Plans and Goals: Who Is Following Who?

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Welcome 2014! We’ve been waiting for you in an effort to revitalize our goals and plans delayed or denied in 2013. The New Year refuels us with hope and tenacity to achieve our goals and dreams. Like you, I feel renewed to pursue certain goals. As a Christian we must then ask ourselves:  “Who is following who?”

It’s in this question that Christians tread a path typically not chosen by the world. In fact, it is the opposite of what our human spirit wants to do, especially those of us who are very driven to achieve (I am a planner and goal-setter!). Those of the world want to create and map out their own plans, while those of us who have asked God to be the author of our lives hand the reins over to Him. Who would want to hand over such control when we’ve been given certain intelligence to figure several things out for ourselves? plans-goals-16489417

True, this goes against our logic and nature. Yet, in all of my “wisdom,” God says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts and neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  He also said in Jeremiah 29:11 (one of my favorite scriptures), “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Certainly we should have goals…after we’ve dethroned ourselves and seek to be filled with His purposes for us. It’s not the other way around where we ask Him to follow behind us as we carry out our plans. Otherwise, we’re like the clay telling the sculptor what we’re going to do instead of the purpose for which we’ve been created. If we communicate with Him regularly, He’ll let us know what He desires for us to do. We can then implement an active faith toward our calling. Trust me, because you are open, willing and available, He won’t leave you out.

Lord, help me to remember: Not my will Lord, but your will. I’ve set myself apart from the world for your purposes Lord. I’d rather live out your plans for my life which exceed anything I could ever plan on my own.

While letting go isn’t always easy, I take confidence in Ephesians 3:20 which says, “now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  

Whose plans are you following?


Pressing on Toward the Goal

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Philippians 3:12

I have not already achieved these things or have I reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me (or “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”).

 Perfection is a coveted goal we all seek. A flawless characteristic that only one person has achieved, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Perfection is a life without sin, a life where overcoming wrongdoing is as easy as closing our eyes. But why can’t we humans achieve this feat? Because too many of us are always in the process of cheating, lying, gossiping, or slandering another person’s name. WE HUMANS ARE FLAWED. However, we have Jesus who makes our paths straight, which sometimes occur in the most embarrassing scenarios before the act is committed. Therefore, we have nothing to be ashamed of, for God, in all his perfection died for the scratched up/broken you and me, thus absolving our sins and pushing us onward towards his glory. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5.  An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 23, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.