Are you a planner? You know the type. Those who can’t leave the house without a step by step plan of exactly what is about to happen every step of the way throughout their day. Have you ever had a plan in place that just didn’t quite work out? Quite a few of us, if not all of us, have had a plan that just didn’t seem to work out or as we sometimes say, “go according to plan”. The question is, who put that plan in place anyway? In the Bible, Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand“. Now, let’s ask that question again………..who’s putting your plans in place?
Why Have a Plan?
Generally speaking, a plan is a good thing to have. Even the Bible agrees with that in, for example, Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” Great example there. Who on earth would start a building project without first calculating the cost. And in order to accurately calculate the cost, you need a plan. We are quick to make plans all sorts for all kinds of things. We plan a party, we plan our route to work, we plan our days with calendars in both paper form and online, we plan our path to retirement and even plan the actions in our retirement years before we even know whether we’ll make it there.
One of the definitions Webster’s gives to the term “plan” is “a method for achieving and end“. That “method” is a series of steps we put in place to achieve some goal, some ending. Often times we rely on our own experience, books, advisers or so-called “experts” to help us with that process. But what about God? Does God have plans? The answer is Yes, God does have plans. He has a plan for each of us.
Is Your Plan HIS Plan?
Looking back at Proverbs 19:21, the key part of that verse is ………….“but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand”. Often we make plans of all sorts but how often to we consult with God himself when we make those plans? Is your personal plan conflicting with what God has planned for you?
Quite a few years ago I was on my way home from my dad’s house. He lived about 4 hours from where my wife and kids and I lived and I’d go home now and then to help him out with things around our old place. This particular day I left my dad’s and headed home with the plan of getting home at a particular time. I was driving along and was suddenly in a group of cars that didn’t seem to know how fast they wanted to drive. Out of nowhere, I began to get sleepy. Not just sleepy as in fatigue, but genuinely tired and with an urge to take a nap. There was a rest area a few miles ahead and I pulled in, reclined the seat in my truck and took a nap. This was very uncharacteristic of me and I was really wanting to get home a little early that day. After a few minutes I sprung awake and was back on my way. A few hours into the drive I came upon an accident. “Great, more delays” I thought. But as I passed the accident, there were a few of the cars I was in the midst of before getting sleepy and taking that nap, one of which had gone over a guard rail and into a deep ravine.
Was is coincidence that I pulled over for that nap or did God have a different plan for me that day? My plan was to make it home early, God’s plan was to get me home right on time………..HIS time.
Jeremiah 29:11 tell us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“. By making me pull over to take a nap, God gave me hope and a future. If I had ignored that nap, maybe I’d of been the one down in the ravine.
Why We Fight God
While it may not seem we are fighting God, we are. James 4:13-15 says, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”, yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Worldly “things” are what drives us. What drives us towards those worldly things? Satan. You see, the more satan can draw us towards the “things” of this world, a newer car, a bigger house, a better team for the kids, that new “thing”, a new class, things that require us to do things differently in our daily lives that ultimately end up driving even the small details of our daily activities, the more he pulls us away from God’s plan for us.
It is amazing how subtle and small satan works his plans to pull us away from God, and even more amazing at how gullible and ignorant we are. The music we listen to on our way to work that draws our attention to un-Godly things, the subsequent commercials that draw us to go do and purchase things we don’t need, that one innocent drink, that website that catches our attention that is just so easy to simply click on and “check it out”. Tons of small seemingly insignificant “things” that draw our attention away from God and what God would have us do.
His Plan is Perfect – Follow It
God has a plan for all of us, but we have to seek it out, put aside our own arrogance and planning, and look to Him for leadership. We have to recognize those traps being set by satan and turn our heads and attention away from them.
My dad who is now in heaven used to tell me, “Son, it takes a bigger man to say No to all those things than it does to say Yes”. He’d tell me this almost every time I was leaving the house to go out with friends, referring to drugs, drinking, and really any un-Godly “things” we as teenage boys could get ourselves in to. Great wisdom from a Christian man with a lot of truth to it. Satan makes it easy to access hundreds if not millions of Un-Godly “things”, very easy. In Romans 7:15, Paul described his struggles like this, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”.
While satan makes it very easy to access all the worldly and un-Godly “things” of our world, God also makes it easy to access Him. In todays world, the Bible is just one click away online just like bad websites are. Proverbs 16:9 explains, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” That day driving home from my dads, I planned ongoing home, but God established the path for me to get there. Looking back, I didn’t seek God out for that nap, I never even prayed about making it home safely. You see, that’s the beauty of God’s plans for us. God doesn’t give up on us, he “has our backs” every step of the way. So why not seek Him out, ask him for his plans for us, and then the hard part, actually follow those plans.
What is Your Plan?
Do you have a plan for your life or are you just living day to day allowing the worldly “things” to drive everything you do? It’s an easy groove to get caught up in, no doubt. Bills, kids, family, work, illness, death, the list goes on. That’s called “life”. Remember, James 4:13-15, we are only here for a short period of time. God’s plan for all of us is to prosper and spread His word, spread the Gospel of His son. If your plan does not somehow, some ways include that, then your plan may very well be off the tracks and in direct conflict with His plan for you.
How do you get back on plan. Ask Him! Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths“. Are you acknowledging God in ALL your ways? Start small and work big. Instead of that rock and roll station, tune in a Gospel station. Do you ask God to lead you throughout your work day? If not, start. Do you acknowledge God at different times during the day? Start it. Do you surf the web on your computer or phone at lunch? How about putting the phone down and picking up the Bible. Start small and work your way up. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths”.