Hebrews 11:4-7 (NRSV)
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.
By Chuck Griffin
I prefer to plan. I enjoy visualizing where I want to go and devising how I am going to get there. If I cannot make my plan work, I become frustrated.
As a young man, this strategy worked well for me. A time came when people called on me to handle the planning of strategies and messages, with specific goals in mind.
As I grow older, however, I wonder if this tendency to plan can sometimes be a weakness rather than a strength. In particular, being wired in such a way can make it difficult to let God lead.
As we see in Hebrews, good things happen when we have faith that we are part of the big plan God already has put into place. The examples in the verses above are just the beginning of a long list of faithful people, one that stretches through the Bible and into the present. The reward for faith, even for Old Testament characters, amounts to salvation and a promise of eternal life.
The problem with planning is it can limit us. Planners can achieve only what is humanly possible. Aligning ourselves with God’s plan, even if it doesn’t always make sense in human terms, opens us to divine possibilities.
I don’t want to give you anything sounding like a plan, but here’s something we all should watch for in our lives. Do you ever have what seems like a holy desire to do something others might call irrational?
Let’s bathe those desires in prayer and see if they remain. If they do, God may be calling us to take an unplanned step in faith.
Lord, we should pray this prayer more often: Make us bold for you!