The older I grow, the more I understand the futility of so many of my plans. Now, don’t get me wrong, I fully support planning. In fact, I’m fairly obsessed with planning, whether it be in my job, my family, or my personal schedule. I’m seldom a fan of “winging it,” but instead feel it is best to always have a well-laid plan. The type of plan I see as relatively futile is trying to nail down every detail of my life in advance. I’ve learned that when I do that I tend to formulate what I want, rather than the plan God has for me. I’ve learned I need to leave some margin in my life, and to be flexible, so that I am fully ready for what new things God may desire from me.
Think about it this way. Are you ready to change directions this year if God asks you to? Are you ready to take on a new ministry, build a new relationship, start a new habit, donate to a new cause, etc.? Are you willing to do these things even if they prove difficult? Check out this passage on God doing new and powerful things in and through us:
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16-19
This passage starts out by reminding us of God’s power and love. When God is nudging us in a new direction, especially a direction we are unsure of, we need to remember how great God is. If God can part the Red Sea to help the Israelites, certainly He can help you teach that Sunday School class, go on that mission trip, share the gospel with a friend, etc.
A second thing for us to see in this passage is that God desires to do new things in and through us. He wants us to be a spring that spills forth to others, having a deep impact on them. I encourage you to reflect on what new things God may be nudging you to do in your life. While they may be difficult, think about the ways God could use you to fill others. Think about the impact doing a new thing could have.
Finally, remember that when God asks us to do new things he never seeks to lead us astray. He never wants us to struggle for the sake of struggling. Instead, God aims to lead us through difficult challenges in order to make the largest impact.