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Lenten Devotional: February 16, 2024

by Jackie Epstein

Allow God’s purpose to interrupt your plans

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

—Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

Do you ever have those days when you create this huge list of to-do’s and you have such great ambitions for the day, just to sit down at night and realize none of it was accomplished? Maybe your child had something come up and you had to attend to them, or maybe your car broke down and you weren’t able to go to the grocery store, or maybe you kept getting phone calls and were unable to focus on whatever it was you were doing...etc. We all have those days and they are the most frustrating days ever. Why? Because we set these plans for ourselves, and when they don’t get accomplished, they start to pile on top of one another until it is a seemingly impossible list of to-do’s. Whenever this happens, we get stressed out; we get anxious and maybe we even get nervous or scared of how we will get past it and what is on the other side. 

Sometimes our plans are interrupted in a small way, such as not completing a daily to-do list, but sometimes they can be interrupted in a much bigger way. You may have had a dream college and a perfectly laid out plan of what you were going to study, who you were going to marry, how many kids you were going to have, and then before you know it, God is calling you to something different, something higher, something totally unexpected. You may know exactly what it is that God is calling you to, but it can be difficult to accept that and live it out. I know for me personally, I don’t like being told my plans or ideas aren’t going to work out. I like to be the one to decide how things will go. However, God should be the only one in charge of planning our lives and helping us arrive at, and follow His plan. I think I can speak for many people that we like to try and avoid God’s calling for as long as we can. Why? Well, we may not think we are fit for the call, we may not think that God knows where He is going with it, and quite frankly, we don’t like a sudden direction change. Though we may try to avoid God’s voice for some time, He will never give up on His plan. He will force you to listen to and obey Him, even if it causes you to be put in uncomfortable situations. Some of the struggles you are dealing with today may be because you aren’t listening to God.

By trying to avoid God’s calling and trying to keep on the path you laid out for yourself, you are literally making your situation much worse than God intended it to be. When you continue to know His plan, but not do anything about it, the pressure of living it out increases greatly. The quicker you decide to give up following your own path, the easier it will be to see the beauty in God’s plan. I promise His plan is so much greater and has so much more in store than what we could ever plan for ourselves. Knowing that God’s plan may, and probably will go against what we imagine our plan to be is one of the biggest steps in submitting to God’s will.

Today let us remember that when God lets us pile up our to-do list, He is reminding us that our unfulfilled plans leave room for His greater purpose. 


I challenge you today to think about the last time you heard God calling you. Did you listen to what He told you to do, or did you try to pretend you didn’t hear it and move on? I challenge you to think about what you may be struggling with right now, and how that may be because you are not listening to, and following God’s plan for your life.


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