Gary Derbyshire

4 Reasons People Try to Control God's Plan

Gary Derbyshire
March 17, 2021

One of the most common patterns in scripture is God making plans and people corrupting them. Not only are people often tempted to reject God's plan altogether, but even when they desire God's plan, they are apt to want to control and alter it. Why do we do this? The following are four of man’s motivations for intervening in God’s plan:


#1 Temptation to break God’s law.

One of the most common reasons we intervene in God’s plan is when we think we need to sin in order to do it. It happens all the time. So much sin starts with good intentions but ends in evil actions. I think of when Rechab and Baanah murdered Ish-Bosheth in order to help David become the unchallenged king (2 Samuel 4:7). I think of when we know someone is wrong, then humliate and disrespect them. In this case, it got Rechab and Baanah executed. Sinning to fulfill God’s plan will produce flawed results.


#2 Temptation to change God’s timeline.

This works in two ways. Either we want to speed God up because He is not going fast enough for us, or we want to slow God down because immediate obedience scares us too much. I think of Sarah asking Abram to sleep with their slave girl in order to fulfill God’s promise for a son (Genesis 16:2). I think of the man who told Jesus he wanted to become one of his disciples, but wanted some things to fall into place first (Matthew 8:21). I think of those of us God has called to the mission field and they invent excuses as to why it is not the right time. God’s plan on man’s timetable will produce flawed results.


#3 Temptation to steal God’s glory.

God is a mighty God, and He wins great victories through us. Yet, it is often very tempting to keep some of that glory for ourselves. It doesn’t always mean we want ALL the glory, just some of it. I think of King Saul when he built a monument to himself after God gave him victory against the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:12) or the King of Assyria believing his empire came by his own strength (Isaiah 10:12-13). This is especially tempting for Christian celebrities, but really Christian leader with influence is vulnerable to this. However, trying to get man’s glory from God’s plan will produce flawed results.


#4 Temptation to doubt God’s power.

God loves to make impossible promises. Some of them are so powerful we doubt them at the onset. Others we doubt after some time or trial. I think of Peter walking on water until he saw the waves (Matthew 14:30). You know God saves the lost and even the hardest of hearts, but to actually go to a non-Christian friend or coworker and invite them to follow Christ, no way! When we do not face God’s plan with faith, we are doomed to produce flawed results.


You might be discouraged because you have noticed just how easy it is to do all of these bad things! You may have gone through seasons when you were guilty of all of the above at once. Fear not, God’s grace is sufficient. His plan is still perfect and unaltered. We just have to venture forth to submit to God and His plan in every way we can and ask for His forgiveness when we don’t. Obeying God’s plan is wonderful. Intervening in God’s plan is no fun at all.

I encourage you to watch a sermon I preached at my church on this topic from 2 Samuel 3. I pray it blesses you.

Gary Derbyshire

Gary is the Senior Pastor of Apollo Baptist Church in Glendale, Arizona. Gary's biggest life influence is his loving parents, who originally taught him the Gospel and biblical exposition, and still live as missionaries in Asia. The next biggest influence is his loving wife, a gifted worship leader and evangelist to their children.

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Gary Derbyshire