We have our plans and ideas of what we should be doing. Even what God would have us do. Ever have your plans upended? Is it possible, like Moses, our plans are short-sighted? ♦
Jeff could see all the pieces coming together for him. He got that coveted promotion at work and with the increase in salary he could see that he and his wife might be able to purchase that home they’ve been wanting since they had their first child 3 years ago. He told his wife that he could see “that God was good and moving in their lives.” But then his company was acquired by a large east coast firm and he received word that his division would be consolidated with another. His new role would change, in fact, his job was in jeopardy.
Rachel was a single mother excited about her woman’s group at church that met on Wednesday evenings to study the Bible and discuss the previous week’s sermon. She relished the discussions and contributed greatly to the group with her natural facilitation and communication skills. She had just been on the phone saying to her mother “Isn’t God good!” as she was so grateful that God had put her in a group where she could thrive and have such good fellowship. She was stunned the following week when she heard that three of the woman were leaving the group – two were moving out of the area and one was changing to another group closer to home. There was talk now that Rachel’s group might have to change meeting nights. Unfortunately with her inflexible schedule, she might have to leave the group herself.
Mitchell was asked to lead the worship band at the new church campus that was opening up at the beginning of the new year. He already had his mind at work thinking about some of the talented musicians he knew he could recruit for the band. He had been praying for God to use his musical gifts and was excited about this opportunity to serve his church community. He told his best friend, a keyboard player, “God is so good!” Understandably he was disappointed when he heard that the new church campus opening was postponed indefinitely for financial reasons. There would be no need at present for a worship band.
Ever had your best-laid plans upended? Ever had things unravel that you firmly believed were God-ordained and destined to accomplish great things for great purposes, even Godly purposes? Have you ever finally figured out how God was using or going to use you in a beautiful way, only to have it all fall apart?
Of course you have. We all have. It’s actually almost predictable.
In fact, it’s scriptural.
The Moses Plan
Moses was a fast-tracker. As a Hebrew infant, he was literally plucked from obscurity and certain death on the Nile River by the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. (See Exodus 1:8-2:10.) He was subsequently raised for his first 40 years in the wealthy household of the most powerful leader in the world. He was well-educated and his training doubtless included athletics, military strategy, art, writing, music, geometry, literature, law, astronomy, medicine, and philosophy.
But at age 40, Moses had a plan. He was now keenly aware of the oppression of his people, the Hebrews, enslaved by the cruel Egyptians. (See Exodus 2:11-15, also Acts 7:23-29.) He no doubt felt certain that his destiny was to be the one to deliver them. He would be the one to right the wrongs of those around him. After all, who besides Moses, with all his access, training and knowledge, was better equipped to rescue his people from their captive plight?
God had a different plan.
Preparation for God’s Plan
In his proactive righteousness, Moses struck and killed an Egyptian slave-driver. While he believed his brethren would see him as the deliverer of their oppression, they did not see it that way and he was forced to flee Egypt. He escaped in exile eastward to Midian in the northwest Arabian peninsula. He settled with the family of Jethro, a shepherd and Hebrew priest. He married one of Jethro’s seven daughters, Zipporah, raised two sons and stayed in Midian for 40 years working as a shepherd himself in relative obscurity.
Doesn’t seem like a great career move, does it?
It was actually in his 80th year “while watching the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro…the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…and called to him…”Moses, Moses!” (See Exodus 3:1-4.) So God appeared to Moses and told him to go and bring forth His people out of the hand of the Egyptians, to a new land “flowing with milk and honey.” Moses answered “Who am I, that I should go?”
Now a more humbled and gentle man, Moses had a new job. He was always the right man, but his heart was proud and undisciplined. Now fully under God’s authority and leading, he would become the leader of Israel and serve as deliverer, lawgiver, builder, commander-in-chief, judge, author, and intermediary between God and Israel.
And a lost world would never be the same. Indeed God took one man’s plan and replaced it, in time, with a better plan reflecting the true good will of God.
Our Plan vs. God’s Plan
So what’s the point, are we supposed to be another Moses? Actually No and Yes. There will never be another Moses, but then again, there will never be another you or me. We have been created and destined to serve under the authority and leading of the One True God, whether we know it or believe it. All aspects and dimensions of our obscure lives (even as shepherds for 40 years) may be but preparation for good and larger purposes we can scarcely imagine. What we can know is that our seemingly good plans are better when wholly submitted to the will of the Good God who loves us and, in time, has higher and greater plans and vision.
Are you a living your plan or God’s?
“Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.” – Acts 7:25