Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.11.19


 November 19 – November 25




Scripture Passage: “A man’s heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps.”            Proverbs 16:9


Dear Friends,


      God’s purpose always take precedence over man’s plans. I am a person who plans.  From as early as I can remember my daily routine has had been structured even down to picking out my clothes the night before.  My years as a Bi-vocational pastor necessitated pre-planning.  I was responsible for my classroom, my church, and my family and for twenty-one years I planned ahead so that each entity received their proper attention.  It was not a juggling act, as some have called it, but rather intentional planning and initiating of that plan.  There have been times that last minute changes have had to occur and the ability to be flexible has been the key to my sanity.  It has been said that “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”  The question I want to present for your consideration is this:  “Can you become so obsessed with making plans that you fail to include God and his will in the equation?”  If the best laid plans of man ignore the purpose of God and fail to make a Kingdom difference what has been accomplished?  On the other hand, if Patty and I do not plan ahead we often find ourselves obligated or obliged to be two places at once. There is a fine line between our plans and God’s purpose and His Sovereign will should win out every time. 


     A few weeks back Patty and I had planned to try out our camper for the first time.  We had both taken a day off at work so we would have an extra day to rest and spend time together. We were loading everything into the camper when the cellphone rang.  It was Patty’s mother calling to inform us that her granny had just passed away.  All our plans changed in a moment’s notice.  Cancellations had to be made, travel arrangements altered, an entirely different wardrobe packed and the atmosphere of joy turned to one of sadness.  We finished late on Saturday and altered our schedule to make the trip home so we would be back in Sweetwater for Sunday church services.  This also reminds me of plans we had made three years ago to go to Canada with Patty’s mom and dad.  Pat had some special friends that he wanted to go visit and spend time on their farm and tour their business.  We had all applied for and received our passports, made reservations and even chosen what attractions we wanted to see along the way.  At the end of July, Pat began to be very weak and was bleeding through his nose.  Charlotte took him to Kingsport where he was diagnosed with leukemia.  The very week we were scheduled to be in Canada was completely changed to reservations at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville where Pat received chemo treatments for his cancer.  We never did get to take that trip because Pat was dead in six months.  You just never know how quickly things can change and your plans altered to fit God’s purpose. 


     All of this reminds me of a statement Henry Blackaby made in his Bible Study entitled “Experiencing God.”  He said we should not make plans and invite God to be a part of them, but rather find out what God is doing is ask to be a part of his plans.  I think this was what Solomon was saying also.  A man makes plans according to the desires and intents of his own heart.  Sometimes those plans include God and sometimes they do not.  It is not that we intentionally leave Him out, we just lose focus on what is truly important.  Sometimes God allows us to carry out our plans and sometimes he puts a stop to them.  The happiest and most productive we will ever be is when our plans and God’s plans match up.  It is like a set of architectural plans receiving a stamp of approval.  All the work has been done, the plans submitted to the proper authority and approval granted to proceed.  The plans have met all the guidelines set forth by the one who established the standard.   May the Lord direct our steps and establish our goings as we live our lives in faithful service to Him.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny


Pastor Johnny



Pastor Johnny