GENESIS 12:1-10, JEREMIAH 29:11
Unless you have lived in an underground bunker, you have probably taken notice that there are different kinds of people in this world. Different personalities. Some individuals are very structured (some might even call them boring and predictable). They tend to be planners and creatures of habit. They thrive on routine. They have a personality that involves knowing everything ahead of time, sorting out all of the details beforehand. People like this LOVE lists. They have a list for everything in their life. And they get giddy when they get to check things off their list. Their sock drawer is neatly organized. The interior of their automobile is clean (don’t EVEN think about eating in their car). They have a set bed time and set time they get up. Predictable? Maybe. But people like this tend to get more done by 10:00 AM than most of us do by the end of the day. They are the person you call because you know they are reliable and will always honor their word.
Enter the other personality type. Structured? Hardly! They are anything but predictable. They never plan anything and have no consistent habits (other than being habitually inconsistent). They prefer spontaneity over routine. Not knowing anything ahead of time is what makes life fun, right? And details...who needs details? Let’s just wing it and see what happens. Trust me, people like this have no lists. If they attempted creating a list they would lose it before they could check anything off of it (some of you are laughing out loud right now because YOU are this person). Their sock drawer looks like the clearance bin at Goodwill. The interior of their car is decorated with a tapestry of fast food cups, random articles of clothing, and odd things like one shoe that doesn’t even belong to them. Bed time is when they fall asleep. When do they get up? You guessed it, when they have to or whenever they wake up (which ever happens to be the case). Unpredictable? Maybe. But people like this tend to be creative and see things outside the box. Their lack of rigidity adds variety and flavor to the lives of others.
So there you have it. Some of us love to know it all ahead of time. Some of us are comfortable not knowing. Let me say something that I have found to be true in my 22 plus years of being a Christ follower: in our pursuit of God, both of these mentalities are essential for our spiritual success. Is there a time to know the plan of God and work the plan of God? Absolutely. And is there also a time to step out in faith when you don’t know all the details? Absolutely.
So let me throw something crazy at you. Consider this thought: what if the plan of God is not having a plan? Ever thought about that? What if God called you to step out in big faith and obey Him, but refused to tell you exactly what His plan was? This is exactly what happened to my friend Mike Dsane. Several years ago he was a young adult pastor at a church in Oklahoma City. After much prayer and fasting, he felt the Lord leading him to resign from his church, leave Oklahoma and move to Northeast Dallas. He did not know why he was supposed to move, what he would do when he got there, where he would live, or how he would afford anything. God’s plan was not having a plan!
God did the same thing to Abram (who would later become Abraham). In Genesis 12 we see God calling Abraham to leave everything. Leave the land he had grown up in. Leave his family. And God will not tell him where is going, only that He will show him after he leaves. Does this seem crazy to you??? Can you imagine the conversations Abraham must have had with his friends and family in the days before he ventured out into the great unknown:
“So, Abraham, will you tell me again where it is you are moving?”
“Well...uh...I...um...I am not sure where it is I am going exactly.”
“So if you don’t know where you are going, then why are you leaving?”
“Well...God told me to leave here.”
“God? God told you to just up and leave, huh?”
“Yeah...I mean...yeah, you could say that.”
“And go where?”
“I don’t know.”
“So God told you to leave, but didn’t tell you where to go?”
“Um...well...yeah that’s pretty much it.”
Crazy right?!?! The plan was not having a plan! Did you read verses 1-10 in that chapter? Abraham packs up all his stuff, rounds up his family and heads out. He “hit the road, Jack” but had no idea where the road was taking him. As he journeys forward God still hasn’t revealed all the details of the plan to him, but promises that Abraham’s descendants will inherit the land to which He is taking him. So with nothing more than a promise from God, Abraham keeps pressing on. He lands in Shechem, then in Bethel, then The Negev. Eventually he ends up in Egypt. After all of this, God still hasn’t shared any specifics with Abraham.
Are you in a season right now where you identify with Abraham? Like God is giving you glimpses of something incredible, but the “big picture” remains veiled? So what do you do in situations like these, when God calls you to do something but hasn’t told you how He is going to make it happen? Let’s re-examine the text and be encouraged by the two things that Abraham did:
First off, KEEP MOVING. Abraham launched out in faith and he never retreated. He never stalled. He kept moving. Shechem. Bethel. The Negev. Egypt. Although he didn’t know where he would end up or how God would fulfill His promise to him, he knew one thing—HE HAD HEARD FROM GOD. He heard, he obeyed, he never looked back. Let us learn from this. Rather than pondering what we DON’T KNOW, let us respond to what we DO KNOW. If God has spoken to you, take action. Keep moving to whatever is next. When you get there God will show you the next stop on the journey.
Second, KEEP WORSHIPING. Did you notice what Abraham did on more than one occasion? “He built an altar and called on the Lord.” In the Old Testament, an altar was a place of worship and sacrifice. I absolutely love the implications of what this means for you and me! We may not know all that the future holds. Details and specifics may be beyond our reach. It is in moments like these that fear and doubt try to creep into our hearts and minds. It is easy to turn around and retreat. When you feel your humanity begin to overshadow God’s divinity, there is one response that will absolutely obliterate the enemy’s advances— WORSHIP. When you worship and declare that God is good, that He does good, and that His plans are to prosper you there is a shift that occurs in the realm of the supernatural. God deposits a peace into your heart that defies human wisdom and logic. And that peace will enable you to trust (even when you don’t know).
So what is it God is calling you to do? What is that “thing” that keeps coming back to you over and over? Will you trust God’s plan, even if that’s not having a plan?
So whatever happened to Mike Dsane? Well he did move to Northeast Dallas. Landed in the thriving metropolis of Sachse. Began attending Northplace Church. After a period of time he was brought on as an unpaid intern. His excellence in that area led him to be hired as the young adult pastor, a ministry he led with passion and creativity for more than six years. He led it so well that a church of 12,000 in Flower Mound took notice and hired him in the spring of last year. He is now a groups minister at The Village Church. God had a plan even when there wasn’t a plan. It was true for Mike. It was true Abraham. And guess what? It’s true for YOU.