Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Three of my favorite words, right there, Details, Plans and Options, just call me “Data”! I love input because the more data I have, means I can make better plans and plans give me more options. The more options I have, the better prepared I am to make decisions on the fly when time is of the essence, as it usually is in an emergency.
The Lord has allowed me to be a Volunteer with the American Red Cross since 1972 starting as a senior in high school. Most of that time has been spent working on local and National Disasters, most recently as a volunteer Government Liaison. That means I get to work with leaders of other Federal, State, Local and Volunteer Organizations to help carry out plans to control, restore and recover from local disasters. Then in 2010 I became a State Certified Emergency Manager. Now you see why details, plans and options are a great part of my life.
Planning is a good thing but we have to remember what the Bible says in Proverbs 19:21 “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” (The Message) Basically, we can make all the options and plans we want but if we don’t include God in them, they will all fail and what He wants will happen. The question is, are we willing to set aside our plans and work with the plans He has made?
Some of our plans will fail because we’ve gotten to “uppity” and decided that we will go in this direction because that is the way we want to go. We neglect entirely to inquire of God because we’re afraid that He may shoot our plan down. We don’t want to see if He has a better plan for us or if all He may want to do is help “fine tune” it a little. We want to do it our way. There is an old saying that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him the plans you have made for your life.”
Sometimes the plans we make fail because He needs to teach us something about ourselves by allowing us to fail. There is something in us that needs to be corrected or strengthened. The secret is in fine tuning our plan so that it matches His plan and trying one more time until we get it right!
Either way we learn that if we really want to succeed and prosper, God must be included. If He is not included then we have failed to plan correctly and we will continue to work this broken plan of ours until we finally learn to ask Him for His help. Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Today was a good case in point. I received a note from my building manager last week, with a list of instructions I was to follow, then present myself today with papers in hand. I made my appointment and showed up early with all that was required, only to find out I had made an error in my planning! I had not read all of the instructions.
You see, instead of reading the fine print I should have concentrated on the bold print on the bottom of the last page that said, “If you are working with this (Agency), you don’t have to do any of the above.”
I had a plan and options but not all the details. The good part was that the manager now had fifteen minutes to get caught up on her paper work before the next person came. I had felt prompted to verify to see if I really needed to go through all this prep work. Man, I really need to listen better to what I Kings 19:12 calls that “still small voice”! KJV
So all of this begs the questions:
1. Not how many detailed plans or options are needed, but have you gotten the best information and counsel from God who really cares if you fail or succeed?
2. Have you spent any time searching the Bible to see what His will is for any plan you’re considering?
3. Have you run your completed plan by other godly counselors to allow them to run it up the flag pole to see if it will fly?
If not, you plan has a very good chance, not to accomplish what you desire, but to teach you to consult with the Father, first, the next time.
As Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” (The Message)