When we were kids, my brother, sister and I used to make the BEST blanket forts. We’d use every blanket in the house, all the stools, a few chairs, boom sticks, large books and tons of clothes pins to make a blanket fort so big it would cover the entire room. It was unbelievably awesome. Yet one day, I wanted the fort built my way and if they didn’t do it my way I’d take my blanket and leave. Did my manipulation stop the awesome fort from being built? No, but it did result in me siting in another room with my blanket over my head reading a comic book with a flashlight. Not much of a fort. I guess my way didn’t turn out so good.
In the Bible, Sarah tried things her way and they didn’t turn out so great either. God had promised Sarah’s husband Abraham that he would have a son and from that son. But Sarah didn’t think God’s plan would work because she was old and childless. So Genesis 16 says Sarah told Abraham to have a child with her maidservant and he did. Needless to say, that created lots of problems. See? Sarah’s plan didn’t turn out so good either .
The truth is we all have times we think our plans are better than God’s. It’s not that we don’t know God’s plan, it’s just that we like ours better. God’s plan for Sarah was to trust in Him; instead Sarah manipulated others. Maybe you’ve had times God wanted you to admit you did something wrong, instead you blamed others. Maybe other times God’s plan was for you to take your consequences for your actions instead you cheated the system. And then there’s the times God’s plan was for you to be honest but your plan was to keep just a few secrets.
At the onset, our plans look smoother with less conflict and more benefits than God’s plan for us. It’s not that we don’t want to do things God’s way it’s just that we don’t want the conflict and the hassle that comes with it. Or maybe like Sarah we think God’s plan is ridiculous and would never work. We have narrow thinking and a lack of trust in God. In our head it sounds like “Telling the truth will only hurt them.” “I don’t want the fight if they know what I did.” “It’s not a big deal. I just won’t tell them.”
God’s way is often not the smooth way. You see God knows that lying, manipulating and cheating pulls you away from other people and away from His plan. Your plan may look better in the short run but it’s never better in the long run. That’s why God’s plan takes trust. Do you trust God can use your honesty and integrity to lead you to a better place? Sarah didn’t trust and she made a mess. Isaac, her son, still came into her life as part of God’s plan but she had that blessing in the middle of the mess she made from not following God’s plan. Trust me- I know from my own mistakes: Don’t look for the smooth way. Look for God’s way.