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“Lord, if it be Your will…”

The Stanford Research Institute studied companies that plan as opposed to those that do not.  Their conclusion is not surprising, “Companies that plan do better than companies that don’t plan.”  But even more surprising was the Scriptural truth they stated as they completed that sentence, “But the most successful are those companies which, although they plan, do not necessarily follow the plan!”

James writes, “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.’”  (James 4:15)

Failing to plan may equate to planning to fail, but rigidly locking into a plan can result in worse disaster.  Life is fluid and so plans must keep this fluidity of life in mind.  Ultimately, everything should be placed under the eternal guidance of the Lord, remembering His instruction and depending on His promise, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

Rev. Dana Brones, a friend of mine during the days of seminary study, experienced the miracle of God’s plans being fulfilled through a change of plans at the church where he was serving as an intern.  On this particular Sunday, the pastor of the church suddenly became ill and could not preach. 

The congregation turned to Dana to preach.  Dana had not yet preached even his first sermon as he had only recently begun his seminary/pastoral training.  The ten minutes’ notice he received prior to the start of worship did not help his anxiety.  He prayed to the Lord for guidance.  Suddenly he realized that the work he was doing on Psalm 100 for an Old Testament class gave the content for a sermon.

The service went fine.  Dana did an acceptable, although somewhat short, job of preaching.  It was after the worship service, as Dana was shaking hands with the congregation, that the working of God became known.

A lady walked up to him with tears in her eyes and hugged him.  He did not know who she was so he was a little confused by the display of affection.  She then told him, “I prayed this morning for a sign from the Lord of His care for me.  I told Him that i was intent upon ending my life unless I heard someone preach on Psalm 100 today!”

Preempted plans.  Frustrated goals.  The Lord uses them all to accomplish His plans and His goals.  I do not condone putting the Lord to the test as this woman did but her experience certainly does demonstrate that “Lord, if it be Your will…” are not empty words.  They are a bold confession of faith in the One Whose care for us never ends. 

In Christ,
Pastor Rick Mensing