God’s Plan or My Plan?


For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

Very much of the time I live unconsciously thinking that the world pretty much revolves around me.

Much of the time I?m thinking about what ?I? want to get done this afternoon, what ?I?m? going to do this Friday night; who ?I? need to call; etc.? Often I unconsciously believe that my plans are really the most important plans on earth.

In reality, my plans are not important at all, especially compared to God?s plan.? It is God?s plan for the world that matters.? God?s plan is to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory. God?s plan is to bring multitudes to himself through his Son.? God?s plan is that his name will be great among the nations and the incense of worship will ascend in every place from redeemed people delighting in him.? That?s what really matters to God.

It?s important to plan, but we must hold our plans loosely.? I personally am a bad planner.? I?ve struggled with planning and organization all my life.? I tend to set unrealistic goals like, ?Learn Spanish and Klingon this month.? Jog 500 miles this week.? Learn to love my dogs.? Read 3 books a day.? Eat 800 grams of fiber and drink 6 gallons of water daily, learn to make Wedding Soup and use Maritime signal flags.?

I start off the week with a flourish, learning some important phrases in Spanish, such as ?Donde el-bathroom-o?? and ?Donde el coffee shop-o??.? Then I jog a half-mile, choke down some oatmeal and flax seed and a glass of water?I?ll have to learn to love my dogs later.

By day 2 of my week I?ve given up on all my goals and decide to spend the rest of the week watching television.

Actually, I?ve gotten a little better at planning over the years.? But even when all is going according to plan there are always interruptions -? unexpected calls, a ride I need to give one of my children, someone in need who stops by.? Can you relate?

Our plans are important only as they fit in with God?s big plan.? If our plans aren?t fulfilled it doesn?t matter.? Only God?s plan matters.? If we spent more time thinking and praying about God?s plan than our own we?d be much more joyful.? Let?s be more concerned about God?s plan and rejoice that he?ll fulfill it, even if he doesn?t fulfill our plans.

photo by jurvetson


Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.