Have you ever gotten the plans of God confused with the preparation in God? I know, we’re off to a quick start here. But tis true – at least for me. I hear the voice of God providing His syllabus but I skip over the details to seeking the last date of class – missing the assignments, pop quizzes, papers and final exam. This past week, this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. God has surely determined the end of a thing – or even a beginning – but the process that one must encounter, endure, engage and experience along the path to the exclamation of what God said doesn’t always appear to align. In fact, what we encounter on the journey to what God said may make us feel as though the promise will never present or that it was actually the enemy spewing out nonsense to get us all hyped and disappointed. Listen. I am learning to live with the uncertainties of life; but I cannot do it without the presence of God in what I now understanding as the preparation.
God instructed me to minister daily in dance between Resurrection Sunday and the Day of Pentecost. I failed at the assignment. I didn’t even really attempt it honestly. It crossed my mind a few days before I was to start but I didn’t make preparation and before I knew it, it was a couple days beyond when I was to begin and I felt it was too late, so I didn’t do anything. My failure to prepare when God instructed left me ill equipped for what I had to navigate shortly thereafter. You see nearly three weeks after Pentecost, I needed the strength of the God for navigating the plans that He’d promised – but my steering was difficult because I’d not properly prepared. In fact it was downright hard. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but fast forward a few months, and God instructed me to minister daily in dance as a sacrifice during the month of August, which is the eighth month of the year. The number eight in Biblical referencing represents new beginnings. This time instead of dismissing His voice (boy it’s uncomfortable to admit), I began praying and listening to music and envisioning choreography and preparing. I’m about two weeks in and this assignment has blessed me in more ways than I imagined. I believe the plans of God as I did before, but now I am taking the necessary, precautionary steps to ensure my end of the declaration. We cannot afford to confuse the plans with the preparation. One is on God and the other is on us. Numbers 23:19 declares, “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” This brings glory to my soul but equally perishing thoughts if I fail to do what is required to receive the plans that God has ordained. Now, please hear this. In God’s sovereignty, He doesn’t need our preparation to occur in order for His promise to persist – but oh how pleased the Father is when we commune with Him and recognize that His goodness, His grace and His mercy deserve acknowledgment from us by getting ourselves ready for what He’s orchestrated on our behalf.
The blessings, the assurance and peace that we experience when we posture ourselves for the planned promise will not only comfort us, but they touch others in surprising ways to us – but not to God. When God speaks a plan and has the bold audacity to share it with us in advance, we must first believe Him and secondly make preparation – which is different from attempting to make what He said become our present reality. Manipulation is not a prerequisite – in fact it has the potential to erase the possibilities. God doesn’t need us to do what He does. He only requires us to remain in His presence; and when we follow that simple expectation, we become privy to watching and witnessing the interlockings of His mighty hand in our lives and in the lives of others. Have you ever sat back in awe at how God pieced together seemingly disconnected fragments into complete connection and divinity? My God! As Hannibal of the A-Team would say, “I love it when a plan comes together,” so do I, minus my assistance. Proverbs 19:21 declares, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” God we thank you for your plans! Assist us to accept the preparation which may present as problematic. We each are blessed with different gifts to sustain ourselves through the preparation, but one that we have in common is posturing in prayer. May we demonstrate our enthusiasm and agreement by doing the preparation in the interim so that we may wait patiently upon the Lord.