I am a planner by nature. Planning helps me to envision my future and establishes my priorities. It also helps me to grow continually in every season that God has called me to.
There are countless wisdom in the world that teach us the importance of planning. The most famous saying probably being “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. However, I have learnt in my walk with Jesus that while those nuggets of wisdom are helpful for self-improvement, I must not rely on them to be the compass for my life. Jesus, God Himself and His teachings must be my only source of truth in all aspects of my life, including planning.
What are you eagerly or anxiously planning for in this season? While we can do everything we can to make the most comprehensive plans, the Lord is ultimately the one who decides our steps. Every turn and every bend we take may surprise us, but it is all within God’s supreme knowledge. Even our best-laid plans need God.
The Bible teaches extensively about planning too. Let me share some fundamental truths that have guided me.
We have to be discerning in our pursuits. Not all plans are worthy or right to pursue just because everyone else is doing so (Romans 12:2). There is tremendous pressure to follow the ways of the world, but Ephesians 5:15-17 remind us to be wise to understand the will of God and to make the best use of our lives.
Do you need wisdom to discern what God’s purposes and will for your life are? We can attain wisdom by learning to number our days (Psalms 90:12) and by asking God for it (James 1:15). The choices we make during our brief stay in this world have eternal consequences. God’s purposes for us and His Kingdom can never be thwarted (Job 42:2). Our plans will eventually prove to be futile unless they are within God’s will. May our plans strive to excel in building up God’s church, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:12).
We cannot be more wrong if we assume that God owes us our success just because we are talented and we work hard. While it is our responsibility to ensure that we finish what we started (Luke 14:28-30), gifting and efforts alone cannot guarantee our ultimate success (Proverbs 16:1). God’s ways and thoughts are so high that we cannot even begin to fathom what He seeks to do (Isaiah 55:9). So, there is nothing about our plans that we can boast in (James 4:13-15). Instead, we need to learn to trust God, lean on Him, pray over everything that weighs heavily upon our hearts and anticipates what He does next. (Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 4:6). Whatever the outcome of those plans may be, I pray that we can still rejoice that we have done it heartily for the Lord (Colossians 3:23)!
How many of us worry about our future? For some of us, it may be hard to envision a promising future given the present bleak circumstances. I want to assure you that the Bible promises that God has plans for us that are meant for our welfare, our future and our hope (Jeremiah 29:11). However, for us to live in the reality of those plans, we must first seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). If we want our paths to be straight, we have to first acknowledge Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:6). Acknowledging Him means fellowshipping and having intimacy with God. Do we depend on our innate instincts more than our reliance on God? When God is supreme in our hearts and all aspects of our lives, He will work all things out for us. We don’t have to worry about it. Beginning with our faithfulness and obedience to God, let’s be more passionate about being in the Father, and be less obsessed with planning for our lives.