But That’s Not My Plan

I’m a planner. I’m guessing it has something to do with one of my primary strengths being responsibility.

Maybe like me, you’ve been taught, “Make your plan; then work your plan.” I’ve done just that. In each season of my life, I’ve made my plan. I have a lifetime of making plans … which God seems to regularly interrupt.

Mary and Joseph had the same thing going on.

“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:18 (NIV)

They made a plan; a plan to get married. But before they did, the Holy Spirit made His move and Mary found herself pregnant with the Son of God. They had a plan … God had a better one.

As we walk with the Lord, it is good and important to have plans; to pray and ask the Lord which direction we are to go and then move in that direction. But we also need to keep all those plans, not in clinched fists holding on tight, but instead in hands wide open. We need to be praying and asking continually for the Lord to guide and direct our steps as He promises in Psalm 37:23-24,

“The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

So we make our plans, continually keeping our ears open to the direction or redirection of the Lord, trusting that He is directing us. And when our plans are changed, like they have been in before and as they were for Mary and Joseph, we won’t be thrown off. Instead, we will rehearse God’s faithfulness in our past and build our confidence on the trust He will be faithful again.


Lord, I’m looking for Your direction, asking for the guidance that You promise those who love you. Lead me in my next steps, all the while, having my heart and mind ready for Your redirection at any time. Whether its continuing in the direction I’ve gone or a way that is entirely new, I’m trusting and ready to obey. Amen




  1. Wonderful devotion. I’m always the planner and need these reminders to keep me on His path and not my own. It can be rough when we think it needs to go one way and God says it needs to go another, but that’s where our faith and trust in the Lord’s plan come in and really get tested. Keep our eyes and ears on His ways, not our own!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So true! Believing we will all pass our tests!

  2. Oh I love the picture of your plans in open hands. God has definitely changed my plans over the course of life. Some I have had open hands. Others I have held on tightly to this is not my plan. This is not what I want. And when I hold tightly I always end up struggling with unrest and bitterness.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Unrest and bitterness – two things we never want, right?

  3. Lynn I am a new comer to your blog and I’m so happy to be part of it now. I love what you said about always having your heart and mind ready for Gods redirection. That is such a powerful statement. I’m looking forward to reading more on your blog. Blessings.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Welcome, Cyndi! I have found when I don’t have my heart and mind open two things happen. First, I miss opportunities He has provided because I didn’t want it or wasn’t looking for it. Second, I live in a place of disappointment, which is a miserable place to be. Instead, Lord, help us to be on the look out for You, even expecting You to change our plans for Your glory!

  4. This so resonated with me, because I too am a planner. And even more importantly I do want God to lead me and guide me so that I am always in His perfect will. We are looking for a move after being in his town 27 years, and I’m waiting for the Lord to show us where we are to go next!
    Thanks for this! 😉

  5. I have been helped by leaning on the verse in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” It means I must give up my way and be utterly dependent on the Lord for His perfect will. I’ve been keen on moving to a different area where my grandchildren live. It seems all looks positive, except my husband is opposed to the idea. I am resting in faith that the Lord will resolve our issues and not push this idea unless it is very clear that He wants us to be with family in order to bond with the 4 grandchildren, aged 3-9 years old. Both my sons live there. As this is my second marriage, it makes a difference on how we view what to do. We are both retired and I’m yearning to be with these precious children. Now I see that I must trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding. His way, will and timing are perfect so I rest in His care. Thanks for these words of wisdom.

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