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Not by Might, Pt 1

Mark is an ordained minister, treading the tumultuous waves of a developing writing career, daring to dream a new dream.

The Perfect Plan

thunderstorm over a city

thunderstorm over a city

The power of life and purpose that sustains and motivates this world has its origins, according to some, in a random collision of comets. Yet, the moment life began in this universe is when God said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) God filled the air with birds, the oceans with fish, the land with creeping things, and humans live on every continent, including an orbiting space station. The plan that God laid down during the creation of this universe remains intact and thriving. Through the power of the eternal and holy God, this world keeps on spinning and the stars keep on shining. Humanity would reduce the universe that God has planned, created, set into motion, and sustained for eons, to the random collisions of comets. However, God said through the prophet Zechariah, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.” (Zechariah 4:6 NASB)

God’s ultimate plan is the creation of humankind. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) As a result, we are fully and completely known by God. The Bible tells us with an embarrassing clarity that God knows all our secrets. Our every thought, consideration, motivation, and purpose, “O LORD, You have searched me and known me.... And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:1, 3b, 13) Even then God tells Israel, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

God’s desire for us today does not differ from when Jeremiah first heard it. God wants the best for us, but God also wants the best from us. In the life of a believer, God expects perfection. Jesus tells us, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) High standards to be sure, but this is the God of Creation, the Father of all Humanity, “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) If the eternal God makes plans for a creation that has lasted billions of years, wouldn’t it be wise for each of us to consult with God about our own plans, whether public or private? “Not by might nor by power, but my Spirit.”

Pray. Plan. Pray.

waves over rocks

waves over rocks

As we consider God’s plan of salvation, we know God wants results. Jesus called it ‘bearing fruit.’ (John 15:8) God wants to see lives redeemed, transformed, and made holy. Therefore, we pray. We seek God’s presence, holiness, and wisdom. We remain ever hopeful the Holy Spirit will fill our hearts and minds, making us into the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:29). We pray for ourselves. We pray for others. We pray for the specific and the general. We pray for God to reveal himself to us.

Yet, God has no patience for people that sit idly by and wait for something to happen. As we seek THE movement from God, we plan, prepare, train, and connect with many people of many talents and skills. We consider our location, the obstacles, the needs, and we take stock of the resources. We listen as the Holy Spirit guide us to overcome obstacles, meet needs, and transform lives. (See Nehemiah chapters 1-2)

As we consider the results of our planning and training, what’s next? Where do we go from here? We take the human assessments, plans, training, and we offer them up to God and we pray even more. Our meager offering may be the best part of our desire to advance God's kingdom. We pray for God’s intervention to fulfill our spiritual hope for redeemed and transformed lives. We seek to fulfill what we know to be God’s will.

And like the instructions on the shampoo bottle–we repeat. In that process, we see what God has provided for the community. We see the Holy Spirit’s warning to avoid certain places. Is our training adequate for the task? We see God’s direction and focus and make the appropriate course corrections. Or, as the Lord grants us clarity and accomplishment, we realign our ministry resources and change direction. Either way, we keep the process going. Pray, Plan, Pray. Our goal is the advancement of God’s kingdom, and the betterment of Christianity. For the thousands of people that need redemption and transformation, Pray, Plan, Pray.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Mark Lewis

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