When Plans Change: Rethinking Success

“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.” (Mark 6:42-43)

I don’t think God shows off, but he does know how to make a point. Five thousand-plus people eat a meal from one sack lunch – and the portions are buffet-sized. Everybody is full. And, still, the disciples pick up 12 baskets of leftovers – one for each of them. Do you think they got that message that God’s power is way bigger than even our best plans?

plans_350Don’t get me wrong: Wisdom teaches that planning is important. We must count the cost before we start building. We should seek wise counsel. We should pick a strategy to accomplish our goals, especially when the goal involves serving God effectively.

But, at the end of the day, success is not determined by whether we accomplished our goal, but rather by whether God accomplished his goal through us. Are you able to celebrate God’s win even when your plans fail? Are you able to notice what God did even when what you did doesn’t turn out so well?

Think: How hard is it for you to notice God’s successes even when your plans fail? How convinced are you that God’s glory is more important than the success of any plan we could make?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be more motivated by his success than by seeing your own plans work out.

Do: Make a quick list of three ways God has succeeded in your life or community this week in spite of your own successes or failures.