Our Plan vs. God's Plan

Posted on 11/27/2011 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


Please pray that God brings my ex, JJ, and I closer. Please pray that He softens her heart towards me and nudges her to give me a second chance at a relationship. Heartfelt thanks for your prayers, and God bless you! -Pete
–Pete

Healing from a broken heart! Been a rough week. Lost my best friend and then lost my father in law. Need forgiveness from my faults and the will to move on.
–Missy Reitman

my name is arun, i amn engineer currently working in dubai.Me and my family consisting of father , mother and brother didnot have a own house yet.My family is living in a rented house.Father had a lot of debts.Brother is weak in studying.My job in dubai is actually lower than my level & qualification and salary is less also.I am greatly irritated due to the politics in office. please pray for me.plz pray for me to get a better salary and for getting a good post in job.Please pray to get a peaceful atmosphere in job place.please pray for getting a good own house and for clearing my fathers debts.please pray for my brothers education also. plz pray for me to get happiness and prospeity in family ..PLZ PRAY TO SAVE MY FAMILY FROM THE CURSE OBTAINED FROM THE BAD DOINGS OF MA ANCESTORS thanks for the favours god given to me yet.
–arun



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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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KING OF KINGS

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, Hallelujah!
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Glory, Hallelujah!

Jesus, Prince of Peace
Glory, Hallelujah!
Jesus, Prince of Peace
Glory, Hallelujah!


I SURRENDER ALL

All to Jesus I surrender
All to him I freely give
I will ever love and trust him
In his presence daily live

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at his feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me, Jesus, take me now

All to Jesus I surrender
Lord, I give my self to thee
Fill me with thy love and power
Let thy blessing fall on me

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all


HE IS LORD

For he is Lord, he is Lord
He has risen from the dead
and he is Lord
Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord

For you're my Lord, you're my Lord
You have risen from the dead
and you're my Lord
Every knee shall bow
Every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord


*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for today. For giving us Your Word that shows us Your plan and guides us to the end of our journey. Help us to remember that Your plan is better than ours. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Today, I'm going to share with you a fireside chat I titled God's Plan vs. Our Plan. I know from my own experiences that when I follow my plan for my life, things don't always go the way I want them to go. Sometimes when life goes according to plan, I feel like something is missing.

On the other hand, when I follow God's plan everything might not go the way I want it to, but down the road I see why things happened a certain way. God's plan is best.

You may be asking how I know that God's plan is best. Some here know my testimony and some don't. I'll share a bit of it with you now.

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania in the USA. My parents divorced when I was very young. My grandpa, my dad's father, started molesting me when I was 7 or 8. My dad was also abusive, but in the same way as his father.

I never understood why these horrible things happened to me until years later. After two court hearings and I went away to college, I forgave my grandpa for what he did. Then, I started to share my story, my testimony, and I learned I wasn't the only one who was sexually abused. It seemed that my sharing gave others the courage to speak up, too. And healing began.

If I had decided not to share my story and not to forgive my grandpa, I truly believe my life would be very different. The plan I had for my life never involved telling complete strangers my past in this way, but God's plan is best. It's always best.

Let's look at some Bible stories that show how God's plan is best and not ours.

The earth is about to be flooded. If Noah had not listened to the plan of God or God's Word, where would we be? But God picked the right man to build the ark and collect two of every animal into it. The flood came and Noah, his family, and the animals were safe.

I have a feeling Moses never saw the wandering in the wilderness in his plans when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But then, he probably didn't know the people would whine and complain. They wanted water-Now! Food-Now! If Moses was anything like me, he would have said to God "Could I just leave these tantrum-throwing adults here? I'll follow You wherever You go, but these people are driving me crazy!"

God had a plan even then. Could the Israelites trust God and not complain because life wasn't the way they wanted it to be?

