Faith and Planning Life’s Journey

Zechariah Newman —  January 10, 2016 — 2 Comments

I have struggled off and on with faith and how that works with my analytical thinking. I don’t struggle with all faith, but mostly “balancing” my   t-chart personality with God’s plan. Somehow charting my course and weighing out the pros and cons can feel like a lack of faith. Struggling in my own mind can take precedence over weighing the calling of my heart.

ocean

photo by: KCNewman Phototgraphy

It can be hard to figure out what God wants and it can leave many people including me zigzagging through life. When things go well and smooth God must be in it and when things are tough perhaps I picked the wrong path. I know I’m not alone with this thinking and unfortunately it sidelines many people at times.

Our life’s journey is like sailing.

Chart the course. No journey is taken without a direction. It is not a lack of faith to plan, weigh, and proceed in a direction. In fact, this can be a step of great faith to plan out and set goals. Often I have associated God’s movement in only sudden things or surprises, however, He is in the planning with the right heart and mind. I, just like you, am created in the image of God and my t-chart mind was created by Him and for Him. Chart your course and plan your steps.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” ~Proverbs 16:9

Raise the sails. Faith comes into our lives as raising the sails. Charting the course is needed. Until you exercise the faith of raising the sails you will remain in the harbor. You will be safe and sound existing in the harbor, but the open sea journey is where living happens. Faith in action. Raising the sails is our main part of the journey. God always has His part and He always wants us to do our part. Partnering with Him is one of the greatest blessings of this life. Raise your sails to prepare for the wind.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. – John A. Shedd

Use the rudder. With the ocean pushing on us from side to side, slowly and sometimes quickly it can yank us off track. A constant readjusting is necessary to stay on the narrow path. We will fail, we will get distracted, and life will always demand us to steer back in line. The rudder for me is the Word of God. This puts my life back on center. The Word fills, sustains, and helps me to remain. The Bible has every answer. Sometimes indirectly, but it’s there if we are willing to look. Alive and powerful the Word of God examines us. Allow the Bible to be your rudder on your great journey.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12

THE WIND. God’s will and plan is the wind. It doesn’t mean that it will be smooth and easy sailing because sometimes you maneuver into the wind winding back and forth. This is called tacking. Too often we think of ease as being God’s will when many times in the Bible it points to the opposite. We may go with or against the wind in sailing, however, some sort of wind is needed to move the boat. Without wind sailboats sit idle rolling with the waves being cast about. We are powerless on our own and in this recognition of powerlessness is might and strength because we turn towards the One with all power.

We take the course we think God is leading to the best of our abilities. We do what we think God is leading and if we are wrong we must trust that He will gently redirect us. No matter what God’s promises are true for your life; both consequences and blessings. It does not say IF you pick the right path God will be with you, but that He will be with you. Do your part of charting the course, raising your sails, set the rotor, and trust the wind to guide you. Without the wind we are nothing and that is where trusting God is so important. Trusting that He is gentle and good and has a plan to prosper and not to harm you as long as you go with the wind instead of fighting against it. You are called according to His purpose. Now be blessed on your journey.

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  • JohnPSnook

    Great article Zechariah. I find myself struggling with this as well. I read a book titled “Just Do Something”. The premise of the book is that as long as there is no moral or ethical question to what you want to do then just do something. Sounds good but I find myself asking if its ok to decided to do something/go after something and then ask for Gods blessing on it, that seems a bit backwards. And there’s the rub, I’m right back where I started. I have prayed and waited on God to answer and hear nothing and, fear of being outside of His will keeps me on the sideline. (Talk about analytical.)
    Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, NIV.
    I guess that scripture sums it up. whatever it is we do, we need to have God at the head of it. (as much as is humanly possible.)

    John

    • Thanks John. Colossians 3:23 does sum it up for sure. Nice to know another analytical thinker 🙂