Last week the Calvary staff leadership spent the day out away from town, talking strategy and praying. The first hour or so we spent in Psalm 33. It lead to some rich discussion about our future, about the church of the city, and about our role as leaders at Calvary. As we worked our way through Psalm 33, God used a different portion to speak to each of us.
My eyes and heart settled on vs. 10-11:
The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the Lord’s counsel stands firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
Sometimes God messes up our plans — on purpose. When He has a better way; when our plans are going to lean into our harm; when we need to grow in character; when we have too much pride; when it’s the right plan but the wrong time, He messes up our plans. But His counsel stands firm forever.
Sometimes we have this habit of saying, “God here are my plans. Please bless what I’m going to do.” When really we should be saying, “God show me what you are blessing. I want to do that. Show me your counsel…the counsel that lasts forever.” On the other hand, sometimes we discover the counsel of God and we start doing it. But then it gets difficult. It doesn’t work out the way we thought it would. Surely if it’s God’s plan, it will have God’s power and it will be easy. But it isn’t so we look for a new plan. We look for new counsel. But His counsel stands firm forever.
So it got me thinking — what are the forever counsels of God? Are there plans we have had in the past, principles we followed in the past, that we abandoned because it didn’t seem to work the way we hoped? I’m all for relevance, different times and different cultures may require different methods. But what if we hit upon a forever counsel of God and we abandoned it in search of something new, then wouldn’t new simply be a plan that God would mess up?
When I think about some of the forever counsels of God for Calvary… I think of a passion for prayer, not just prayer inside the four walls but out in the community. I think of our bias towards unity amongst the congregations of the city. I think of the vision of building a church without walls.
I like new plans. But we cannot forget that His counsels stand firm forever.