But all things should be done decently and in order.
1 Corinthians 14:40
The church had a plan.
Plans are good. God can work through plans.
But sometimes . . .
We sang the bridge of Beautiful Exchange.
Holy are You God
Holy is Your name
With everything I’ve got
My heart will sing how I love You
We sang it again, adding all parts.
And sang it again, full force.
Each time, something deeper seemed to be happening.
So we kept going, worshiping and praying and listening to others share more of God’s truths in fresh ways, ways unplanned. It was obvious the Spirit of the Lord was present, and also obvious that the official order of worship had changed for this service.
But there was something else.
Something also important. Something that would make room for this kind of thing (and other new things) to happen again.
It was how the church responded to the difference. And was allowed to respond.
Pastor Mark acknowledged what was going on. That maybe it was a little unusual for many. Maybe a bit awkward even.
But instead of squashing it and saying we’re sorry we veered from today’s plan and we promise to never make anyone uncomfortable again, he took the opportunity to teach about it. To say that it’s okay. That it’s actually biblical.
To explain that order and freedom can coexist.
Oh my. Yes!
It’s not either order or freedom.
It can be both.
When things don’t go as we scheduled or as we are used to, perhaps that’s how God planned it all along.
Sometimes he asks us to ease up from our own plans so we can finally work his instead.
He doesn’t imply don’t make plans. Rather hold those plans loosely. Stay open to change. Give the Spirit room to breathe in ways we couldn’t have planned or imagined.
That’s what happened yesterday.
And that’s what can happen in small or big ways every week, in every life, when we follow him instead of demanding he follow us.
After Pastor Mark finished talking, the church worshiped a little longer in song. I glanced at the clock. Instead of our usual 20 minutes to sing, it’d already been an hour. The good plan had changed into an even better one.
Yes, do things decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).
But also yes, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Those aren’t opposites; they are partners.
The tighter we hold on to God, the looser we grip our own plans.
And the more we follow him, the freer we are.
Whether it’s in a job. Within a relationship.
Or through a regularly-scheduled worship service on an irregular Sunday morning.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17
* * *
Is it painful to you when plans change?
When have you let go of your own plan to discover God had a better one?
- The Divine Conspiracy – Spiritual life now
- Give a compliment to glorify God