Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Leads Us Along"1 (Lyrics)
I have a daily agenda — in about four different places. Occasionally I still forget things, or the entire schemata falls apart.
Planning is in my genes. My father did it, my mom does it, and I've followed suit. My profession demands it. Dates are entered in the Windows™ calendar, synced with my Blackberry™, and handwritten on a day planner. When someone asks about an activity date, I can normally answer.
Those on teams with me learn that I live by the rule, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." And I encourage them to do the same.
While plans are helpful, having them doesn't guarantee success or that what is planned will materialize. I once planned to farm. My grandfathers did, and I loved everything about it. It didn't transpire. I didn't plan to preach, but it happened anyway. The difference was in the agenda I followed.
Jesus' agenda was stringent. He knew how to draw and disperse a crowd. Revealing His agenda and its requirements always divided the interested:
Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (NIV)
God's idea of an honourable agenda normally clashes with mine. Pursuing a high paying job, a beautiful wife, children, a large home, several cars, an impressive retirement and investment portfolio, and a bunch of stuff might be my idea of an admirable agenda. God's might radically differ.
Following God's agenda requires sacrifice. There was nothing pretty about a cross or giving up what appeared to be life's essentials to follow Jesus. The disciples did it anyway. Their reward was ridicule, rejection, persecution, misunderstanding, and, for some, martyrdom. But what others classified failure or stupidity, God deemed success.
Worthy agendas are set through prayer and intense meditation on God's Word, and they often clash with ours. God's agenda will position us on paths that honour Him and positively impact our world. Let us agree to let God determine our agenda.
Prayer: Lord, guide us to accept Your agenda regardless of whether it leads where we selfishly want to go. Amen.