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Hope is Not a Plan

Planning can almost sound a little bit like a dirty word in church because for some that it comes across as controlling or not allowing room for the Holy Spirit. I know many preachers that do not write a sermon every week because they believe that the process of writing a sermon detracts from what the Holy Spirit wants to say on Sunday. Frankly, I think we get paid enough money to be held accountable to have a script (or at least an outline), but that's neither here nor there. Many churches do not have a set plan for yearly activities, mission's, or message series. They just sort of "hope" that God will provide the people and provide laborers for the labor. I'm not so confident that this is how faith is intended to operate.

Many of us hope to have a deeper relationship with God but do not have a set plan on how to do that and as such we don't know where to begin or we throw everything at the wall hoping something sticks, but it rarely does. Simply hoping to grow deeper with God is not a plan. But, I believe that the very nature of planning is a hopeful action.

Consider this blog series as an example. I knew after we completed our journey to read the Bible together as a church that you longed for more from the blog. When I first started debating with the idea of what else to blog I knew that I needed to create a plan or else it would have fizzled out pretty quickly or would just turn into random rants that I was thinking of the day of. Therefore, I planned out blogs through the end of January back in October when the idea was first conceived. As a result we've been able to *mostly* stick to a routine schedule everyday.

But...but...butttttttttttt where is God in all of this? God is in the planning, surely, but more than anything God is at the destination creating the directions for me. I trust that God's spirit is what helped inspire these blogs, but largely I trust that God is helping me to write the words that at least one of you needs to hear each day. It's the same thing when I get up to preach I say a silent prayer to myself in my office before entering the sanctuary "Lord, by your will let at least one person leave today with the confidence that you are real and affirming." I deliver the words but God is the one that stirs your hearts.

Whatever your personal and global hopes are, they require a plan. The plan does not negate God's involvement in the process - rather - it's an accountability to stay in step with the God that's already moving with or without you.


Scripture that Inspired

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

I've been rereading proverbs lately, can you tell? Haha.


Questions to Consider

  1. How much of a planner are you?

  2. Think about to your list of things you wrote down for your hopes. Can you create a simple (or complex if you want!) plan on how to inch closer to that hope?

Consider this simple prayer each morning: Lord, thank you for the gift of another day. Reveal to me your purpose for me this day and give me the strength to see it through. Amen." It's a radically inspiring way to start your day believing that each day there is a mission to accomplish. (Cue Mission Impossible theme)


Praying the Hymns

God had a plan with Jesus to set the people free from the oppression of sin. Jesus was anointed, or chosen, to do this great task. In celebration of God's great plan revealed to us each Advent season let us come together and sing "Hail to the Lord's Anointed."

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