Don't we all, including me, complain and ask "Why, God? Why me?" We need to remember that God does not need to answer us! He's God. He asks us to trust and obey Him even when we have to wander around in the wilderness. Hopefully, our wilderness stay is shorter than the Israelites'.

He was young and handsome. He went to the battlefield because his father sent him to bring lunch to his older brothers. When he arrived, a giant of a man was taunting and ridiculing the Israelite army. David said he would defeat Goliath with God's help.

What if David had cowardly hid and not faced Goliath? God chose him for this battle and to be king. David knew God's plan would make him victorious. He knew his own plan for his life wasn't better. Later, David was called a man after God's own heart because he obeyed God and asked for forgiveness when he sinned.

Can we fight our giants like David did? With God's help we can!

He led his only son up a mountain, knowing what would take place. He laid the boy on the altar, knife raised. God spoke "Don't hurt the boy! I now know you wouldn't hold back even your son." Abraham killed and offered a ram that day in the place of his son.

If I was in Abraham's spot I would have pleaded with God to spare my son. God had a plan all along. To see Abraham's obedience in action. Can we be like Abraham and lay even our greatest treasures, our spouses, our children, on the altar of God? Are we willing to be God's will even though His plan is hidden from us at the moment?

Mary and Joseph only had God's message told to them by an angel to believe. They were probably scorned and banished to lives of solitude because of the child to come. Mary could have said "no, I don't want this child." Joseph could have said "no, I won't believe." But they didn't. God picked a perfect pair. And they traveled to Bethlehem and Jesus was born.

Could we have our reputation ruined for God's plan? Maybe God wants us to befriend the person others reject. Maybe we find ourselves in a compromising situation, but God's plan is still there!

She collected all the coins she had, two mites, in her purse. Wrapping her black shawl around her head, she scanned the small room. No food in the cupboard. No more family. All alone. She walked to the temple. Bowing her head, she hid her face as others mocked her. With tears in her eyes, she watched the others pour huge amounts of money into the offering. Her two coins dropped inside. Clink Clink.

The widow's mites were given in sacrifice. God's plan in part I believe was to show us how giving to God of our money, possessions, time, even our lives is what worship and sacrifice are all about.

Another woman. She wears rouge and a scarlet head covering. Gold earrings and bracelets glisten in the candlelight. She collects her pay from the man who leaves in a rush. She retrieves all her coins to count. She purchases alabaster to entice her next clients. At the well, she hears about Jesus just before the other women push her away. She follows a man into a wealthy house and finds Jesus sitting at table. Tears touch her eyelashes as she walks up to Him. Tears drop to His feet and she kneels to wipe them away with her hands. She breaks the alabaster jar over His feet and washes His feet with her tears. With her hair, she wipes his feet.

This woman is in God's plan. She may not have known it though. Her sacrifice of such costly perfume upon Jesus' feet is worth studying. Yes, God uses everyone who is obedient for His plan for His glory.

Lastly, He stood and listened as the crowd cried "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" He was flogged, beaten so horribly none could recognize Him. He was forced to carry His cross, but needed help. He was crucified in front of His mother, humiliated. He said "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." He died hours later. He was laid in a tomb.

Jesus knew the plan. He knew what would happen. He'd die for all mankind. And then He arose!

God has a plan. His plan is perfect. It's best!

Our plan is not perfect. When we dismiss our plan and allow God to work in our lives, we realize God's plan is perfect even if what happens doesn't go the way we wish.

Jeremiah 29:11 says 'for I know the thoughts that I think toward you," says the LORD, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

The NIV says "for I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

All the stories are in scripture and the scripture references are in the notecard so that you can study them later if you wish.

I hope this fireside chat helped you see how important following God's plan is. I'd like all of us to spend some time in the altar now. So, come to the front. Ask God to guide you in His plan.

If you need prayer, please instant message Ben or myself and we'll pray with you.

You are all free to go. If you can, please join us after the altar time for a time of fellowship in the room with the colorful couches to my right your left.

Thank you for coming and God Bless you. Go with God.