We like to plan. Where do we want to be in a year — five years? Sometimes, it’s difficult to plan for the next day. Yet to avoid a harum-scarum way of life, we plan.
Whose plans are they? Ours? Someone else’s? God’s? They are usually our plans. That’s not to say we exclude God from the planning, but when you think about it, we come up with the plan. We may pray about it and ask God to direct us to the right plan. But when all is said and done, aren’t we the ones doing the planning?
As was mentioned in a comment to a post last week, in Proverbs 19:21 (NIV), we read: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We say we want that, of course, but sometimes when the plans we’ve made don’t seem to be working out, we redouble our efforts to make them work out, rather than stopping to consider whether God is saying, it’s not my plan for you.
Unless God speaks to us directly, knowing for sure that our plan is God’s plan can be perplexing. Are we on the same page with God?
There are two other passages in Proverbs worth considering. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) It’s as though the writer of Proverbs was saying, you people are going to make your own plans no matter what, but if you try to stay in touch with God, he’ll guide your steps, even if the plans are yours.
Proverbs 3:5-6 provides comforting counsel for planning’s big picture: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”