“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
I came across this in a book the other day. The verse being quite familiar, my eyes were skipping down to the next paragraph when the Lord stopped me. “Plans,” he said. “What are plans?”
He often does this, asking me a question to get me to stop and think, to meditate about something. To not just read, but to communicate. To have a conversation with the Holy Spirit.
So, okay, plans. Automatically I began to define plans. Agendas. Itineraries. Events. Happenings. Occasions. Places to go, people to see, things to learn, things to do, those are plans.
He began to unroll a set of blueprints in my mind’s eye, and then to show me the results of those blueprints. Mud huts and wood shacks. Three-bedroom brick houses. Manufacturing plants and office buildings.
Chapels, churches and cathedrals. Ornate palaces and castles. Fortresses.
For many minutes we discussed this concept, as he began to describe the steps necessary to build a natural structure. Foundation. Electrical. Plumbing. Insulation. Walls. Roofing. Furnishing. End goal? Inhabit it.
There was so much more, many details. And then he began to describe what he is doing in the spiritual, building a supernatural structure for himself to inhabit.
Plans are good, he said, and he has plans for every one of his children. No two are alike, but all have one thing in common. He has building plans for each one, and he himself will inhabit them.
You know, it’s really fascinating to read God’s word with the author at your elbow.