Our Plans Verses His

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“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” -Proverbs 16:1-3

It’s funny that as I look at the passage in Proverbs 16:1-3, I am reminded of how many times I misinterpreted it’s meaning. Also, I believe that I am not the only one who has misinterpreted this particular passage, verse 3 in particular. It has always been my belief most Christians (in the western world) view God as a sort of cosmic genie or the ultimate hall pass monitor of the universe. That being said, most of the careful ones try their best not to sin as if they are walking on thin ice daily (which is actually pretty true) and the greedy ones just look for what they can get from God; not truly operating in faith, but just wishing for material things and then in the end, wishing for more wishes. If you’re not careful you will misinterpret verse 3 of this passage and liken it to wishes. “Lord, I want a new car this year, and you said if I ask for anything in your name….” you know the rest of the story – the “name it, claim it” syndrome. Now, I’m not saying that God won’t provide you with whatever your need is, but need denotes necessity, something that is essential to your well being; and who knows what you need better than our Father in Heaven?

Instead, the Bible speaks of plans – actual plans; drawn up, well thought out, well advised, and the product of due diligence. What I like about this passage is this: even with our brilliant plans, we are still prone to our human flaws. While they may include very good intentions, our hearts are still wicked, filled with greed and selfishness and needs to be checked constantly. What this passage suggest is that God be our adviser.  Before the rubber of our plans hits the road of execution, its best to consult God about what we’re doing and how to go about it.[pullquote_right]Before the rubber of our plans hits the road of execution, its best to consult God about what we’re doing and how to go about it.[/pullquote_right] Often we may find that our plan wouldn’t have worked the way have we originally thought it would. On the other hand, God may reject your plan altogether. It may sound harsh, but the end result of following His advice always ends in success.

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The truth is that God really does want to see you prosper in whatever desire He has placed in you. The problem is that even with all your knowledge and good intentions, you will fall short in some area. You need him. God is a wealth of knowledge with a greater perspective than ours which allows him to see every possible angle for the optimum outcome. That’s called wisdom. As I write this, I am reminded of the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” This a great companion scripture to Proverbs 16:3. If you commit or submit your plan(s) to the Lord, He (because he wants to see you prosper) will use his infinite knowledge and wisdom to your benefit. So, don’t be too quick to look at answers from God like “no” as the end of the matter, but rather a course correction or amendment to the plan. If you commit to listen and obey, success in whatever the plan is will manifest, it’s inevitable. After all, God’s word “…will not return to me [God] empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)