Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purposes that prevail. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Read: Proverbs 19:1-29
Consider: In general life and in church it is necessary to plan, but don’t be surprised and frustrated if sometimes your plans don’t work out. The test will be to see how you react when something you have planned and worked for doesn’t happen the way you want it to or in the timescale you have chosen. Those around you shouldn’t be the brunt of your frustration, nor should God.
It would be so easy to rush headlong into putting our plans into action, presuming that everything will work out favourably. However, in today’s passage we read: Desire without knowledge is not good – how much more will hasty feet miss the way! (Proverbs 19:2). Some people can be so afraid of missing an opportunity that they are overcome by their desire to do something, but as a result they ‘miss the way’. Activity is not always the answer; as it says in the Psalms: ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 63:10a). We need to relax in God’s presence; asking him for clarity in our plans, not just about what to do but when to do it.
The reason why our plan did not work out could be as simple as it isn’t in God’s purposes. Notice what it says in today’s reading: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21). There are two issues here – one is the necessity to seek God’s guidance for our plans to ensure that they conform with his purposes. Secondly, we need to seek God’s timing for the implementation of these plans. If either is out of step with God’s will (his purposes), it will lead to failure.
Gods does not frown upon us making plans for the future, either with regard to our personal lives or how we might share the good news of the gospel with others. God does want us to be in step with him and his purposes. He alone sees the ‘big picture’ and we should be happy to trust him for clarifying for us how he might use our plans to achieve his purposes.
Remember that our plans need to be focused on God and also focused by God.
Pray: Father, may we be willing to be still before you and await clarity on what you wish us to do. However, help us to avoid using waiting on your guidance as an excuse to do nothing. Amen
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