Time for Plan A!
Amy Carroll

"'But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go.'" I Samuel 26:11 (NIV)

He had the perfect opportunity not once, but twice, yet he waited. Twice David faced a tempting decision. Should he kill the vulnerable king or wait on God's timing? David chose to wait while seemingly living out "Plan B."

David spent years waiting between the time he was anointed as the king of all Israel to the time when he officially wore the title. They were years spent in fields with sheep, in the palace as the reigning king's musician, and in caves on the run from Saul's murderous rage. However, the Psalms record for us that David never lost faith. Instead of despairing that "Plan A" would never surface and come to fruition, David declared, "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints" (Psalm 52:8-9, NIV).

He trusted that God would never waste one moment, circumstance or trial. He steadfastly believed that each incident could be used to bring about God's promise that had been given years before. He held fast to the hope that he would someday be king without taking matters into his own hands.

That day finally came. After lamenting Saul and Jonathan's deaths, David inquired of the Lord, followed His directions and declared himself as king. David was ready to step into God's perfect plan in God's perfect timing. He never looked back to the fields and caves, but rather walked forward into his destiny with all the experience and wisdom God had given him through the many steps it took to get there.

I've had to make similar decisions as I've asked myself these questions: Do I wait for God's promise to be fulfilled in His time or do I work to make something happen in my own strength? While I'm waiting to walk in the fullness of what I believe He's called me to, will I trust Him to use each step along the way for my good and His glory? When it's finally time to move into a new season of promises fulfilled, will I walk forward into that exciting new place or will I look back over my shoulder and choose to stay where it's safe and known?

These are the decisions that have been facing me this year. Over a year ago, I heard God whisper a calling and a promise into my heart. I could look back and see how all my education, previous jobs and experiences have been building blocks for this dream. At times, some of those places have seemed like "Plan B," but they never were. Each step of obedience has brought me to this new place.

In February, I had to make a decision to stay in my job or leave for something new. It's a job that I have been called to in the past, but this time God said "no." He brought me to the realization that choosing this job over the calling would be to choose "Plan B" and furthermore, it would be disobedience. God always calls His children to walk on the "Plan A" path. There may be discomfort, waiting, and trials on this path, but obedience is always "Plan A" and where the blessings lie!

Dear Lord, help me to always walk in Your "Plan A" even when it's hard. I want to make choices in Your perfect timing that lead me forward with You instead of simply staying where it's safe. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman

Visit Amy’s blog

What to do in the W.A.I.T: Finding Contentment in God's Pauses and Plans (CD) by Wendy Pope

Check out our radio program, Do I Trust Jesus?

Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Application Steps:
Take some time for evaluation. List some ways that you can see that God has worked in your past to build your future.

Have you chosen a safe path that is not in obedience to God?

Is being outside of God's will really worth what you're missing in say "yes" to Him?

Power Verses:
Psalm 31:14-15a, "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me." (NIV)

Psalm 37:18, "The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever." (NIV)

Jeremiah 29:11, "'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.'" (NIV)

© 2010 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm "PLAN A" is what i know is right but i sometimes come up with "PLAN B", why?????

All because people look at me and want something to happen and they say i need to make it happen.... so to show people that you are doing something you create a "PLAN B".

The Lord has been dealing with me in this regard... he has been testing my obedience, i had to learn the hard way that "PLAN A" is the ultimate plan, his plan....

God holds true to his promises so Lord help stick to your plan...


Blogger Malena said...

My situation makes me wonder if my decision was wrong, not my miracle, but what I did.
What I mean is that my husband and I couldn't have children, and we waited on the Lord many years. But, never tried any medical approached. So, we decided to do a treatment last year. It worked. But my baby got anencephaly, he was sick. We did not finished the pregnancy as many doctor said. We waited till the day that he was born. He was so beautiful, he is our blessings. But, he went to to be with Jesus after 4 days.
My mind just trick me sometimes, thinking that I did not waited more for the Lord. My baby was born after 16 years of waiting, and yet, maybe we wait to long to do a treatment.
But, we did one treatment and… he was sick… my mind thinks it was my fault.
My husband is so sad, I get depress and don't know what to think.
Yet, we both know that our little baby is, because he is our blessing from above.
But, why he got sick and died? Did we took plan A and we did not wait enough?
I'm not blame anyone, not. but what happened?

