For those of you who know my story. You know that my plan was to be a world-famous rock and roll drummer. I pursued that path for over fifteen years. I wrote songs and made records. My band “Solstice” played venues from Boston, MA, to Portsmouth, NH, to Portland, ME, and anywhere in between, just trying to “make it.” Music was my focus, my passion, my heart, my plan.
It took a while but eventually I realized, that was apparently not the path for me. After I was saved in 1989, I came to understand I was not the one in charge. By 1997, I was in seminary in Bangor, ME. I have been a pastor for twenty-four years now and I often say to others, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him YOUR plans for the future.” I was the last person I ever saw God using in this way, believe me. I am not alone. Moses resisted his call repeatedly. Moses protests, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh?... What if they won’t believe me or listen to me?...O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Eventually, Moses pleads with God in Exodus 4:13, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” In Jeremiah 1:6, the prophet reacts to his call this way, “‘O Sovereign Lord, I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!’” When Peter realizes who Jesus is, his first reaction is, “Oh, Lord, please leave me – I’m such a sinful man” (Luke 5:8).
Surely, neither Joseph nor Mary felt qualified for the task God was asking of them, but they responded in faith. God’s hand was in it all along. In fact, when Augustus called for a census, he had no idea he was fulfilling biblical prophecy. The prophet Micah said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Unlike the census questionnaire we fill out every twenty years in the comfort of our own home (or online nowadays), at this time in history, a census required men to register at the town of their birth (so they could be taxed by the Romans). Mary and Joseph therefore travel to Bethlehem because Joseph was a descendant of King David and Joseph’s family came from Bethlehem. While there, the time came for Mary’s baby to be born – in Bethlehem – just as Micah had prophesied. Yes, God’s hand was in this.
God’s hand is in your life’s as well. Perhaps you had plans or have some still, and yet you hear a small voice deep in your spirit calling you to do something else, to go in a different direction. To do something for which you feel completely unprepared. Welcome to the club! Just like me, you can feel unqualified, incompetent, and ill-equipped all you want. It will not matter. God’s will will be done. “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him YOUR plans for the future.” Interestingly, I later discovered that idea was biblical! Solomon wrote, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
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