“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~~Jeremiah 29:11
Everyone has a favorite, life-defining scripture. Or two, or three. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me that there is a PLAN, that God is for me, that he wants me to succeed, that He does have a specific future in mind.
But, as with every promise, every plan, every hope, there are conditions, time frames and processes. Most of us don’t like those “added” portions of the promise. We don’t like the stepping out, and the requirements or the terms. And, in this impatient world, we certainly don’t like the waiting.
We would much prefer to simply drive up to the window, pick up the goodies and keep on moving to the next gift. It’s the instant gratification that has escalated in this often thankless generation and no one has time to wait for the right time, create the proper foundation and simply hold off until the cake is fully baked. Instead, many feel entitled and privileged, even owed a short cut to the promise. It’s an unholy clash with spiritual reality that breeds a flesh-happiness and shallow short-term pleasure, ending quickly and pushing us onto the next hollow fleshly flash.
But the plan that will give you a future and a hope is an action plan, not a gimmie or a handout. It’s a plan that may not come easily and certainly will not line up with a get-rich-quick philosophy or Me generation mentality. It’s a God plan that operates only in the bounds of God guidelines and principles. The great writers of the 20th century knew that. The secret to success, they found, is not in the idea or the plan. It was in the action portion of the plan.
Og Mandino says: “Success will not wait. If I delay she will become betrothed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the man. I will act now.”
“Indecision and procrastination are twin brothers,” writes Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich. “Where one is found, the other may usually be found also.”
Moreover, the Bible says that faith without works is dead.
Indeed, God has the plan, that’s the easy part. The road map to the future is etched in stone. The first step, however, is the longest, the journey is not overnight, but the reward is out of this world.
That big go-to, future and a hope verse in Jeremiah 29:11 is followed by instructions for action. “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”
In other words, it’s not enough to know the plan God has for you. It isn’t enough to simply have the blueprint in hand. God has already etched it into your heart, while you were in your mother’s womb, before you spoke your first words and before you ever knew of today.
Now, it’s up to you to take the baby steps that will lead you into that hope and future. It’s time to make the call, come, pray, listen, find. Then take the first step toward your future and your hope.
Today is the day. Now is the time. What is your answer? What is your first step?