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Monday, April 21, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Knowing the Plan

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Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that" (James 4:13-16).

My understanding of a construction site goes something like this: I see many workers, each doing their perspective jobs. They are working diligently to raise up a structure that will be safe, strong and enduring. I see them using their skills and abilities within their designated area, yet they are not the ones with the plans. Instead they are following one set of plans which are kept by the architect or foreman. He, the architect, carries the plans with him from place to place, instructing the workers as to the direction their work is to be going. There are many workers, but one architect. There are many ideas as to how this structure could be built, but there is one plan. Imagine if all the workers began building the structure according to their own set of plans--each following his own set of blueprints without regard to the blueprints of the others. Who knows what you would end up with.
Building the body of Christ is very similar. There are many workers. Each has been equipped with skills and abilities to do their labor. And each are to follow the central Plan of the Architect of the body. What would happen if each one had their own set of blueprints to follow rather than following the blueprints of the Architect? Take a good look at the Church today and you might find that answer a little more readily than you would like to. We know that there is one and only one Architect of the Body of Christ, that is the Head which is Christ Himself. Yet, to look at all the different churches, locally and abroad, one might think that they each have their own set of plans--and in most cases that would be right.
It is not enough that we become equipped to do a work, we must also follow the Plan to do the job; and not our interpretation of the Plan, but the Plan as it directed by the Architect, which is Christ. All of our training, education, skills and experience will never make us to be the Architect. No matter what the nature of the work is that God gives us to do, we are not the One who holds the Plans. We are to do the work we have been given to do being directed by the One who holds the Plans. If we try to be the one's who make the plans then we become disorganized in our efforts as one body. The result is that we begin to follow our plans rather than following the Plan, which is Christ.
We within the church are notorious for developing plans and programs in the face of new activities, growth or just the everyday church functions. We look at situations and begin devising ways to accomplish a task in a format that is easy to follow and pleasantly packaged. And then, if we can get the majority to agree, we proceed to carry out those plans to the best of our abilities. It would probably shock us to know how much of this is done without ever consulting the One who holds the Plans. Instead of asking for direction from the One who holds the Plans for the whole Body, we are content to find a plan that is suitable to our personal fragment of the body. We might even function adequately in and of ourselves, getting things done that we set out to do; but as we fail to consult the Architect, we neglect how what we do goes beyond the walls of our own church. And therefore, we neglect the greater work of the whole as we embrace our own concerns of a tiny fragment. Perhaps Jesus words apply here well, as he said, "[Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel" (Mt.23:24).
Seminary training, spiritual gifts and experiential learning do not give any one man, or any group the right to take the role of the Architect. There is one Plan that was established long ago in the Person of Jesus Christ. We are to follow Him alone. To follow our plans is more comfortable, but it makes our plans out to be lord as we follow them. To follow God's Plan is often uncomfortable as it will take us directions we are uncertain of, and into places of unfamiliarity.
We cannot follow plans that are packaged to meet every situation. God alone knows all the dynamics of any given situation. That is why we must be willing to abandon our agendas, and our ways of doing things, and our incessant desire to bring spiritual issues into terms our physical eyes can behold and understand.
This is not to say that we should lack organization. God is not the author of confusion. But it is to say that if we will see the Body of Christ come together, we must stop relying on ourselves to initiate the plan--and we must surrender the position of Architect to Christ--the Master Builder.

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