WHEN OUR PLANS CLASH WITH GOD’S PLANS
“This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:10—14)
God has a plan for the Israelites whom he carried into exile. However, this plan was not in the minds of the Israelites. The exiles were always planning to return to their land. So they were willing to listen to the false prophets preaching false hope to the people. The false prophets were preaching a message contrary to God’s plans for the exile. People listened to the false prophets who preached what people wanted to hear.
God’s plan was for the Israelites to stay in Babylon for 70 years. God’s plan is spelled out in this way…Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give them in marriage so they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city where I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
However, the false prophet’s message and plans for the people contradict God’s plan for the Israelites. The Israelites either had to listen to God’s or false prophets’ plans. God sent Jeremiah to relay His plans to the Israelites. I imagined this must have been difficult for the Israelites to understand. Their plans to return do not match God’s plan to stay where they were for the next 70 years. Jeremiah told the Israelites of God’s plan, saying, when 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my GOOD PROMISES to bring you back to this place.
God says, FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU. God has a plan for you and me, but it’s not our plan. Here is God’s plan. Stay there for 70 years. He will come to you and fulfill His good promise. God knows his plans whether they like it or not. God plans for their prosperity. God’s plans give hope and a future. His plans will not harm them. When they call on him, pray to him, seek him, he will LISTEN TO THEM, AND HE WILL BE FOUND MY THEM.
God’s plans for his have nothing to do with our plans. We have a choice to make. We either submit our plans to God’s plans, or we will be on a crash course of disappointment. The Israelites listened to voices that affirmed their plans and desires but were disappointed when they found God wanted them to be in Babylon for 70 more years. Here are the lessons I’ve learned today.
- Seek God, and do not assume my plans are God’s plans
- The best place to be is in the center of God’s will and plan
- My part is to be faithful and obey where God wants me and leave the TIMING to him
- God will ONLY fulfill what he plans for me and not what I plan for myself
- God’s plans for me are GOOD!
I often struggle with God’s plans and my plans. I complained about God’s timing and my timing. I often get confused and blame God for the plans I thought were from him, yet it was not. Today, I learned to relinquish my dreams to God and let him teach me how to be patient and wait for his plans. Today, I will relinquish all my thoughts, desires, and hopes to God and let him guide me daily.
Jesus, thank you for reminding me that your plans are always the best. Thank you for reminding me that we can prosper in the place where you called us to be. Please teach me how to be patient and be someone who trusts you with everything in my life. I lean on you to lead the fear of you and honor the plans you have laid out for me. Please help me to be happy and content with your plans for my life. Amen!