Many years ago, long before we had children, a friend of ours was selling life insurance. One of his questions was “what would you like to save for in the future?” I said my children’s education. He said he had never heard anyone say that before. Now the university fees are going up, I wish we had done it!
Planning for the future?
Farmers are good at this. They are always looking forward to the next season, planning ahead, ploughing the field, fertilising the soil ready to plant the seed. Without doing the preparation, the soil would not be ready to receive the seed and seed scattered on unprepared soil bears little or no fruit and little return. That would be a waste of good seed. What a waste that would be!
Think about the parable of the sower; it was the prepared soil that returned the most return. Quite often we get stuck in the season we are in. If we are in a tough season , it is difficult to see beyond where we are; but looking forward to the next season is vitally important if we are to move forward. Beginning to make small movements into the next season will plan for the return on the seed we have invested in. If we do our bit to prepare then in Deuteronomy 28:12 it says:
The LORD will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
There are seasons in our lives just as there are natural seasons; each has its purpose! However, when we feel we are in the winter season, little seems to be happening and the seed lies dormant waiting for spring. If you are in a winter season, I want to encourage you that spring and summer are ahead and planning for them takes place in the winter.
The children of Israel who were taken captive into Babylon could not see the future and they could not sing the songs of Zion in a strange land (Psalm 137:4). They had lost sight of hope. They were being held captive not only physically but mentally and emotionally. They could not see beyond their now situation to another time, a better time. They were in the winter with no vision that spring was on its way.
Contrast this with Paul and Silas in Philippi. They had been beaten within inches of their life and locked in chains in prison. In the smelly, filthy, dark prison, surrounded by other prisoners, at around midnight they started to sing! They began to proclaim God’s faithfulness, sing of His goodness. They began to worship God right where they were. They had not lost hope, they could see a future and then suddenly, God broke in and everything changed. Their chains fell off and they were free!
How many times did the Psalmists choose to see a better day in the midst of all that was happening?
In so many aspects of life, things are planned ahead. Clothes shops buy and plan for the next season early in the New Year. Car designers are always planning their next model, food stores don’t wait till the shelves are empty before they order new stock, they plan ahead.
I had a minister when I was young who used to say “as in the natural, so in the spiritual”. So if we are used to planning in the natural, why not in the spiritual. Our spiritual planning is vitally important to move into the next season. We must plan for it and prepare the soil ready to receive the seed.
“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
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. Proverbs 24:27
Our God plans for the future, He plans for our future. He planned for our eternal future when he sent His son Jesus Christ to die for us. Because God had planned for His son to die at the right time, (the word of God uses the term “in due season”), our eternal destiny can be very different to what it would have been if we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour.
Although we are in this season, whether it be good or bad, we need to plan and get ready for the next season, so that when it comes we will be in a great position to receive all of its benefits.