You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, but you are not the one to do it.
-1 Kings 8:18-19 NLT
We almost made it . . . but then had to engineer a different plan.
My wife and I and my brother and sister-in-law were headed to Sassafras Mountain—South Carolina’s highest point. My brother and I had visited numerous times as we hiked portions of the Foothills Trail, and my wife and sister-in-law had been once.
But none of us had visited since officials constructed an observatory tower that provided handicapped accessibility and afforded views of four states. Of course, we wouldn’t have seen them on that day because clouds enveloped the sky and rain poured. We just wanted to make the trip and see the beautiful fall foliage.
One-half mile from the top, a light appeared on the car’s dashboard: low fluid. My brother and sister-in-law had recently purchased this older car because the transmission in the previous one had gone out. Now, we wondered if this car would be any better. We pulled to the side of the road, lifted the hood, and watched smoke boil from underneath.
At least we rested on a steep incline. “We can just turn around and coast back to the highway,” I told my sister-in-law. And after the engine cooled off, that’s exactly what we did. The light never appeared again. We stopped at a local country store to check the water and the oil level. All were fine.
We rode around a bit in a local town and then headed back, never to see the light again—and never to see the new tower on Sassafras Mountain either. We comforted ourselves by saying God must have had a reason He didn’t want us to make it to the top. Perhaps He did; maybe He didn’t. Nevertheless, we followed a different plan.
God had a different plan for King David, too. After he had conquered his enemies, he wanted to build a permanent resting place for God’s Ark of the Covenant. This symbolized God’s presence with the nation and housed the Ten Commandments God had given Moses on Mt. Sinai. But God had a different plan for David. He told him his intentions were good, but Solomon, David’s son, would build the temple.
When God brings a different plan, complaining isn’t the route to go—but it is often our first choice. If we believe in God’s sovereignty, we can see the different plan as from Him and believe He has a reason for changing it—even if we never know this side of heaven. Unfortunately, complaining keeps us from seeing the change of direction.
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.
-Isaiah 30:21 NLT
During the change, we can ask God for understanding. Perfect wisdom resides with Him. He may not tell us all the details of the change—or all the reasons—but His Spirit can guide us in our new direction.
Of course, changing plans is an excellent time to check for disobedience, just as we checked the fluids under the hood as soon as possible. Disobeying God moves us away from His intended purposes.
If God brings a different plan your way, ask Him for guidance and go His way. No better way exists.
How can you more efficiently follow God’s plans?
Father, when You have a different plan, give me the faith to obey without question.
Copyright 2023: A Different Plan: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved