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March 5, 2020 12:00 am
Making plans and so prepares you for open doors forces you to hold your agenda life refuses to allow you to become lethargic for planning and pencil reminds you that God's eraser stop Solomon put it this way. Proverbs 16 verse nine the mind of man plans his way, never rebuked encouraged by the Lord directs his steps down on the side.
God has plans for us are agenda God wants us to use our best judgment and make plans for the future.
However, we need to remember that God might change our plans today on wisdom for the heart Stephen Davies going to explore local perspective on our plans. It's important for us to remember that while God does want us to make plans for the future. We can't know the future and our plans might change. So today's lesson is called making plans in pencil. Let's get started in our last discussion of your widow/Lord's day. I wanted to focus our attention in chapter 2 on Paul's brief but powerful biography of Timothy and in our last study we we discovered this model of humility. This young faithful ministry associate who serve the apostle Paul because I want to focus just on Timothy not be too distracting with the other comments I breezed through several verses you probably noticed I breezed past first 19 verse 23 and verse 24. They're just too instructive that a breezed through so what I want to do is go back decided this week in my study that you prayerfully consider what to do next. That we would take a closer look here to discover together are several reasons why are our our plans need to be written in pencil. We never know when you push pause. We never know when he's going to revise you make us wait when you can overrule our best plans was happening to poll these verses are loaded with implication. By the way, even the godly discipline, zealous, passionate, determined apostle writes out his plans. As you'll see with the pencil then you can watch them submit to God the right to use his divine eraser.
By the way, before we dive in the idea of writing plans and pencil his created some misconceptions about following the will of God. I think some of those can be dealt with as well. As we take a closer inspection as we work our way through these three verses that we breezed through blessed Lord's day. Let me give you six good reasons to use a pencil when you plan number one is this planning in pencil prepares you for new open doors notice first 19 but I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly.
Look over in verse 23, just for a moment as well. Therefore I hope to send him immediately as soon as I see how things go with me out of this is not exactly sure is good happen to me. I'm not sure about my future. I'm not sure what the Roman court will decide, but I'm making plans in the meantime, see this was Paul's hearts desire to visit the church in Philippi, to send Timothy along first bill eventually hosted the Pepperdine this as well, but for the moment the doors close for any of this but instead of effectively sitting on his hands. He's busy. He's strategizing he's planning he's talking with Timothy modalities talking about ministry goals and what to do when you arrive in what you need to accomplish as soon God opens the door. He's ready. By the way this little phrase reminds me of the attitude of Nehemiah when my favorite characters in the Bible the Gentile king's most trusted associate that the closest confident call the cupbearer he would be burdened deeply over the ruined walls of Jerusalem for the people in disarray, Jerusalem, and I love that scene in is Nehemiah Lopez where he can't hide his burden any longer.
He can't hide his emotions. The king spots it says why are you so sad and Nehemiah basically tells him of his people and the broken down walls and his burden. The King responds by effectively same luck. I'll let you go there and rebuild those walls you have any idea when or what you need right there Nehemiah answers.
In fact, let me just quote what he says if it please the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the province is beyond the river, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beam for the gates of the fortress authorities already figured out the root he's gonna take Jerusalem and he's already figured out how much timber he's getting need for the gates.
So we asked the kingdom not only allowed to go to finance the project is already figured out how much would you call being on hold but strategically planning, I'm ready. Lord, if the door opens. Here's what I believe will honor you and advance your cause for policy rights. Here the door is not swinging open. But when the door opens and let me say this.
If if the door opens here the plans to set in motion. Which leads me to a second observation here in this text. Planning and pencil forces you to hold your agenda likely in other words, when there are no open doors. Don't try to force one open. Don't try to chisel your way through the one you want. Or try to pick the lock on the door or break it down, it's your agenda. As far as you can see you look at the door and it's written all over it opportunity and and you might see all over that opportunity. This would please God. It's a great idea. It's a godly desire or dream.
It seems right and you run through a checklist and and and and you determined it doesn't dishonor God. It doesn't hinder what little you might perceive of God's desires or purposes.
