“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” —Isaiah 55:8-9
There was a group of men working on a large building site. A person went and asked, “What are you doing?” One man answered, “I am a bricklayer and I am putting up a wall.” The second man responded, “I am a carpenter and I am crafting some beams.” The third replied, “I am a sander and I am sanding this block of marble.” The fourth man said, “I am a roofer and I am making slate tiles.” Finally, the person went to a man who was shoveling dirt in the ground and asked him, “What are you doing?” The man answered, “I am building a cathedral.” The moral of the story is that one is not just a bricklayer, carpenter, sander or roofer, but the work is part of a greater picture—a bigger plan.
Similarly, God’s ways are bigger than our own interests. It is not about us or God moving everything to make our life good, but about our life fitting into God’s big picture. In other words, rather than just saying God has a plan for us, it is better to say God has a plan for the world and we can be a part of it.
Some of us may have heard of The Four Spiritual Laws, written by the late William R. Bright, who was an American evangelist and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. The first of the four spiritual laws says, “God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.” We have to be careful with the latter part of the statement. While it is true that God has a wonderful plan, to say that God has a wonderful plan for “your life” makes it all about us; instead, we should be aligning ourselves to be a part of what God is doing.
We live in a broken and corrupt world. 1 John 5:19 tells us, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” God gave human beings dominion over the earth, but in the Garden of Eden, our forebears, in their folly, submitted to the devil and gave that power to him. Despite the fallen world, Paul writes of the marvelous thing for the person who gives themselves to God: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). For those who are caught up with God’s purpose and His activity, things in our lives will work to a good end when we focus on His bigger plan—may this be our resolution as we step into 2024.
Lord God, thank You for the reminder that my life is not about myself but about You. Please keep me focused on Your bigger plan this new year.