09 May I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!
“I love it when a plan comes together” – Hannibal – The A-Team
Some of you reading knew this reference right away. If you’re under 40 I completely understand the confusion. Why is there a guy with a cigar giving me the thumbs up while celebrating the coming together of a plan. Let me explain. In the 80’s there was a tv show called the A-Team.
“In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire (pause) the A-Team.” (cue theme song)
The A-Team would accomplish great and frankly quite ridiculous things each week by constructing vehicles, weapons, and bases out of mere garbage. And without fail at the end of every episode Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith would look at the camera and say the words that we were all waiting for, “I love it when a plan comes together”. We would cheer and then go on with our evening.
As great of a leader Hannibal was on TV, he is certainly no comparison to the ONE who is leading us. While the A-Team had Hannibal, we have God. He is the one who calls our shots and the one that we should look to for the “plan”. The good news is this, our God is ever present with us and in fact goes out ahead us. Deuteronomy 31:8 says:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Soak that in. As we think about God’s plan for each of our lives we must first know that He has “personally” gone ahead of us to prepare the way. What a powerful statement. Our God, the creator of the universe, goes before us to prepare our path. We should not be afraid or be discouraged.
All sounds that good, but here’s where it gets real. At some point we must take steps to follow God in His leading. It may be seeing where he is working and redirecting our lives in some way. But we must move in to God’s plan. From my experience I have observed a few things regarding this aspect of our faith:
- It’s gonna require earthly sacrifice. Our wonderful Savior Jesus modeled this himself. He came and did the unthinkable. Selflessly and overflowing with love for us He sacrificed himself that we would not taste death. He echoed how we would be required to follow him in Luke 9:24, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Sacrifice is with out question part of stepping in to God’s plan. It is different for each of us. For some it means selling everything and moving internationally, for others it may mean taking steps to actively disciple and reach out to the lost in their community, and others it may mean breaking the bondage of possessions and give sacrificially to where they see God moving. This list is as varied as the number of believers that there are here on earth. Each of our paths are distinct. But remember God has gone before us for a reason. He wants us to follow.
- We must be prepared to abandon our comfort zones. There is a natural battle that begins the day that we are born between the Kingdom of Heaven and our earthly desires. Breaking those desires or “needs” we may call them is wonderful part of our transformation into who God has called us to be. Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” How cool is it that God calls this process worship. Perhaps it’s time to redefine what worship is and recognize that the more we step away from our comfort and move towards the God’s plan our lives become our “spiritual worship”. Stepping out of comfort zones = Worship.
- His plan, Not ours. (This might be the tough one) Too many times since our move to Honduras have we found ourselves not knowing specifically how to proceed, with a really tight timeline, putting ministry materials together to try to make something that will work for the ministry that God has provided for that moment. There have been more times that I can count that Cristian and I have looked at each other, then looked around at our resources and known that this was a job for the A-Team. (I thought these things, He most likely has never seen the show) Ashley and I have had eight years of marriage that closely resemble the show. But here is the truth. Isaiah 55:9 says: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” THINGS WILL NOT MAKE SENSE TO US. We must trust God with long-term and short-term plans. If we do. We can not lose. It will succeed even through our deficiencies and weakness. Why? Because it is God’s plan. He is faithful and he will see it through. And then best thing will happen.
- God will get eternal Glory. Because He leads us into sacrifice, sustains through our abandonment of comfort zones and sees His plan through to the end, only He can receive Glory. There is great freedom in that. It’s not about us. Everything that happens is about eternal reward. Not the mansions in heaven, or streets of gold “eternal reward”. I don’t understand anything about that. But the kind of treasure that is flowing out of the Sparrow Academy for example. We are seeing kids learning a changing daily, and they consider it a safe place. There are daily struggles with the kids, but we know that God is moving and kids are growing daily.
Eternal reward like the women’s discipleship class that is so much more than a just class. They now go out to ministry several times a month visiting the ASILO (home for the elderly) and Senderos De Amor Boys home. The serve and preach the Gospel.
Eternal reward like the youth groups in the Bordos community. Spend one hour with any of these young men and you will know simply by their humility that God will use them to spread His kingdom to all of Honduras and potentially throughout the world.
When I see God in my mind looking down at these amazing people who God is moving on and through I can see him grinning and saying, “I love it when a plan comes together” (minus the cigar of course!!)
When His plan comes together lives are changed, families are reunited, purpose comes, and people are saved. And He should be the only ONE who receives the glory.