This year marks the 40th anniversary of Mars Hill Productions! In this devotional series, president, Fred Carpenter is reflecting on the important lessons of God that have guided us in ministry and led us into a deeper understanding of His ways.
“Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 NASB
When we are young adults, looking at the endless possibilities before us, it seems logical to pick a goal and map out a plan for how to get there. But, when you are a follower of Christ, you become aware that you are not alone in these decisions. In fact, you learn that He already has plans, big plans; so it becomes a matter of discovering what those plans are and what your role in them will be.
I have shared in the previous two devotionals that upon graduating from film school God had given me a deep conviction that I would someday make films that would introduce people to Jesus Christ. However, I had no direction or idea about how that would come to pass.
At that time, I was living in Houston, doing odd media jobs, waiting tables, and strategizing what my next move should be. I attended a church but had not joined a church or become involved in church life because I didn’t know if I would be staying in Houston. Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York seemed the more logical places to pursue a film career.
While searching for something encouraging in God’s word one day, I read Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” The Holy Spirit spoke to me through this verse. I thought I would find something about my plans coming to pass, but what I saw was not what I was expecting. I realized I had been reading that verse backward. I was trying to make a plan and commit it to the Lord, expecting Him to then show me the work.
Looking at the life of Joseph in the Old Testament, He too had a dream regarding his future. When he shared his dream, it was met with opposition. In fact, his brothers were so put off by his dream that they intentionally tried to sabotage Joseph’s entire life. (Joseph’s Story) Yet, Joseph was a shining example of blossoming where you are planted. He worked with faithfulness and integrity in each circumstance and God took him to the very place he had dreamed about.
I am convinced that many people (me included) often live like we believe that if we commit our plans to the Lord, then He will establish our work. But, that is putting the cart before the horse, the end before the beginning. The biblical order is to start where we are, being faithful to do what He has already given us to do.
Commit your works to the Lord! This includes every area of life…worship, relationships, leisure time, etc. This is not limited to our vocation. In fact, God will often use other areas of our life to advance our vocation. We can’t skip steps when it comes to God’s plan for our lives; that will only lead to strife.
From my new understanding of Proverbs 16:3, God showed me that I had put my “works” on hold. I had been neglecting what He wanted me to do regarding being involved at a church. I joined Believer’s Fellowship and soon became the junior high Sunday school teacher. As a result of my work within this church, God placed me in community with a pastor who introduced me to Larry Kreider of Youth for Christ. In my first meeting with Larry, I discovered that he was looking for someone exactly like me to help him with a media project. It was a divine appointment. Larry and I would eventually give birth to this media ministry. By living fully right where I was, God was establishing His plan for me.
Proverbs 16:3 is telling us to take care of first things first. If we do that, He will grow our lives. He will take us to the next thing. We often think that things will be better if we can just change our circumstance. But, God designed our circumstances to be the soil from which our future springs forth. Don’t try to “leapfrog” God’s will. Blossom where you are planted.