Who remembers that old song, “Anything you can do (I Can Do Better?)” If you don’t, its basically about two people trying to outdo one another. I think sometimes in moments of pure and unadulterated stupidity, we sing it to God. But then God, in His infinitely tender mercy, sings it back to us. Not in the voice of a petulant child, but with the voice of a loving Father who’s desire is for His children to have everything He intends for them to have. “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you.” What arrogance, that we could think we could possibly plan something with an nth of the grandeur and majesty that God can.
In the Old Testament, God had a plan for Israel. He wanted them to be different from all of the surrounding nations. All the -ites had natural kings. Kings you could see. Kings you could touch. God wanted Israel to stand apart. He wanted to be their king but they didn’t want to be different. They wanted to be like everyone else. They thought they knew better. God’s plan for them didn’t seem nearly as good as the plan they had built up in their minds. Surely a big, strong king would make the other nations around them think twice about trying anything. So they approached Samuel with their demand and in doing so, they not only turned their back on God’s best, they turned their back on God. We all know how that turned out.
There is a popular saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I will take that one step further. I don’t think it would make God laugh. God wants His best for us and when we choose another path, he doesn’t rejoice or gloat. He grieves. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” When the Israelites demanded a king God gave it to them. He won’t force himself on anyone who doesn’t want him. Not only did He give them a king, He gave them the one they wanted. Saul — a man, literally head and shoulders above the rest. A man who ended up being completely corrupt.
Some believe that God is shrouded in secrecy. Even if you desire to follow His plan, there’s no way you can know it. They quote verses like Isaiah 55:9 which says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” And they spout 1 Corinthians 2:9 which says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” They make a critical error by stopping there, mid thought. 1 Corinthians 2:10 goes on to say, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” God isn’t mysterious. He reveals Himself to us in His word.
Psalms 32:8 gives us a glimpse into God’s desire for our walk of obedience. It says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” God has no desire to prod us or drag us along. In the next verse he says, “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” God yearns for us to know Him so well that just the slightest twitch of his eye will bring us up short.
He is the Good Shepherd. Let Him lead you. Don’t be like my dork-headed dog who likes to jerk my arm out of its socket when we’re on our walks or stop in the middle of the path to smell something random so that I trip over her. In order to be led by Him we must meditate on His word. We must commune with Him in prayer. Only then can we know him well enough to ascertain His plan for us. Whatever plans you have for yourself, my friend, trust me — God can do better.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28