How many times have you planned for things to go a certain way and they didn’t, and you were left disappointed, frustrated and angry with God. Yes, you read right, angry with God. I mean, you had taken your plans to him in prayer and maybe fasting, asked him to bless them and bring them to pass. You had summoned every ounce of faith you had and single-mindedly focused it toward the realisation of your plans, yet in the end all your plans came to nothing.
That has happened to me so many times that I have lost count. And yet, every now and again I find myself setting myself up for yet another disappointment. Take this morning, for example. During my morning prayer time, I once again laid my plans before God. I did it with such precision, even to the last detail. Before long, I felt the Holy Spirit chastising me. He reminded me that this life that I now live is no longer my own. This ministry that God has given me is not mine to run as I see fit. The things that I wish, dream, desire and long for, come second place in lieu of God’s plans for me. It was like someone had just poured ice-cold water on my face. Needless to say, I sobered up pretty quickly.
In his teachings, Dr. David Yong-Gi Cho always advises people to dream God-given dreams, seek the fulfilment of God-given plans and pursue a God-given purpose. In that way success is guaranteed, because God always backs up and finishes what he started. In essence this means that we must come to God with a blank sheet of paper and ask him what his plans are for us, what his dreams are for us, what his desires are for us. After he has shared that with us, we then fix our hearts and minds on what he said and pray for its attainment. In his book, 4th Dimensional Living in a 3 Dimensional World, Dr. Cho teaches that after God has revealed his plan, dream and vision there are four things you should do with them:
- Think – constantly think about what God has said about you. Meditate on it.
- Have faith for it – we know that we only receive from God via faith, so fuel you faith towards the dream’s attainment.
- Dream – Dr. Cho is a big advocate of dreaming. He advises to dream about your dream. Create images, videos in your mind with regard to your God-given dreams, plans, goal and purpose. Use your imagination to bring them to life in the invisible world and it’s only a matter of time before they manifest physically.
- Talk – you must talk about your dream. I know this may be a hard one because sometimes God gives you a dream so big that it is seems unattainable even to yourself, so people doubt your ability to achieve it or even openly discourage you. Welcome to Joseph’s club, where even your family may not believe in your dream. But talk about it you must, because as one man of God succinctly put it, the primary function of words was not to communicate, it was to create, see Genesis 1 for reference. So when you talk about your God-given dream you bring it to pass.
So what do you do when you have plans, desires, dreams and goals that you did not consult God about when you conceived them? They may be good dreams too, that do not go against God’s statutes; that may benefit not only you but other people around you; that may bring glory to God. But the question is, are they God’s will for you? I heard one man of God say that just because something is good for you, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
There is no pain-free way to say this but I must say it; we must put to death any plan, dream, desire, purpose or goal that we did not receive from God. Jesus called it denying ourselves. The apostle Paul called it dying to self. Peter called it suffering in the body. James called it submission to God. Call it whatever you want to call it, but at the end of the day, every person professing to be a born-again child of God must forsake their own agendas and go after God’s.
Of course it’s not easy; it’s a warfare we engage in as soon as we are born again. We are at war with ourselves. It’s a fight every day, because our flesh wants to go one way and our spirit another. But I have come to console myself with the rationalisation that it is better for me to feel pain now, as I disregard my own agenda, and celebrate in the end as I see God’s better plan unfolding in my life rather than to be happy to be doing things my way now, only to face disappointment in the end when things don’t pan out the way I’d hoped they would.
So, painful as it may be, once again, I put my plans, desires, dreams and goals on the back burner and focus on what God unveils in my life. I urge you to do the same, for as in the words of Paul in Romans 8:18; “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”