After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
I often think of Jesus as following the Spirit in the moment, like He just kind of floated around from place to place, town to town following God's promptings and living in the moment. But in this passage we see Jesus clearly making plans for the future. It is clear that He has thought strategically about the future and even encourages His followers to pray strategically about the future. Jesus sends 36 teams out ahead of Him into the towns He plans to visit and minister to shortly. The natural reading of this passage suggests that Jesus has planned out the next 36 towns He is going to pass through! Obviously Jesus wasn't just floating along in the moment. Though I am sure Jesus was sensitive to the Spirit's leading, Jesus understood that God's Spirit can give us guidance far in advance (consider the Old Testament prophets as an example). It is clear then that Jesus planned far in advance and had a large vision for how He would go about accomplishing God's call on His life.
What about you? Have you made any plans to accomplish anything for God? Don't be fooled into thinking that you are doing Him some big favor simply by showing up at church and occasionally tithing. Make a plan! Save $5,000 over the next several years and give it to a Christian ministry to fund the building of an orphanage in a third world country. Dream big dreams for your church's youth or children's ministry and serve faithfully in them. Find a reputable ministry and go on a mission trip; share the gospel. Make plans to talk to your neighbor or your unbelieving friend about Jesus! Do something. Have a plan to glorify God and exalt Christ.
Lord, I pray that you would send those reading this devotional out into the harvest fields to advance Your kingdom. Show them Your will for their lives. Help them to catch a big vision of what You want to do through them. Lead them to make plans and to carry them out according to Your will and the promptings of Your Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray...amen.