James has the right perspective on planning and flexibility. In his discourse on boasting about tomorrow, James says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow…instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and so this or that.’” (James 4:14a, 15 – NIV) If we use this terminology, flexibility will be connected to God’s will and it will be God’s plan.
Paul learned of flexibility when he and his team were heading in one direction and their travel plans were changed because of a vision. A man in Macedonia pleaded for Paul to come to his country. (Acts 16:6-10) Paul and his companions got ready at once to leave for Macedonia. They received a lesson in flexibility.
Of course we know that Jonah also received a lesson in flexibility when he ran from God. Spending three days and three nights inside the great fish allowed Jonah to figure out that God’s plans will always take precedence over his own.
The one thing that we cannot be flexible in, however, is our message. Our message must be God’s message and it must not be tainted by our own thinking. Scripture is pretty clear and in plain words shares a simple message.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17 – NIV)
That is the message. Oh, there is more to the message like how to be saved and what to do once we are saved, but this is where it all begins. This is how salvation comes to the lost. Through Jesus Christ. Remember Jonah only had five words (in his language) that lead an entire city to God. That is simplicity intertwined with flexibility!
When speaking to the Colossians, Paul asks them to pray for him. To pray specifically for him. “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4 – NIV)
This is my prayer daily. That God’s message is spoken clearly through me. That God would open a door for me to be able to share this message with someone. I think that is being flexible for God to work through me.
I am certain this little change in our itinerary is not the last. But it’s all good. God has a plan. He’s gone before us and has prepared the way for us. I will continue to be flexible in His hands so that I might be an instrument in His Kingdom.
How flexible are you?
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,