So why won't this door open and there while it often discourages notice the guard rail around Paul's planning. Did you notice, but verse 19 I hope in the Lord Jesus. In other words, I'm hoping this in planning this. In fact, the Greek word for hope implies actually a sense of confidence that is gonna happen. Paul lived with green lights in his mind, but he had that caveat that the boundary needed by the will and purpose of the Lord Jesus notice that just circle the word Lord but I hope in the Lord Jesus, and in other words, Jesus is Lord, to me, which means I am his servant and he is my master on the planet to do his will, not for me to get him to do my will, but today we use a phrase that closely aligned with what Paul is writing here when we say the expression, Lord willing, right, the Lord willing to wonderful phrase by the way, this is a cliché, you should use it as such, it isn't a great phrase it's theologically loaded the Lord wills, Lord willing, is a copout. It's a Paul's point is a mental and verbal reminder to hold our agenda likely and you really want to hear yourself saying that often will so Paul here is observed as acting in humility as he makes his travel plans, under the direction of his Lord and he submits, as it were his plans for the Lord's approval by the way, don't miss what this means to Timothy. He's on hold to. I mean, he's really a focus. He second in command. He's going to go if Paul says go Paul is waiting for God to give them an apostolic order so he's he's going to get a secondhand but he still willing he's waiting is really on hold. He's energetic.
He is gifted. He's ready.
Whether he stays in Rome with Paul our heads to Philippi that that seems to be firmly rooted in midair, so plan your accident, but hold onto your agenda with a like drip and learned to not only say often think often if the Lord wills, Lord willing, willing, don't taste this kind of the discussion and study from this text gives you the idea that the Christian life is than just fatalistic in a sort of, well, you know, come what may. So so what why care attitude make another observation number three planning in pencil refuses to allow you to become lethargic or apathetic. In fact, I want to go back and notice the emotionally charged words in verse 19, but I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly. You could translate that soon soon so that I may be encouraged. When I learn of your condition soon. You can rewrite it soon. I am hoping that as I have confidence to Timothy's give Mila come and find out and report back to me of your condition and therefore verse 23 again. I hope to send him what's the next word immediately. Soon immediately.
Paul Paul might have his foot on the brake but but the racecar of his vision and desire is in first gear and the wheels are spinning in place is anything but he is not saying I really care you know whatever God wants will happen is coming soon.
Immediately things can happen. I can't wait to hear about is anything but lethargic about his mission soon as God's red light turns green were off.
Listen God may change Paul's plan to still miss the fact that Paul had a plan that God change to MacArthur wrote in his commentary. Paul's letter to the Corinthian church that I cross referenced. Paul was never content with resting on what he'd already accomplished.
Paul never saw a ship at anchor, but wish board, it to carry the gospel to people across the water never saw a mountain range but he wanted to cross it to build up the same. He always saw more work waiting to be done.
More souls waiting to be saved more believers waiting to be edified. The truth is every believer who puts his thinking On and sharpens his pencil to map out plans with humility and deference and commitment will not be tempted toward lethargy. You don't have to worry about becoming apathetic just the opposite will occur, and I think frankly the church in every believer ought to be wearing out in 1674. Back in the day when the church would've considered what we did this morning to be somewhat heretical saying hymns that were composed outside of the psaltery or the book of Saul was a time when that was considered improper at any rate, there's one individual. The principle of the boys school that privately disagreed and were grateful for those who did like Isaac Watts he wrote versus to be song for the spiritual growth of his young students. He was the principal of the boys school in England and so he wrote these verses what he told them sing them quietly. This is only for your private devotion. He collected copies of these verses for the students any entitlement. This a manual of prayers for the use of the scholars of Winchester College 1674. One of his hymns was designed to keep the boy is dedicated and committed to Christ and and in that rejecting apathy and lethargy. It had 11 stances. He designed it to encourage some of the stanzas read like this. Awake, my soul, and with the sun vibe daily stage of duty run shake off Dall's loss and joyful rise to pay thy morning sacrifice. Lord I my vows to be renewed, dispersed my sins this morning.
Do guard my first springs of thought and will and with myself, my spirit direct control suggest this day all live designed or do or say that all my powers with all their might, in the eyes, soul, glory may unite 11 stanza reads praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below. Praise him above, ye heavenly host praise father, son, and holy goes saying that one for centuries.
Great reminders making plans in pencil prepares you for open doors forces you to hold your agenda likely refuses to allow you to become lethargic. Fourth planning in pencil reminds you that God's eraser is sovereign but say the same thing just a little different. Solomon put it this way.
Proverbs 16 verse nine the mind of man plans his way, never rebuked encouraged by the Lord directs his steps is another way of saying you got it mapped out and then God decides. Notice how Paul carefully phrases this idea. Again, go to verse 23 therefore I hope to send him immediately as soon as I see how things go with me. Can you. I want to belabor this but can you imagine the implication of that admission is one of the best things I think we could learn today for our own spiritual lives, the great apostle Paul doesn't have a clue how things are going to turn out for his life. As soon as I see how things turn out for anything not Paul got just got a hotline for the Lord. If you never thought that if you are more spiritually minded, you'd be more aware of what was going to happen next. Take part. Paul has no idea he's ever worked out a couple of options, but he doesn't know how things are going to pan out for his life because of the way he's thinking.
