Got any plans? I bet you do. I see that in our modern world’s reality, where you and I, and many around us run a mile a minute, trying to multi-task so we can get more done now, in order to be farther ahead tomorrow. We make 6-week goals, and 5-year plans, and think about retirement at 65 when we are just entering the workforce. We orient our days, our rhythms, and our lives heavily around our panning for the future, to make sure it is the best it can be.
This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. There is something to be said for the wisdom that God has granted to us to plan ahead. In Ephesians 2:10, God’s word tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” If God is planning ahead, perhaps the fact that we are made in His image means we are planners as well. In fact, God’s word actually encourages us to plan ahead in relationship to evangelism, when 1 Peter 3:15 states, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Further, God’s word encourages us in countless places to plan ahead and be ready for the return of Christ! God’s people, as it would seem, are preppers and planners by nature and by calling.
Yet, I fear we often focus this good calling in a way it wasn’t meant to be focused. Instead of planning ahead for Christ’s coming and planning ahead so we are ready for opportunities to share our faith, our planning ahead is often focused around ourselves. We plan for things like our next vacation, the social event next week, reaching our next promotion, independent wealth, being comfortable, and living in security. Again, none of these things is bad in and of themselves, but when our planning loses its focus on Christ’s purposes, and we start to busy our lives with earthly purposes, we have lost our way and lose impact for the kingdom.
This is so easy to do. It’s easy to let our plans for tomorrow’s earthly purposes keep us from living for Christ today. But, after all, today is all we are promised, isn’t it?
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. -James 4:13-14
Today is all we have promised from the Lord. I have learned that hard truth over many tears and losses, and I am willing to bet you have too. So, yes, do your due diligence to plan ahead in God-honoring ways, but don’t let earthly plans for TOMORROW keep you from being effective for the Kingdom TODAY.
How would your life look different if you woke up every morning and said, “God, what do you want with me today?” If there’s one kind of planning ahead I want to do… that’s it.
Pastor of Outreach and Small Groups