Perhaps, in a perfect world, planning and doing would always compliment one another, like a hand fitting into a glove. Maybe you can remember when much time was invested in planning and in the end you may have felt things did not “come together” exactly as planned or as you hoped for, however on the other hand, there are times where we start something without a full blown plan per say and God takes it and uses it in a way that defies human understanding or explanation.
” I love it when a plan comes together!” – Hannibal
This reminds me of the 80’s television show The A-Team. These guys were always finding themselves in some crazy situation in need of a solution. Their fearless leader, Hannibal, would come up with pieces of a possibility of an idea and then suddenly the stars would align and everything would work out. Obviously, we realize this isn’t how real life works, but we know God operates outside the bounds of human limitations and He often chooses to use human instrumentation to accomplish His eternal purposes. Even using us in ways that go well beyond our planning and/or our abilities.
Planning and doing require a certain amount of balance. If not, we may end up with a lot of plans and nothing accomplished or a lot of activity without direction.
We can see as missionaries how this plays out, often things come up in the immediate here and now, things that require some type of action or attention that can’t be pushed off for a series of planning meetings to determine the proper course of action. In this type of situation, decisions are often made quickly and time is allotted for future planning if appropriate. On the other side of the spectrum, we may see some type of potential opportunity out there on the horizon, in the future. A potential opportunity that may or may not materialize, at which point a decision needs to be made as to when and how much time and energy is directed toward this potential opportunity.
As my wonderful wife often says, “there’s a fine balance in it all”. It’s in this fine balance where we strive to share the love of Jesus in a meaningful way with the people and families we interact with everyday in the Dominican Republic. It seems to me that God has already done the heavy lifting when it comes to planning when He gave us His Word – the Bible. Paul has given us some pretty valuable insights into this whole idea of planning and doing. Here believers are given a command “to study”. To study what? Answer: “the word of truth” or in other words Gods revealed plans.
"study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth". 2 Timothy 2:15 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." I Corinthians 3:10-15
(I didn’t quote the 6 verses in their entirety, please go and read them for yourselves.) Paul doesn’t seem to be “planning”, he’s “doing”. He’s laid the foundation according to the grace of God. Our “doing” should be rooted in the study of Gods Word (His “plans”), our “planning” must always be in alignment with His Word.
Our decisions are the clearest when we are the most knowledgeable about His plans.
All I know, is that time and time again, we have seen God work in amazing ways (personally, family & ministry), not because of our planning but because of our obedience to His plans. It’s an incredible thing to see God work through His people.
We work with an incredible group of talented people, but all the talent in the world could never replace our submission and obedience to God’s Word. I was talking with my co-laborers and friends, Diogenes and Johan, about the young mens Bible study group (La Resistencia!). We were all sharing how we couldn’t explain what God is doing in the lives of these young men, meaning it’s not because of our wonderful planning and execution. Literally, there have been times where the guys have asked “what’s next?” and the truth is, we weren’t sure because we hadn’t planned that far. But, fortunately for us, we serve a God that has planned that far and beyond, so we prayed and went back to His Word – which by the way never fails! We work together as a team, day by day, one day at a time.
Please continue to pray for Project Manana; our leadership, our staff, our families and our eternal impact! We thank you for your prayers and encouragement. If you’d like to learn more about how you can partner with us here in the Dominican Republic please contact us.