Some tasks require organization. Packing for a trip, for instance. Have you ever found yourself muttering, digging through your packed bag, because you threw in your deodorant or toothbrush way before you should’ve? And then there’s cooking…a few weeks ago, I was making cookies and forgot to put in the eggs until the chocolate chips had already been mixed with the dough. Not the best timing. (Have you ever seen chocolate chips covered in eggs? Not appetizing.) There are tons of examples I could use, but the point is this: for most tasks that we need to accomplish, there is an order and a process. And if we don’t think out our steps, making a solid plan, the end result can be frustrating and maybe even totally unsuccessful.
The other day, I wrote about Genesis 1: 1-5 and how those verses showed me that God is our pro-active, involved, giving Creator…as I move on into the rest of Genesis 1, another attribute of God pops out at me. This may sound simple, but really taking it in and understanding how it applies to my own life is changing my attitude about so much.
God has a plan. From the beginning.
Let’s see how this unfolds. (I know this may look like a lot, but I want you to see it for yourself…)
From Chapter One:
6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Reading this reminds me that God is fully in control. He does not take a step, realize that there was some error, and back-track. Imagine God making the fish before He’d made the oceans…or making man before there was dry earth…things wouldn’t have worked out quite the same. It sounds absurd, but I don’t know if I’ve ever really focused in on the fact that God’s creation was laid out in a perfect, timely, ordered fashion. But from the tiniest molecule to the chipmunks to the sun, God had a designated moment of creation and purpose. He wasn’t just shouting out ideas, brain-storming style — He had a plan and He knew exactly how to carry it through.
This is where I start grinning. Because think about this: the God that ordered this entire universe and put this amazing earth together (with all of its inhabitants) is the same God who orders your steps. Psalm 27:33 says that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” In Jeremiah 29:11, we hear “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Our lives can feel so messy. We can be full of doubt about the next step, unsure of what we want or what we should do. We question situations that come into our lives and wonder what it all means…we try to make plans for our lives and get kerflummoxed (nice southern word, there) when things don’t end up the way we thought they would.
God is never kerflummoxed. He knows what is going on in your life. He knows where He can take you, if you give Him the control. Romans 8:28 says that “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
There it is again, the assurance that God has a plan for His people. We may not understand it in the moment. We may feel lost every now and then. But that’s when we have to hold to His promises, to His Word, to who we know He is.
He’s the God, Lord of Heaven and Earth, who brought our planet into existence and knew every single step through time that would lead you to this moment, here and now. His plan is to give you a hope and a future, and you can trust Him to fulfill that purpose. Read His words from Isaiah 55:8-13…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed.”