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

My husband and I are in our "waiting period." We have been for 2.5 years now. We have come from being virtually homeless to living with family, but we are now anxious to have our own home again. We are seeking answers to God's call, trying to discern what we feel called to and determine if it is His will or just us trying to make His will fit our desires. We long to know His direction, but also need His peace.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I just realized that being "safe" isn't really safe at all. True safety is following God and trusting Him. After all, only He knows what will happen if you follow Plan B vs following Him. I am trying my best to follow Him even as I look for employment. I haven't had a paycheck since last November, yet the Lord has provided for me and my children. However, it is getting more difficult, as I haven't heard anything from any prospective employers and the money is almost gone.

I do know that if I worry about this, I'm telling God that I don't believe Him. So I've given it all to Him. He knows what's best for us and He will continue to care for us. I love Him so much!

Blogger blessedbygrace said...

I would like to encourage the one who writes under the name !. I believe that whether or not your decision is right or wrong no longer matters, and you need to quit wondering and worrying. Only God, in his infinite wisdom, holds the answer, yes - but you can be assurred he is using your decision to bring blessings upon you. I have a similar story to yours, my son would have been 16 in January (he lived 9 days). God is also watching over 7 other children (miscarriages and tubal pregnancies)for me. I am anxious to see what wonderul things that the tiny souls He required are doing in His kingdom. What a homecoming it will be . . . and so yours will be also. I count William as one of my greatest blessings, and I pray that God will comfort and grant you His peace so that one day you will be able to that as well.

Blogger Amy said...

"I" your comment broke my heart, and I want to respond. First, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain of losing your sweet baby. I am going to be praying for you and your husband as you go through this time of grieving.

Sweet sister, I do not believe that your baby died because you stepped outside of God's plan. God just doesn't work that way. Scripture tells us that He opens and closes the womb. Your baby was created by God and loved by Him no matter how or when the conception happened. Psalm 139 tells us that God knew your baby as he was being formed in your womb. His short life was precious to God.

I also believe that God is weeping with you just as Jesus wept with Mary when Lazarus died. Because Jesus experienced every kind of suffering in His own body here on earth, He identifies with your suffering.

I know that I struggle with second guessing too, but please rest in knowing that God's loves you, your husband and your baby.


Blogger Laurie Wallin said...

Oh boy this is a charged issue for moms! Especially in a post-feminist era... we second-guess ourselves so much!

"I" - I agree with Amy and Blessedbygrace here. Please know that children are always a gift from the Lord, even when the gift is hard to understand or even like... I have two adopted daughters, who my husband and I felt led to adopt from foster care. We now know they have life-long developmental disabilities and bipolar disorder. I have often wondered if I "heard God wrong" or made the wrong choice.... but the things I've learned and the ways He's grown me and blessed my family despite the challenges show me it's still His plan A.

May all who read this and wonder which one they are living right now: be encouraged! The Lord wants our lives to be whole more than we can ever imagine. Even Plan B can be part of Plan A. We just never know until we see Him face to face!

Thanks so much for the post.

Encouraging women with intense challenges, who choose to thrive anyway!

Blogger T-Reese said...

There are so many times that I put together a plan B and folowed it to my own demise but plan A is where peace is. I praise God for His continued Faithfulness. I am in waiting for quite a few things to come to pass as God has promised and yes it is hard but I have failed so many times with plan Bs that I choose to wait it out. I cry. I get upset. I get depressed. But when it's all said and done, God will receive the glory and it will all be for my good so I hold on to Jeremiah 29:11. Be blessed my sisters and continue to hold on to Gods faithful hand.

Anonymous JennyRain said...

I am reading an amazing book right now called "Plan B: What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?"

JUST this morn I was reading about the exact same story, except the author looked at it from the different perspective... you are going along in your Plan A and then all of a sudden - boom! - life happens and all the things you thought were the blessing of God start evaporating. What do you do? Do you choose to abandon God or do you stick it out, hold on to God even tighter, and trust that He has a perfect plan even for the heartbreak you might be experiencing at the moment.

I love how that chapter and your devotion came together to give me a really robust understanding of all of this - what PERFECT timing! Yay! Thank you :)

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