Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Certainty is a beloved companion of mine and planning gives order and control over my life and tasks. I can spend hours in my head, dreaming, planning and strategising. Shout out to all the over thinkers and over planners out there!!! 😊 Lol!
Maybe it was not coincidental after all that I entered the rules-based legal profession because my husband jovially refers to me as 'TTPS' whenever I point out that he is even 5 kilometres above the speed limit or whenever I grumble about people’s reckless indifference to our road rules.
Therefore, impulsive decision-makers curdle every part of my pedantic over-planning blood. Recently, someone with whom I interact professionally was about to make what I deemed to be an irrational and imbecilic decision that would derail our nicely laid plans. My frustration hurled to a climax at the mention of this change, and at the point of a cataclysmic descent into complaints and accusations about this ludicrous step, the Lord said, “Hold up, don’t fuss, let me handle this!”
I was certain that the decision was silly and I felt a strong inclination surge through my body to protest and insist that we stay on course. Instead I surrendered. “Lord you are right”, I said, “You go on ahead of this and whatever is the outcome I know that it will be what you want”.
The truth is that I did not have the power or persuasion to stop this detour and my protest may have caused unnecessary friction. Yes, wisdom stepped in. God brought to my mind the scripture in Proverbs 19:21 that says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
God reminded me that no one can derail His purpose and that He is well able to fight for Himself. He also showed me that the protest that I was ready to mount was actually not in defence of what was right, or in defence of His plan, but it was a subtle sign that I did not trust Him to ‘have my back’.
This humbled me beyond measure. His words were true, as they always are, but this time, His voice was clear and the conviction precise, such that I could not deny that a deviation from my well laid plan, could still have God in it. I understood from Him that plans didn’t need to go my way, for it to be God’s way. Yes, He humbled me by showing me that He can use anyone in any way to fulfil His purpose. He is the ultimate authority and ultimately everything and everyone must submit to Him.
Proverbs 19:21 should not be interpreted as restraining anyone from making plans, conversely, it is an endorsement to do more than just dream, but to plan. Pick up your phone and start to research how to start saving for your home, or the resources that you need to start your business. Whatever it may be, planning is important. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it”. Write down the dreams and visions that God has given to you and then fearlessly pursue them. A plan is a ‘detailed proposal for doing or achieving something’, or ‘an intention or decision about what one is going to do’. You may not need to be an obsessive overthinker as I am sometimes prone to be, but I encourage you today, if you have a dream, take the next step and begin to make plans to achieve it. Planning will cost you nothing but faith to believe that one day it will come to fruition.
Two perspectives are displayed in the scripture from the book of Proverbs; one is “man’s plans” and other is “God’s purpose”. This comparison was not coincidental because the two are relational, yet hierarchical. In the New International Version the verse is concluded with ‘God’s purpose will prevail’. The Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘prevail’ as “prove more powerful or superior”. There is One who is most powerful and all of ours plans as well-intentioned as they may be, must be seen through the lens that God’s way and His will are ultimately and infinitely powerful. Though we have plans, God has a purpose and His purpose will always trump all of our plans. Plans should therefore be a pathway to purpose. If your plans get derailed, remember that the plan itself is less important than the purpose, and that a changed route could still lead you to the destination that God has for you.
When I was faced with that situation earlier this week, I heard myself rehearsing all the reasons why we should not deviate, why this new course was not only regressive but obtuse. Instead, God gave me perspective. Maybe my thoughts and plans were misguided, and maybe, just maybe, God was using this deviation as a recalibration.
As I prepare to launch my first book ‘My Favourite Scriptures – A Devotional For New Believers’ on September 19, 2021, I can’t help but reminisce about the journey to this point. Was the course even remotely close to what I expected? Absolutely not! I sat the University of the West Indies entrance examination for Mass Communications after I completed A Level schooling, in pursuit of my love for writing and a career in Journalism but I failed that exam miserably. With no back up plan, it took me almost a year afterwards to still impulsively decide to try law, which at the time felt like ‘sloppy seconds’. Ultimately, God used a series of victories, detours, mistakes, delays, unfair situations and faith, to show me that He can take my ordinary life and transform me into a new purpose-filled person.
God wants to take every part of your story and history to bring about His purpose for you and for the body of Christ; for those who He predetermined to be enriched and enlightened by your contribution. May God show you that the best or worst plans all eventually come into alignment with the will of God for those who are His called.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
I invite you to Pre-Order your copies of my new book at www.imaniblog.com/book