A friend on one of my home school groups once said that "our plans are often Plan B or C, whereas God's Plan is always A" (my paraphrase). I have been seriously considering her words and this week, have committed myself only to accepting God's Plan A for my life. Through prayer and bible study, the Lord has shown me that He desires for me to experience his "Plan A" and that it is not something unattainable or unimaginable. It is real and tangible and is readily available to every person who believes in, trusts in and relies upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I have always believed (incorrectly) that God's Plan A was not something we could participate in here on Earth, that it was reserved for Heaven only. But this is not biblically sound thinking. No, God has a Plan for my life, a plan for my dh's life, and a plan for my child's life. It is His perfect Plan A, and not something that is second best. It is His best and to receive it, we must humble ourselves daily and then steadfastly and dilgently seek after Him and be patient to wait upon Him for His peace.
The Greek word for "Patience" is Hupomone and it literally means "abiding under." W.E. Vine writes "Patience perfects Christian character, James 1:4, and fellowship in th patience of Christ is therefore condition upon which believers are to be admitted to reign with Him (2 Tim. 2:12)."
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~James 1:4
if we endure, we will also reign with him. ~2 Timothy 2:12a
I know that in my life, one of the reasons I have not experienced God's Plan A is because I am impatient and not willing to wait for the Lord to show me His way. I want it now and this attitude is not scriptural at all. It is the mark of a Christian that is not grown up in the Lord and is more interested in wordly pleasures (being satisfied - a baby believer who cries and wants help NOW!)
The very act of being steadfast (secure, firm, strong) and diligent (exerting oneself, enduring, hastening to do a task), is something I don't choose to do regularly. Often, I am willing to 'give it a try' and then when I don't see results right away, I give up. This is not the type of believer the Lord calls us to be - He longs for those who will be steadfast, diligent in doing good, in seeking Him, and then who will wait upon Him (abide under His authority). It is then, and only then, that we will begin to see the results of our labors. Until that point, all we who labor, will do so in vain.
I know when I am content and abiding in His will because I have this wonderful sense of peace inside of me. The world around me is still complicated and not all my problems, my concerns, or my prayers are answered. But I have this abiding sense of peace -- that everything will be OK -- that my life is in His hand. It is when I step out of this peace, that I feel the most frustrated, the most lost, the most confused.
This past week, I realized that if I truly want the Lord's Best for me, then I am going to have to do some things everyday to show him that I am serious about receiving it:
Seek Him first each and every day
Before I rise, I am to seek Him. I need to pray for His care and comfort, to ask for His forgiveness, and to set my mind right for the day (His priorities, not my own).
Be steadfast and diligent to seek His way
I must choose to be steadfast (strong, firm, secure) and to diligently seek His best for me. This means that instead of instant gratification, I must wait for Him. I must study the scriptures, pray and meditate over them, and abide under His Authority.
Accept nothing less than His Best - make no compromises, no second best options
If I believe that God has a Plan A for my life, then I must not settle for second best. No, second best is my way, my attempt to resolve problems, issues, or difficulties. I want His best and I must wait for it.
Believe, Trust and Rely on His promises
When I feel the temptation to give in or settle, I must recall the many promises of God and affirm them in my life. God's word is clear - He is faithful to keep His promises. We can trust in, rely on, and believe in them.
Paitently wait and wait and wait. No matter how long it takes, wait for His way, His will, His best.
This is the hardest part for me but it is the most crucial part of learning how to receive the Lord's best. I must grow up in the Lord and be patient. It is like giving birth -- the Lord requires us to wait nine months for a child to be born. We look forward to that day, we anticipate it, we prepare for it, we await the coming of a new born baby. In a similar way, we must wait upon the Lord and expect His Coming, His plan, His best, for us. It takes time to prepare our hearts to receive it and if we rush and try to make it happen, we will end up with our own way, our own path, and ultimately, a less than perfect answer.
The Lord is faithful to keep His promises and He wants us to experience the full blessing that is ours through Christ Jesus. How often have I allowed my own wants and desires to interrupt His plan and to forstall or even in some cases, miss completely the Lord's best for my life.