073 – Do You Want to Know the Plan of God or the Path of God?

following God's Path and Plan

There is a difference, yet a connection between the PLAN of God and the PATH of God for our lives. We’ve spent a lot of energy recently striving to discern the PLAN of God for our lives, but we are learning that discerning and finding the plan of God for our lives is not nearly as important as finding and walking the PATH of God for our lives.

In this episode David and Donna talk about the difference between the path of God and the plan of God and how sometimes we only need to follow the path. 

 

Continue Reading for the Episode Notes…

Do You Want to Know the Plan of God or the Path of God?

I am a plan guy. It is no secret that I love whiteboards and strategic meetings. 

Back in the day, when I was a youth pastor, 30 plus years ago in the early 80s, I used to watch a television show called The A-Team. Most people have been exposed to re-runs, so I will spare the details of the show, but I remember one line that the leader of the team would usually say near the end of each episode when their intricate and risky plan actually worked, he would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

It’s become a part of my vocabulary when something executes well, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

There is a difference, yet a connection between the PLAN of God and the PATH of God for our lives. We’ve spent a lot of energy recently striving to discern the PLAN of God for our lives, but we are learning that discerning and finding the plan of God for our lives is not nearly as important as finding and walking the PATH of God for our lives. 

When God wants to accomplish a thing in us or through us, he leads us and we follow. 

Sometimes God’s path is an amazingly complex path. Often, if not usually, we have fits and starts of obedience, we walk for a while, we wonder for a while, we get off the path for a while, we get back on, we piece things together one at a time having no clue how they fit together or even if they do fit together. It is not simply the plan of God, it is the PATH of God we are seeking and following.

Perhaps rather than seeking the PLAN of God, it is better to seek the PATH of God because the plan of God reveals and fulfills itself in the PATH. 

When we follow God’s path, pieces that seem random or even destructive will be added or subtracted, but as we walk the path God’s plan, or at least remnants of it, becomes visible. My challenge: I am finding the plan of God to be mostly visible in retrospect. The path is revealed as we walk it, but the plan is most usually only fully known and clearly seen when we look back on it. 

  • A PATH is way that has been formed. It is defined and our assignment is to simply follow it.
  • A PATH is a narrow walk or way through something. God makes a way through the difficulties and challenges. 
  • A PATH is the course we take to a desired end. It is the way and direction for the auto-fulfillment of the plan. If we continue to follow the path, the plan will be fulfilled. 

A PLAN and a PATH can be the same thing and God does have both a PLAN and a PATH for us.

  • A PLAN is a scheme or method for doing that is designed in advance. We need plans, I am big on plans, but God’s plan is unknowable in its entirely and it requires the trust of walking a path when we often do not know the plan.
  • A PLAN is a design of sequence for accomplishing an action or goal. As leaders we need defined and well communicated plans for forward movement, but when living out God’s plan, usually we are only privy to one piece of it, and that is the part of the path we are walking and living. 
  • A PLAN is a schematic or drawing showing a desired end result, providing a pattern to follow. I’d love to see God’s schematics room, its probably just all inside him, but if there is a strategic room, I do want to check it out one day. 
  • A PLAN identifies specific parameters to accomplish a specific end. God gives us insight in his word to the end result of his plan. We do not wonder aimlessly, we really do know where God is taking us. Let us, therefore, fix our eyes on the unseen things and trust that His path leads to the fulfillment of His plan. 

God has both a plan for our lives and a path for our lives. A path and a plan can be the same thing.

  • God’s plan was established before the foundation of the earth.
  • God’s plan is being executed in our lives right now. 
  • God’s plan will be culminated in the restoration of all things. 
  • God’s plan goes far beyond just us, it is focused on all of humanity. 
  • God has a plan for our lives as it fits into His plan for all of humanity.

Does God have a plan for our lives? Yes, he does, and the plan is following Jesus on the path before us to the places where he leads. 

We do not become like Christ through just sitting in our prayer closet in the presence of God. 

We do not become like Christ through just experiencing him in and through worship. 

We do not become like Christ only through seclusion with his Word.

We become like Christ when we also demonstrate his heart and humility in serving and ministry, it is then and only then that we experience the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, and through this, we become like him. This is the action that transforms us, this is the incarnational ministry delegated to us. 

I want the PLAN of God for our lives to find fulfillment, and it will be fulfilled as we follow Him on the PATHS he is prompting. 

Calibration Tools… Calibrating Your Life and Lifting Those You Love and Lead [34:55]

  1. Are you more concerned with simply following Christ on the paths in which he leads, or with prestige, power, position, opportunity, and platform?
  2. Are you engaged in the demonstration of the work of Christ, or are you only privately practicing spirituality? What are the incarnational ministries to which you can and must put your hands to experience the humility and heart of Christ as it is revealed through service?
  3. Are you so freaked out about the plan that you are not walking the path? When you cannot identify the big-picture plan (which is most of the time), just keep walking the path by doing the things that are revealed to you and trust for convergence. 

Finally

I want to live my life for Christ, and for others in the context of God’s plan and path for our lives. I am satisfied to simply walk the path and trust God’s huge plan to be fulfilled through simply following Christ on the path.

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