“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Following the Confederate Army’s victory at Chancellorsville in May of 1863, Robert E. Lee had total confidence in his troops and believed they could handle any challenge placed before them. Lee demonstrated this confidence by directing his army to invade invade the North in the summer of 1863. Lee and his army previously attempted to invade the North in 1862; however, the Union Army repelled this campaign at the Battle of Antietam. Even though his previous attempt to invade the North was unsuccessful, Lee believed in his troops and, moreover, he believed in his plan and his cause. Lee reasoned that a successful northern assault would drastically shift the existing paradigm by: (1) upsetting the Union’s plans for the summer campaigning season; (2) allowing the Army of Northern Virginia to move from a defensive position to an offensive one; (3) giving war-ravaged Virginia a break; and (4) threatening northern cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Lee concluded that such a paradigm shift would put pressure on Lincoln and the Union to sue for peace. In addition, Confederate leadership supported Lee’s decision because they understood that a northern invasion would draw Union attention and resources away from the Siege of Vicksburg and the greater western theatre.
Lee had a well-reasoned and well-thought out plan; nevertheless, his invasion and plan ultimately failed when the Union Army delivered a crushing blow to Lee and his army at Gettysburg. Like Lee, we’ve all had many well-reasoned, well-researched, and well-thought out plans, which did not produce the results we expected. I know I have. I planned for my daughter to have a normal and safe childhood. I never planned for her to be diagnosed with cancer at age 2. I know God did not cause my daughter’s cancer, but He has used that situation to further His purpose. I’ve witnessed dozens of people come to Christ through my daughter’s battle.
Maybe you moved your family across the country for a job opportunity only to lose it a few months later. Perhaps, you and your wife spent tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments only to have a miscarriage or find out you can’t get pregnant at all. Maybe you’re recently widowed, divorced or separated, and you cannot understand how or why this happened. While we have our plans, we have to remember to make sure they are in alignment with God’s plan and purpose for our lives. More specifically, we need to make sure we surrender our numerous plans and all aspects of our life to Him. We have to also remember that God can use all circumstances good or bad to bring Him glory and further His purpose for our lives.
Today’s Training: Think about your goals. Think about the plans you have for your life and your family. Ask yourself how your plans bring glory to God and further His purpose of leading more people into relationship with Him.