Notice in this text. There are no traces of resentment or self-pity. I just wish God would let me know. Know what you get from Paul is the same attitude we ought to have as well. As soon as I see what God has in mind for me to send Timothy's only one way you can come up with this attitude between God's eraser itself when his eraser matters more than our pencil submitted surrendered to our sovereign Lord. I I got to share this with you, I came across this several weeks ago, tucked it into a file waiting for the right place to use it now is that moment. Jill Briscoe, the wife of Stuart Briscoe. Some of you may know him to be with us this summer and whatever summer series sessions wrote about an event at Florida. He and his wife humorous but powerful same time. It involved her oldest son David, who years ago as a little boy was told on Friday evening at supper that he wasn't going to go to school the following Monday to be taken in for an x-ray. David quietly said all right.
Monday came and little six-year-old David got in the car. His face was as white as a sheet. His eyes, she wrote, bulging with fear. Stuart said David you're not frightened, are you set a course on frightened what are you afraid to which David said, I know what an execution for you to know Friday don't hear me not x-ray execute.
Jill writes this, but even still, David got in that car, trusting the will of his father.
There you go in the car. God's behind the wheel. We we can even claim to be a copilot and he certainly isn't ours is sovereign, number five planning in pencil entrusts your future to God's revision verse 24. Look there and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will becoming now he uses a different word here this word trust pico comes from a verb that can be rendered to be absolutely persuaded to be totally convinced he uses the same verb finally back in chapter 1 and verse 25.
You might circle that text where he writes, I am convinced that I will remain and continue with you as far as you can see he's persuaded that's just Paul's personality. But again, would you notice is theological guardrail around this kind of enthusiastic conviction is perception.
Look again I am convinced in the Lord there it is again, I'm convinced. I really think this is what the Lord is going to do, but the Lord might not want to do that. After all, and of the Lord doesn't want to happen. My confidence my persuasion ultimately rests in God's revision. He writes with both eager anticipation then and he also writes with wise caution she had written to the Roman believers in Romans chapter 1 how he was asking according. He writes to God's will, according to God's will that I will be able to come to them. Now he writes to the Philippians from well he he did make it there, just not the way thought it would make their I can quickly rehearse for UX 21 starts the story informs us of Paul visits the Temple in Jerusalem, and in a riot breaks out because he shows up. He's taken into protective custody by Roman troops that morphs into an arrest that kind of morphs into false accusations and even an assassination plot from Jewish or by Jewish authorities, which morphs into an appeal to to take his case to Caesar, which, which leads to a long sea voyage at which the ship is hundreds shipwrecked and they swim to an island which then turns into Paul eventually arriving in Rome in change.
Paul and pray that it would be God's will to come to Rome and God indeed welded but entirely revised. What Paul and imagine that Paul informs the Philippians I'd really like to come and visit you. But according to the will of God. It's up to you notice Paul does not write in verse 24. But there and I trust in the justice of Roman law that I will becoming the I trust in my position as a Roman citizen. II trust in a fair trial on. I have put my trust in the right jury and in the best judge because of that happens I will but I will be released come to you and Philip. I trust in the Lord who rules all thing my freedom or my imprisonment, my comfort or my discomfort. My health or my sickness my wealth or my poverty. How you approach your planning college that that change of a job or career path that husband or that potential wife, a promotion moving goods delivered house or apartment downsizing adding on maybe an entirely different location will sharpen your pencil and prayerfully think things through. Count the cost maybe do a pro and con study the Scriptures after some mystical answer from God.
But in order to understand the character of God and the promises of God which shape our thinking, sharpen our pencil and then with humility pencil in your plans aware that your Lord has the ultimate eraser in the sovereign ability to overrule your choices and redirect your steps and rearrange her schedule and even restrict your desires refashion aware surrendered rest. You rested in sovereign guarantee that he is able to cause all things to work together for good. He doesn't say that all thing are good but that he's able to cause all things to work together is good look at verse clarify as we are being formed, image of his son. I hope you've enjoyed this practical lesson from God's word today. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi.
Today's lesson is called making plans in pencil. It comes from the series humility from Philippians chapter 2 working interrupt this series tomorrow so that Stephen can answer some questions that have come in from listeners. If you have a question for Stephen related to the Bible or the Christian faith. Call our question line 910-808-9384 again will be answering questions on air tomorrow.
So join us here on wisdom for the heart