Making Plans

Guard your heart, avoid obstacles, plan ahead and stay the course!


Proverbs 4:23-27
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.


I love these verses because they so clearly outline what we must do and not do as we live our lives. I also find it interesting and hugely significant that 3 things come before you plan your steps.

  1. Guard your heart
  2. Avoid obstacles (perverse & corrupt speech)
  3. Look ahead “fixing your eyes” on Jesus
  4. Now you can make those plans.

Once you are done, don’t get sidetracked! Stay the course, and always keep Philippians 4:13 tucked away in your heart.


Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength. (NCV)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Reading through the misery of Job, I came to verse 19:25 and it was like a breath of fresh air!


Job 19:25-27
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. An after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!


Yes, Job was miserable. However, his hope rested unfailingly on his salvation and his resurrection, and this hope was not dimmed in the slightest by his suffering. I need to take a page from this book, for sure! My sufferings are nothing in the light of the knowledge of the life to come.

Here’s the part that boggles my mind a bit: I’m reading the Chronological Bible plan, and Job story comes right after the story of Noah. Jesus wasn’t born yet. Jesus hadn’t died on the cross yet. Jesus didn’t defeat sin, death and the devil yet. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead yet. STILL, Job KNEW that his “Redeemer lives, and at the last, he will stand upon the earth.” Wow.

The Beginning

Genesis 1:1-3
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.


In the beginning, there is so much promise. There’s huge potential. Everything is perfect. In this fallen world, that state of perfection is what I find most attractive about beginnings. Not all beginnings in this world are perfect though, are they? When the beginning is perfect, it ceases to be perfect within nanoseconds! Figures.

However, the world didn’t fall in nanoseconds. There’s a good period of time between creation and Eve listening to that snake where things are perfect. I’ve often pondered the existence of that snake. Was the garden really perfect if that sneaky, conniving snake could live there? And talk? Additionally, there was a tree of knowledge, but not of wisdom? Quick Eve! Go grab a piece of fruit off that wisdom tree over there! Perfect.

Well, God had a plan. Why don’t we meet our God, first.

Creator God

Everything is the fruit of God’s amazing imagination, and Genesis 1 is the story of that imagination transformed into reality. God created the universe, the Earth and all life on it out of absolutely nothing.


Genesis 1:26 -28
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


The most significant verse for me is when the triune nature of God is revealed in verse 26. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there creating with God from the very beginning!

What is even more astonishing is to know that humans were created in the image & likeness of God. The way we look, our personality traits, our sense of humor, equity, justice and our capacity to love. All of who we are comes directly from God’s nature.

Father God


Genesis 2:7
then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.


God not only formed man from the very dust He created, but He gave man the spark of life itself. In Genesis 2:7, our Father God “breathed into” man the “breath of life.”

Rest on that thought a moment.

God breathed.

God shaped what man would look like out of the dust, but it is His breath that created life within man. God’s spoken commands created everything else. God’s personal actions and intimate breath created man… and woman.


Genesis 2:18-23
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”


Continuing to verses 21-23, God makes a woman out of the man’s side. Everything else, God created from dust or nothingness. The woman was created from the very structure of man – his rib bone.

She was also created with a specific purpose. The woman is the perfect “helper fit for” man (v18). Furthermore, woman is the helper created because Adam couldn’t find a helper in all the creatures brought before him.

Women are irreplaceable assets in the equation of humanity. Man is not complete with out his helper. Neither of us are anything at all without our Father God.

Prayer

Lord, my Creator & Father, thank you!
Thank you for creating such a beautiful Earth and Universe to live in – it is so fascinating! Lord, thank you for your personal care and obvious love in creating us and everything that surrounds us. Thank you for creating us for teamwork with each other (man & woman) and with you. Please help each of us find the root of our purposes in You, Lord.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Weakness is Strength

2 Corinthians 12:10
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This verse reminds me of the song “In Me” by Casting Crowns:

If you ask me to leap
Out of my boat on the crashing waves
If You ask me to go
Preach to the lost world that Jesus saves

I’ll go, but I cannot go alone
Cause I know I’m nothing on my own
But the power of Christ in me makes me strong
Makes me strong

Cause when I’m weak, You make me strong
When I’m blind, You shine Your light on me
Cause I’ll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don’t need me
How amazing to find that you want me
So I’ll stand on Your truth, and I’ll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory, by the power of Christ in me

If You ask me to run
And carry Your light into foreign land
If You ask me to fight
Deliver Your people from Satan’s hand

To reach out with Your hands
To learn through Your eyes
To love with the love of a savior
To feel with Your heart
And to think with Your mind
I’d give my last breath for Your glory

After reading the lyrics, another verse comes to mind:

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.