Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps”
Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”
There is a saying that goes something like this, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Thus, planning is an important element to any successful business; however, even a good plan can go terribly wrong. The executives at the DuPont Corporation learned this lesson the hard way with a product called Corfam that was introduced in the early 90’s. Corfam was a leather substitute that DuPont believed would capture big profits in the shoe industry. After sinking millions of dollars into a product development and marketing strategy, they became quite aware that the public wasn’t nearly ready to purchase this leather substitute. Moreover, to avoid any further losses and to recover some of its investment, DuPont sold Corfam to another company. However, shortly after unloading Corfam, rising prices in leather made it a really hot item.
Now let’s consider the plan God has for every individual? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.” It’s the Lord’s plan that dictates how our past affects our present, our future, and us. We must make plans for our future, but we must also be flexible and faithful to what God’s plans are for us. James reminds us that life’s unpredictability is one good reason not to put too much stock in our plans (James 4:14-15). Instead, he points us to a course of action that follows God’s master plan and not the business trends of this corrupt world. James said that we must:
(1) Submit our goals and plans to God (James 4:13-17),
(2) Value people more than money (James 5:1-6), and
(3) Patiently wait for our spiritual investments to be rewarded (James 5:7-9).
Generally speaking, the world’s view of success would be to make all the money you can, exert the least amount of effort in doing so, acquire the most of the world’s goods as possible, and spend the least amount of money as possible. However, as born-again believers in Christ, we can plan, but God should be the One that is directing our steps. It’s true, we can plan all we want, but ultimately, God makes the decisions and His plan is always perfect. Are you open to God’s perfect plan for your life? Or maybe you’re trying to do it all of your own, by laying out your own blueprint, following your own path, never thinking of God’s prodding or plotting, maneuvering or miracle working?
I’m mindful of Saul of Tarsus when he was converted on the road to Damascus. He asked two questions. The first was, “Who are You, Lord?” Realizing he was in the presence of the living God, only one other question mattered: “Lord, what do You want me to do?” My brethren, that should also be our question to the Lord! (Acts 9:5-6). He immediately recognized that obedience to God’s plan and will for him was to be the central focus of the rest of his life! My brethren, our requests for health, healing, success, and even spiritual power aren’t wrong, but they can become selfish prayers if they do not flow from a heart determined to obey God and the plan He has laid out for us. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father (John 14:21). My beloved, obedience expresses our love for God and enables us to experience His love and His plan for our life.
(1) What are your plans for today, tomorrow or next month?
(2) Does God fit into your plan?
The best of any plans begin and end with God.