In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Prov 16:9 NIV
We are in an amazing spiritual season right now. Every few days there is a new shaking in some part of the world that ignites the passions or fears in the hearts of people. As 2013 approaches, the future is feeling very uncertain to most. In spite of the uncertainty, there is also a prophetic sense that doors are open to see great things happen in the coming year. We just need to decide to be a part of it!
Expectations – The greatest hindrance to believers in this hour is a belief that things will or should go wrong. Most of us have been taught a false version of eschatology that actually celebrates suffering in the world. This “faith for earthquakes, famine, war, etc.” is sick and totally prevents people from having a positive dream for the here and now. Most of the church is on the sidelines smugly waiting for God to whisk them out of their problems while the war is forfeited for lack of warriors. God is not preparing us to escape the earth in a rapture so that He can destroy it in judgment. He is building his Kingdom and filling the earth with His glory. He’s inviting you and me to be part of overcoming the works of the enemy. We have a Victorious Eschatology and our goal is Releasing Kings to change the world so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Make a plan – If we want to play a role in the Kingdom, it starts from within. Jesus dwells in our hearts and writes His plan in our hearts. Kingdom Christianity is all about responding to God from the heart with initiative instead of from the head with rule-oriented obedience. The Kingdom isn’t about sacrifice and obedience as much as righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We do obey, but we do it from the heart. Our will is actively involved in the dreams and plans that reside in our hearts and God’s heart. The very first step is to trust the desires He’s put in your heart and make a plan for 2013. Set yourself in your future. Make the intermediate goals/steps to implement your plan… God will help when you do.
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. 2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. 3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Prov 16:1-3 NIV
Steps – When we take the initiative to have a plan based on the desires of our hearts, God can enter the picture and order our steps. In the Kingdom, we find God’s purpose in our hearts. A good plan is one that represents a vision too big for us to accomplish in our own strength. God grants the favor in a good reply of the tongue from those who can help us. He opens doors that no man can shut, provides divine appointments to meet the right people, gives us the power to create the wealth, and causes the plan to come together.
What if I don’t have a plan? God can still guide our steps. Some good things will still happen. However, our faith and prayer life won’t play much of a role because we have little sense of where we’re going. Some believers paint this scenario as spiritual. It’s just not. “No plan” is a formula to get the dial tone when we pray. The principle is simple: once you have a dream and make a plan, God will direct your steps.
The right plan – Many are afraid to dream and plan because we have seen those dreams dashed on the rocks during a storm. Joseph was a “dreamer” according to his brothers, but in God’s eyes he was prophetic and available. Joseph lived out his dream through years of trials and setbacks. God was faithful to direct his steps through betrayal and prison. His dream kept him alive!
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Prov 19:21 NIV
A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? Prov 20:24 NIV
I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. Jer 10:23 NIV
Seasons – Somewhere is your heart right now is a Kingdom dream that God has written. You are naturally drawn to it by your heart, your talents, your education and your skills. It’s uniquely you. This is also a prophetic season when lots of plans are on hold and all the shaking can cause us to give up on our dreams. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all had seasons of drought when God directed their steps out of the land and into Egypt – the place of human effort. The enemy is sowing a spirit of resignation that invites us to surrender to the delay of our dreams. Don’t do it.
This is exactly the hour when we can expect God to direct our steps back out of Egypt and into His promises of abundance and fruit. When it seems impossible, that’s exactly the time when we have to choose to trust God for the next step. The dream is the framework of faith to receive each step. I wish they came in bunches, but right now they are coming one at a time. We thank him and note the miraculous ingredient in each one.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. Ps 37:23-25 KJV
God goes before us – He is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. When I have a dream and a plan he goes before me, ordering my steps so that I don’t stumble, picking me up when I do, and opening doors and breaking barriers. If the God who dwells in our hearts is for us, then who can be against us and prevail? Who can prevent us from being more than conquerors? No one! Although we are experiencing birth pangs throughout the world, the real thing will show itself through the hearts of Kings. We will prevail and do some exploits along the way. Choose to be part of that graduating class of mighty men and women of God.
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. Isa 45:1-2 NIV