Those of you who have lived for a few decades—or perhaps you like to watch the “T.V. Land” channel—may be familiar with the 1950s hit sitcom that sprang out of a popular radio show, Father Knows Best, which portrayed a middle-class family living in the Midwest. The father was played by Robert Young (you may remember him from Marcus Welby, M.D.), who was the picture of wisdom as the head of his family. His three children would always come to their father when they needed advice on anything.
Today’s message is not about a fictional father on a television show, but it is about our true Father, who stars in the cosmic show that is unfolding before our very eyes, a show that He is writing one chapter at a time. God our Father really does know best, and He delights when we come to Him seeking wisdom, understanding, and advice on any subject. He also delights when we trust in Him, even when His counsel is contrary to our plans. His understanding is limitless; His wisdom knows no bounds; His plans and purposes are perfect.
Think back over your life and consider a time when you were disappointed your plans did not come together. At the time, perhaps you could not understand why. But God knew why, and He kept your plans from coming together because He had something far better for you. I simply cannot count how many times in my life has God showed up and delivered me from my agenda, only to deposit me in the middle of His.
When we planted Cross Community Church back in February of this year, our plan was not to launch a service until sometime in the fall. God had a different plan! In His perfect providence, God shut down a ministry we had founded and led for a decade, a ministry that had gathered every spring on Saturday evenings. We had been hoping that this ministry would help create awareness for our new church in the Deerfield Beach community . . . but God had a different plan.
Not sure what to do with our Saturday evenings now, Kim and I began earnestly praying and seeking His face. In only a few days, God directed our steps to begin looking for Saturday evening times in existing church buildings where we could gather for fellowship, worship, and ministry planning. We had never considered this possibility until God closed one door and opened another. On March 1, 2012, we launched. Once again, God was making it crystal clear who was in charge and who was going to be growing His church.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord established his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Looking back now over the past three months, it is both astonishing and humbling to see what God has done. It never ceases to amaze me what God can and will do when I get out of the way!
So . . . where in your life today is God establishing your steps in a direction you had not planned? No doubt it makes you uncomfortable. It can even be a little scary! But your heavenly Father knows best and He will not stop short of giving you His best.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 19:25)
Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why.” Only in following God’s plan for our lives will we ever figure out the why. And that means we will be living surrendered lives. We surrender to the One who created us and what He created us for, following obediently wherever that leads, regardless of the cost or circumstance . . . even when it leads us in a direction we could never have imagined.
God led the Israelites to the Red Sea after freeing them from bondage. With the Egyptian chariots thundering up behind them, the situation looked absolutely hopeless. But God the Father knew best, and He displayed His power for all the world to see. The Israelites walked across the Red Sea on dry ground, but the pursuing Egyptians were swallowed up by it.
When God is leading the way, the way is good when it seems bad . . . right when it seems wrong . . . best when it seems the absolute worst. Sometimes the long road is the best way; at other times the rocky road is the best way. Our Father in heaven is calling us into the adventure of a lifetime in following His plans for our lives.
Are you willing to let go of the reigns and allow God to direct your steps? Only the power of the Gospel frees you to live for something bigger than yourself . . . or more accurately, Someone . . . and that Someone is Jesus.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2)
Father knows best, and He has your best interest in mind, regardless of what you are going through. And you will actually get through what you are going through and come out the other side! Your heavenly Father will not forget you . . . He will not forsake you . . . and He will always be faithful to you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!