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Our society believes in vision. I must set lofty goals. Plan my work and work my plan, they say. Will that guarantee my success?
Believing isn’t enough.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of businesses and individuals filed for bankruptcy. Yet every one of them had success as a goal. So much for belief in just any plan.
I can be well-funded and conduct meeting after meeting to prepare for every possible obstacle. Fully confident of success, I could still be headed for trouble.
The experts aren’t always right.
When spies went into the land that God had promised, over 80 percent of them said invasion was a terrible plan. Complete foolishness. The obstacles were too great. They saw themselves as grasshoppers, ready to be crushed.
Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants, but they came to a different conclusion. Big and strong as they were, the giants couldn’t stand against them, not if the people were following God’s plan.
God’s plan has to succeed.
An often-quoted Bible verse says, “Without a vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18), but if I think that means I’ll succeed with my plan, I have the wrong interpretation.
Millions of bankruptcies over the years have proven that I should face reality. No matter how much I believe in myself, not matter how hard I work, success is an impossible dream apart from God.
We need God’s vision to be successful.
After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, following a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, the Israelites learned something about following God. His plan didn’t map the whole journey. Success depended on accepting his direction and taking one step at a time, trusting him for the results he had in mind.
If God is my Lord, then I must be the servant follower. I don’t get a blueprint that will put me in control. I must keep trusting him as all the plans of mice and men often go awry. My confidence comes because I know God is in control. I may fail in my expectations, but that’s okay.
I have a better deal when I’m part of God’s perfect plan.
The Lord says, “I have fully drawn up the plans I have for your lives. The details are laid out to complete something very good, not to harm you at all, but to give you hope for what comes in the end.” — Jeremiah 29:11