No One Plans To Become Sick, Injured, Or A Prisoner Of War
Some of us are labeled dreamers, while others are known for being planners. Whichever description fits you; it is wise to be flexible about your plans and dreams. Plans may not work out, and some dreams become nightmares. Often both need to change dramatically.
Life has a way of giving us what we have not planned for or desired. Many other folks get sick and have minor or severe life-changing accidents. We hope sickness and injury will not happen to us, but we cannot guarantee excellent health and life without accidents or disabilities.
Our plans may get shaped by or absorbed into the bigger objectives of others. For example, God’s people in the Old Testament had to adjust their plans if an enemy attacked them. In the book of Jeremiah, not only were the Israelites attacked, but they were defeated, and many were taken from Jerusalem to Babylon as prisoners of war.
The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to help the leaders, priests, prophets, and people of Israel in their exile in Babylon. The letter gave the plans of God for them to follow there. Some of His instructions for His people were: “Build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and increase in number, do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city you have been taken to in your exile. Pray to the Lord for it because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
The Israelites in exile welcomed God’s plans because they seemed a sensible way to handle their captivity. They may have been more skeptical when God told them, “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to Jerusalem. For I know, the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon 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 bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29: 10-13)
God kept his promise and brought the captives home to Jerusalem after seventy years as He promised. Of course, some folks are flexible about their promises, so sadly, one soon learns that some individuals promise us much with no intention of honoring their words. Some people try to take advantage of us or cheat us. Some may have plans to harm us physically or destroy our hope and future.
Our truest enemy, however, is the devil. He hates God and all those who follow Jesus. Satan, a liar and murderer, deceives us about what will make us happy. He tempts us to find happiness in money, pleasure, power, possessions, etc. He encourages us to quarrel and remain divided from and hateful of others. Satan stirs up resentment and pressures us to be bitter and unforgiving. He lies about us being free to do as we like. God’s word is clear, “Live as free (individuals), yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)