Stick To The Plan

And so, this is what happened…

Sounds like the start of a movie. But Matthew chapter 26 begins with these words that lead to Jesus prophesying His crucifixion. Now that He had taught and equipped His disciples with everything they needed to know, He knows He must now surrender to the final act that is the whole purpose of His plan. However, this plan seems littered with moments that feel as though His plan has gone wrong. That somehow operation, “thy Kingdom come”, has been abandoned because it looks nothing like the scenes the disciples planned in their heads. But throughout Matthew 26, Jesus is never fazed. He’s never worried because He knows that this is the plan. And for it to work, He needs to stick to the plan regardless of what it looks like to everyone else.  

Allen Arnold summed up our habit of wanting to know every single step of the plan God sets out for our lives when he said, “We long for guarantees more than God, sometimes”. (Yeah, I’m raising my hand too.) Guarantees require no faith, no conviction, no confidence in who God is and the truth of His Word in our stories. 

Reading the four Gospels is easy when we can see God’s plan in every detail. We can read each moment that leads to the purpose Jesus came to being fulfilled, regardless of the detours and mistakes of His disciples. It’s so easy when we have a panoramic view of the story. Its smooth and straightforward path from our bird’s eye view feels almost effortless on our part as we cheer the disciples on, reminding each one of them to keep going, to take the next step and not go back to what was because if they don’t stick to the plan we’ll have no church, no fellowship, no hope.   

And so, this is what happened…

It started with…

A woman came to Simon the leper’s house and poured an alabaster flask of oil over Jesus’ head. The disciples thought this was a total waste and complained to Jesus that they could have sold the perfume and helped the poor (Matthew 26:6-13)

Which led to…

Judas planning to team up with the chief priests and claim 30 pieces of silver for the chance to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:15)

And so…

Judas’ scheme progressed to The Last Supper where Jesus broke bread and told them it represented His body, and the wine was to help them to remember the cup of His new blood covenant (Matthew 26:26-29)

The next part…

Caused Peter to boldly announce that he would never falter and would never deny Jesus and the rest of the disciples joined in and echoed his statement (Matthew 26:33)

Which then…

Led Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane where He struggled and wrestled with the weight of what was going to happen to Him in the next few hours and His surrender (Matthew 26:38-39)

That brought on…

The betrayed kiss of Judas and caused all the disciples to run away out of fear and abandon Jesus at the most crucial part of the plan (Matthew 26: 48-56)

See what I mean? A plan littered with wrong moments, bad choices, and mistakes. Hmmm, it all sounds a little too familiar, right? Because sticking to the plan for our lives comes with no guarantees. But Jesus asks us all to “Follow Me” and that’s the only instruction He’ll give us at the start of His plan, after that each step requires faith.  

And if we choose to stick to the plan that will eventually become our story, then we need to stop searching and longing for guarantees in the plan and start longing for Jesus instead. His plan, His purpose for our lives requires us to stick to the plan regardless of how messy, how dishevelled, and how littered it is with mistakes and trust that Jesus has got our backs no matter what the plan He has for our lives looks like. 

Wendy xo  

Like me, do you long for guarantees in your plan before you stick with it? 

I pray that even though there are no guarantees with the plan, you will trust Jesus with the next step today.

Author

Wendy Parker

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