Wishing

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day

I still remember hearing Perry Como sing those words on the radio when I was a boy.  We all knew why you would want a falling star, because you can make a wish on a falling star! It has to be as effective as those wishes you make right before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake. Or perhaps it fits with “I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”  If your childhood was like mine those words or something similar were part of growing up. You never really counted on that stuff, but you still kind of hoped it was true.

Part of maturing is realizing that we don’t expect to get what we want or need simply by wishing. Yet, I often hear adults wish for things. Sometimes it is expressed as something we “hope” for. “I hope I get a raise,” “I hope I find a mate,” “I hope we can buy a house,” “I hope my kids turn out alright,” “I hope I pass this exam,” or even “I hope I don’t get caught.” All those can simply be expressing a desire without any plan of how to acquire them. I still remember telling my doctor that I knew I needed to lose some weight.  His response was simply; “So what is your plan?” I said “wishful thinking” and he wasn’t impressed.

Recently in a deacons meeting we were discussing David Platt’s book “Follow Me” (I highly recommend that book to Christians). His last chapter lists six areas of our Christian life and he guides the reader to list specific steps we are planning to take as we follow Christ. One of the men mentioned how often he encounters people who don’t seem to comprehend the difference between a wish and a goal. People really want their life to be better. Christians really want to be more like Christ, and to obey His commands, but they often just wish. The difference is that part of setting a goal is establishing a plan to achieve that goal.

At this point you might be thinking, “What about prayer? Aren’t we just supposed to ask God for these things and then trust Him?” My answer is simple – prayer should always be the first step of our plan right alongside our searching scripture to see if our goal is even a valid one to have. God does respond to prayer and does do what we cannot do ourselves, but he still expects us to Plan and work as well! Ephesians 2:8-10 reminds us that we are saved by grace, not by our own effort, but then it adds that we were saved to do the works God has planned for us. That thought is expressed concerning our life as believers in Philippians 2:12-13. We work, knowing that God is at work in our hearts and lives. We don’t place our confidence in our own effort, but we do put forth effort!

My challenge to you is simple. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your life. Be specific. Then ask God to help you consider how to get from where you are to where you need to be. Formulate a plan. Pray for His strength to do so, and then begin to do the first step in your plan. Be willing to alter your plan as God works in you, and you truly can be what He has called you to be!

Blessings,

Pastor Nord

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