go to battle with the Midianites with 32,000 men, but God had a plan for him to do it with only 300. On top of that, it was God who would fight the battle and not Gideon and his men. (Judges 7)
–David planned to be a shepherd, but it was God’s plan to make him a king. (I Samuel 16:1-13)
–Mary and Joseph planned to marry and raise a family, living an ordinary life, but God had a completely different plan to give them an extraordinary life. (Matthew 1:18-24 and chapter 2)
–Peter had planned to put up his boat and go home after a night spent fishing without catching anything. However, Jesus had another plan. He told Peter to put out his boat again into the deep water. Peter couldn’t see the reasoning of this, yet He was willing to obey Jesus, and when he did, they had so much fish their nets couldn’t contain them all. (Luke 5:4-9)
–Peter’s plan was that Jesus would be an earthly king and rule over Jerusalem, but God had a better plan for Jesus to die on the cross and rescue mankind from the slavery of sin and the clutches of Satan. (Matt. 16:21-23)
–Saul of Tarsus planned to destroy and put a stop to Christianity, but God planned to make him a Christian leader. (Acts 9:1-16)
Sometimes, God’s plan is totally beyond our logic and imagination
–When Jesus told Peter to take the boat back out after a long night with no success, Peter couldn’t see the logic in taking the boat back out.
–Joshua and the Israel army were prepared to take Jericho the old-fashioned military way by physical battle, but God’s plan was for them to march around the city so many times for so many days, playing musical instruments. They probably thought, “How ridiculous is this? We look stupid.” But, God knew what He was doing. (Joshua, chapter 6)
–God’s plan for Gideon and his small army of 300 was to surround an army of thousands, to sound their trumpets, and break clay pitchers containing oil lamps. Gideon and his men probably did not see the reasoning behind this unusual military strategy. (Judges 7)
–Last summer, I needed to make an important loan payment by a certain date. I prayed that God would help me get enough writing assignments to earn the money before that time. That was my plan, but God did something I never would have imagined. The very next day, I totally unexpectedly received a generous bonus from a client that more than covered the loan payment.
You may think you have it all figured out, but then God has another plan that is unlike anything you could imagine.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Accepting God’s plan results in victory
The key to experiencing victory is to be willing to submit to God’s will, to exchange our plan for His.
–Peter obeyed Jesus even though he didn’t agree with the reasoning. Because he obeyed, he experienced a miracle and received abundance, a very large catch of fish (Luke 5:9)
–Because Gideon obeyed God, he too experienced a victorious battle. (Judges 7)
–Because Joshua and the Israel army obeyed God in spite of how silly they may have thought it was to march around a city playing trumpets, they experienced victory like no other army had ever before experienced. (Joshua 6)
Notice in all of these cases, God had beforehand already planned to give them victory! Jesus knew beforehand that Peter would catch all those fish. God said He had given the enemies into the hands of Israel with Joshua and Gideon. What should this tell us? That if God already has a plan, then He already has a victory prepared for us as well. All we have to do is the same as Peter, Joshua, and Gideon, that is, to accept His plan, and we will get to experience the victory that God has already planned to give us!
When we are willing to submit to God’s will and plan even when we don’t understand it, we too will experience victory. There is always victory in obedience to God.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 15:57)
If we decide to not go along with God’s plan, we will miss out on these victories and marvelous experiences. If Peter had not obeyed Jesus, he would have missed out on that great catch. If Joshua and the Israelite army had not went along with God’s plan, they would not have experienced the miraculous fall of Jericho.
Submitting to God’s plan takes faith
Peter had to have faith that Jesus knew what He was talking about when He told him to take the boat out into the water again.
Joshua and the Israelite army had to have faith that God knew what He was doing when He ordered for them to march around the city with musical instruments instead of weapons.
Gideon and his small army had to have great faith in God to go up against a much larger army with no weapons.
You and I have to have faith that God knows what He is doing in our lives. We have to believe that He has our best interests at heart. We have to have faith that He is in control that His plan is what will work the best for us.
We have to have faith that God’s power and strength will be revealed through our weaknesses! (II Corinthians 12:7-10)
Our faith is important to God, and when we honor Him with our faith, He honors and rewards our faith! (Hebrews 11:6)
How can we know what God’s plan is for you?
If you want to know God’s plan, He will reveal it to you. If you seek it and ask for it, He will reveal it to you. (Proverbs 2:1-6; Matthew 7:7)
God reveals His plan and will for you in a variety of ways:
–through His word (Romans 10:17)
–through the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2 and 16:6-8)
–through other Christian believers (Acts 9:17)
–through situations and circumstances (Gen. 24:12-16 and Judges 6:36-40)
We may find it difficult sometimes to surrender our plan in exchange for God’s plan, but we must keep in mind that with God, “all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28). We must also remember that to reject God’s plan results in defeat (I Samuel 15:22), while accepting His plan results in victory!