Our Plans and God's Plans

Self Portriat 1818 - Samuel F.B. Morse

Our Plans and God's Plans
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

Have you ever heard of someone who spent years of preparation for one vocation only to end up doing something completely different? Perhaps this could be said of you. Quite often we have in our minds what we believe we want to do only to have a course correction. Often the course correction comes through a major crisis that forces us into an area that we would never have considered.

Such was the case for Samuel Morse. Born in 1791, Morse grew up desiring to be an artist, and he eventually became very talented and internationally known. However, it was difficult to make a living as an artist in America during that time. A series of crises further complicated his vocational desire when his wife died; then his mother and father also died soon after. He went to Europe to paint and reflect on his life. On his return trip aboard a ship, he was captivated by discussions at dinner about new experiments in electromagnetism. During that important occasion, Morse made the following comment, "If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted by electricity." In the face of many difficulties and disappointments, he determinedly perfected a new invention, and, in 1837, applied for a patent that became what we know today as the telegraph. He also created Morse code. It was only later, after many more setbacks and disappointments, that his projects received funding.

Samuel Morse later commented, "The only gleam of hope, and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward it calms any apprehension for the future, and I seem to hear a voice saying: 'If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?' Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence." Morse went on to create several other inventions and can be recognized today as the father of faxes, modems, e-mail, the internet and other electronic communication. ["Glimpses," Issue #99 (Worcester, Pennsylvania: Christian History Institute, 1998).]

God's plans may not always seem to follow our natural inclination. Perhaps God has you taking a path that may not lead to His ultimate destination for you. Trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all you do, and He shall direct your path (see Prov. 3:5-6).

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Niagara Falls with Rainbow and Indian
Samuel F. B. Morse

Aug. 26, 2010
Double-Minded Service
Dr. Charles Stanley

1 Kings 18:16-21

The Old Testament presents idolatry as a serious issue, but who in the modern civilized world gives it much thought? The worship of idols seems archaic, but the truth is, all of us will struggle with this heart issue.

During the days of King Ahab, Israel was pulled in two directions. They'd previously served the Lord, but Ahab had recently instituted Baal worship. When Elijah challenged the people to make up their minds about whom to serve, they were speechless.

You may be thinking, This doesn't apply to my life, but modern idols come in many different forms. When we depend on—or give priority to—anything besides the Lord, it becomes our god.

Does something in your life have a higher value than the Lord? He gives us relationships, possessions, and meaningful work, but we are constantly tempted to cherish the gifts more than the Giver. An accurate measure of priorities is the use of our time. Do you reserve a part of each day for God, or is every minute consumed by the demands of life?

On what or whom do you depend? The Lord gives us His strength and provision, but so often we choose to rely on ourselves, others, or even money. The tendency to worry or control is a sign of self-reliance rather than dependence upon God.

Double-minded service will not work (Matt. 6:24). We must make up our minds and follow through with actions. If we really believe that the God of the Bible is the only true God, we ought to give Him our whole life, follow Him faithfully, and serve Him with all our gifts and abilities.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Susan Walker Morse

The Prayer of Dedication
with Bayless Conley

Yesterday we began a journey to understand the different kinds of prayer for the different circumstances we face in life. The first kind of prayer I want to point you to is the prayer of dedication.

Mark 14:32, 35-36 helps us understand this type of prayer,

Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray."...He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

Here we find Jesus dedicating and consecrating Himself to the will of the Father. He is in agony; He is in distress. This is the eve of His crucifixion. And Jesus is saying, "Lord, if we can redeem humanity some other way, God, please! But Your will is what is important. So I am consecrating Myself to Your will, Father."

This prayer of dedication and consecration is one that believers should pray. In fact, I believe every Christian should pray this prayer in a general sense after they get saved. Just like the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, "Lord, what would You have me to do?"

Also, when you come to specific crossroads as you follow God, if you are unsure of God's will, or you feel He may be leading you into a specific area that will require sacrifice, reestablish that consecration and dedication to God through this kind of prayer.

Christ was dedicated to do the will of the Father, and yet He reaffirmed that dedication as He prayed, "I am willing to submit Myself to You."

Pray it. Vocalize it. Submit yourself to His will as He reveals it.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

The Chapel of the Virgin at Subiaco 1830

Samuel F. B. Morse. Authentication, certificates of authenticity ...
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872).

Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended college at the very young age of 14 and received his initial artistic training from Washington Allston. While he was a student at Yale University, Morse painted portraits to support himself, and in 1811 he . . .

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