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?

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Go Out On a Limb with Him

Got a dream? Got faith? Promise, He’s got you, and its out on the limb where your purpose manifests.  “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 hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, New International Version). Today’s post is from the daily devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Each devotional is written from perspective of Jesus speaking to you.

BE WILLING to go out on a limb with Me. If that is where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be. Your desire to live a risk-free life is a form of unbelief. Your longing to live close to Me is at odds with your attempts to minimize risk. You are approaching a crossroads in your journey. In order to follow Me wholeheartedly, you must relinquish your tendency to play it safe.

why not go out on a limb

Let Me lead you step by step through this day. If your primary focus is on Me, you can walk along perilous paths without being afraid. Eventually, you will learn to relax and enjoy the adventure of your journey together. As long as you stay close to Me, My sovereign Presence protects you wherever you go.

Accompanying Scriptures: Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” John 12:26, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (New International Version)