Proverbs 16:9 (the message)
We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
The sounds of a Sat morning at home surround me. My husband working outside, my girls upstairs attempting to clean their room and the soft sounds of a cartoon in the next room. I miss writing and sharing my heart on this blog. I find myself in a season of great stretching and perhaps even testing.
As I gaze out at the blooming dogwood trees in my backyard, I take inventory of my life and I am quite blessed. I have everything I need and really everything I want. Understand that over the years God has reshaped my heart and what I “want.” I don’t spend a lot of time wanting more stuff. I want my family to thrive. I want our needs met so we can in turn bless others. I want my kids to grow and laugh and learn. I want to enjoy all that God has given and done in my life. I want peace. Sounds a little too sweet, but really those are the things I want.
So where is the “stretch” I mentioned above? Where is the testing in a blessed life? Well, this brings me to the verse above. No matter what we plan, no matter what plans come to pass, no matter what direction God Himself takes us in…only God makes us able to live it. I find at this time in my life, even as I look around at wonderful opportunities and privilege, I cannot live even an abundant life of blessing and adventure without God enabling me to do so! The testing is found in what ways we choose to go about living out our plans. See, I believe really living involves peace and joy, a heart of compassion and a perspective that only comes from walking with Jesus. This is truly abundant living. And regardless of what plans we make or execute, we won’t live this way without God enabling us to do so. We won’t live in joy, peace, expectation, compassion and purpose without a very intimate and personal encounter with Jesus on a very consistent basis.
The plans might be good. They might even be God! But in the end, we can’t live out those plans in all the glory and splendor we are meant to without God filling us and making us able. Goodness, what a bittersweet realization to find that even when our lives are brimming over with blessing and purpose, there is no list of to-do’s or well thought out strategies for living that can enable us to live in true abundance. You know what happens when you try to live out even the good plans within your own strength and noble intention? Loss of margin in your life. Feeling overwhelmed. Loss of focus. In the end you’ll be spent and confused because weren’t these God-plans? Why should it have been so hard and such a struggle?
Because no matter what road we travel, we are meant to first and foremost walk humbly before our God. We are to always acknowledge and lean fully on Him to enable us to live out those plans. Anything less is…well, less.
I remain determined, even through this stretching, to live with joy and peace. To know Jesus as my brightest and most burning passion. Everything else…every other plan…must flow out of being with Him. I am fully aware I am not able on my own.
The beauty is I can shake the devil off my back and declare I can do this because God makes me able. Only God.