April 23, 2021

Suggested Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-8

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing—Genesis 12:1-2

In the following verse it says, “So Abram went, as the LORD had told him” (vs4). If Abram wanted to experience the blessings God promised his only option was to do as God said. Even at times, when it did not seem as though God was going to fulfill his part, Abram knew he could not return to where he started out but keep pressing and believing in the promise of God to bless and enlarge him.  

Have you noticed how God does not give us a backup plan? A plan “B”? When he sends us on a mission, compels, or directs us by the power of his Holy Spirit to go or do or undertake something, he does not say to us, “Here’s a plan B just in case my plans for you don’t work out.” No. He says even when you meet an obstacle press on, keep going for I am with you. You are strong to keep going, strong to overcome; I have you covered and surrounded.”   

The disciples were caught carrying out a plan B. Maybe an unconscious thought became a conscious decision once Jesus was no longer with them. It might have been in the back of their minds the whole time without them realizing it or as the latter days began to get tough and Jesus started talking to them about his departure. Maybe it came up when they started to sense something was going to go in another direction than what they’d hoped and planned for. Maybe they weren’t sure enough of themselves or what they had learned over the last three years. Whatever brought it about, when Jesus was taken from them, they reverted to what they had known before him: fishing for fish.

Had they so quickly forgotten when Jesus pulled them off the water he said, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of people” (Matthew 4:19 ESV).  More than not being sure of themselves they were not sure of the power of God, the Spirit of Jesus to help them continue on. In the heat of grief and disappointment, they pulled out their plan B, dusted off their fishing poles, took out their nets and got back on the water.   

Sometimes we will make a plan B, even if it is subconscious. We’ll start out, embark on a path to do something new or Spirit led and in the back of our mind think “if this doesn’t work out I’ll just go back to what I was doing, to what or where I was before.” The thing about plan B’s is that we are tempted to give in to the temptation to give up before we have given ourselves or god a chance to bring us to completion. Plan B’s might seem wise, but are not always suitable, because we may not try as hard or stick with God long enough to achieve his desired outcome for our lives.

In the wilderness, the Israelites kept a plan B hidden from Moses. Every step was a test God and Moses needed to pass if they were going to keep on going forward with Moses. Whenever they came to an obstacle they would cry out to Moses and complain how they were better off in captivity, at least they had food and water. But God’s plan for the Israelites was to be free, out from under slavery and bondage, living in their own land; and that meant even when they had to endure hardship, face enemies, overcome obstacles he would give them the strength and courage to do so. God did not make a plan B for his people; his plan was the Promised Land and that was it.

The Promised Land for the Israelites, and Heaven and Eternal Life for us, this is God’s plan and he does not provide a fallback or alternative. That means if we want to be in the will of God, under the power and blessing of God, receiving the protection and provision of God we will keep our eyes and mind set on the plan and path God has shown. That means even when things get hard, when we run into obstacles, when enemies are pressing all around, we have to stick to God’s plan and path for us.

Regardless of what it is we are doing, what we are pursuing, where we are headed, if we have started out knowing it’s God’s plan and will for us, then God wants us to toss out our plan B and not give ourselves the option to return or going back, but trust in his presence, his strength, his grace, his direction, his protection, his provision to get us to where he is sending or taking us.

No matter how difficult the journey, God honors his plans for us, just as he told Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you” (Jer. 1:4). Carrying out God’s plans for our lives, which also include our welfare, may not always be easy, without conflict, or obstacles, but because they are the plans God has for us, his ordained will for us, then they are the only ones for us; they are the places and outcomes that hold our blessings. Let’s Pray

Dear God, sometimes we make a fallback plan and if that is in line with you, then that is good. But at other times we make a fallback plan or a plan B because we are afraid, not confident, or even squeamish. Give us the strength and faith needed to go all the way and to always trust you all the way and to believe in ourselves, our capabilities, our strength; to believe in you and your promises also. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen           

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