The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
The Lord says, “I’ve got this! Remember Jacob? He thought his son, Joseph was dead, but he wasn’t. Jacob didn’t know My plans for his son; so he believed the lie. It’s so easy to believe the lie when your physical senses are all you are using. But when you truly know that I am in control, you will find your hope in Me.”
Jacob was looking at a robe dipped in blood and reading a message from his other sons that left him to conclude the worst. He may have even felt responsible. Earlier, he had told Joseph to go and find his brothers and see how they and the flocks were getting along. But since his brothers hated him, they made plans to kill him when they saw him coming from a distance. Reuben, the oldest son, talked them out of it. In the end, they sold him to some Midianite traders who were passing through. In order to cover up their deed, they killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood and sent the robe back home to their father with this message, “We found this…isn’t it your son’s robe?” Jacob concluded that a wild animal had attacked Joseph and tore him to pieces. He assumed he was dead.
What assumptions are you making about your prodigal? What lies are you believing? Are you seeing only with your physical eyes…only believing what seems to be true? You hear what they say and see what they do, and you make deductions based on their words and actions. Their plans are completely contrary to what you want for them; what you are praying for. But is your faith in what you see or in the Lord who establishes their steps? Are you able to look beyond their current actions and see a different future for them…the future God has planned for them?
God had a plan for Joseph that no one could thart. His brothers thought they had gotten rid of him, but much later, they would find out that their plan had failed. They would remember Joseph’s dream and see how it all fit together. They would see that God had established Joseph’s steps, not them. Jacob would learn that not only was his son still alive, but he was an important part of God’s plan for His people. He would think back to the robe and what his sons had said and realize he had jumped to conclusions.
The same is true for us. We may not know the future that God has planned for any of our prodigals, but we do know that in spite of the plans they are making for themselves, the Lord is establishing their steps. So do not lose hope. Do not give up. Keep praying! Remain faithful and find your hope in the Lord for He says in Jer. 29:11, “I know the plans I have for you, they are plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Put your prodigals’ names in place of “you” and there you have it. When God spoke this promise to Israel, they were prodigals.
Last time we met to pray, Lois prayed Psalm 70 over our prodigals. It went something like this:
Please God, rescue _______!
Come quickly, Lord, and help _______.
May those who try to kill ________
Be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in ______”s trouble
Be turned back in disgrace.
Let them be horrified by their shame,
For they have said, “Aha, we’ve got _______ now!”
But as for _______, they are poor and needy;
Please hurry to ______’s aid, O God.
You are _______’s helper and Savior;
O Lord, do not delay!