For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people. I Corinthians 14:33
I love planning things out. Lining up meetings and events in a calendar and arranging people’s schedules gives me a strange satisfaction. I like things on time and in order, until I don’t. After awhile, sticking rigidly to a schedule become boring to me. It smothers creativity and spontaneity, which in my experience bring some of life’s best memories and experiences.
We see in I Corinthians 14:33 that God wants order within our church services and also, in our lives. It brings Him no honor everyone talking over each other and just doing whatever the individual pleases. That just brings confusion. As I was driving today, though, I head the phrase several times that God is the God of order, but He is not always the God of our plans. I get it, most of us like to have things planned out. It makes us feel in control of what’s happening and good planning can reduce stress and anxiety. Plans in themselves are not bad.
What I am realizing though, is that plans can become an idol. When we look to our plans to run our lives, our church services, our ministries, our families, more than bowing our knee in obedience and submission to God, our plans are nothing less than a hinderance. Do we not stop to help someone in need because we have to rush to the next scheduled thing? That’s plans ruling our life, not God. What about in church service? What if the Presence of God inhabits the time of praise? Do we give Him 5 extra minutes of worship, but then move on regardless because we need to fit the whole 5 point sermon in before another service time? Is that really the order of the Holy Spirit? What about in ministry? Do we need to plan the entire encounter out and have back up people and a schedule and things planned to say before meeting with a person in need? Or could we be ready in season and out and let the Holy Spirit guide us in all knowledge and give us the words to say? Order and Plans are not synonymous.
As I was reading in Luke 23: 26, about Simon the Cyrenian, I had the thought that this guy was not planning to be involved in the most important event in history. He was literally on holiday, in the city to celebrate the Passover. We don’t even know his thoughts about Jesus. Was he for Him; was he yelling with the crowd to crucify Him? All we know is that this guy ends up following after Jesus carrying His cross to Calvary. Wow. What a message!
We, too, are to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Guess what? This might mean doing some heavy lifting that isn’t showing up in our schedules, on our calendar, or in the order of our typical service or day. This might mean throwing our plan out the window and bowing our knee and schedule to God’s plan, but what a blessing if we do so! We will see lives changed and experience unmeasurable joy and peace!