Links Daily Devotional

Make Your Plans

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NLT)

In yesterday’s devotion, Tracy Hanson wrote about how we might prepare for what is next in our walk with Jesus.

You might think this is presumptuous. Some do. They fear taking any proactive steps in their life, not wanting to “get ahead of God.” I like the humility in that thinking. God must go before us! Yet at the same time, he is not dragging us. He will clear the way, but we need to walk with purpose.

Before each tournament, tour players will talk with their team about the strategy for the golf course. Every course presents different conditions, from greens to fairways and sand traps, which can mean switching different equipment in their bag, from driver, utility club, and sand wedge, to even a different putter.

We average players don’t plan to that extent. Most of us have a firm idea of the score we’d like to post, but we don’t even walk through the holes in our mind ahead of time. How can we be ready if we don’t know what we are supposed to be ready for?

Applying this same intentional planning to life is not usurping God’s leadership. Instead, it employs the brains he has given us to make preparations as one who truly wants to follow and serve him well.

Where the humble deferring to God comes in is when we face the unexpected, when flexibility is demanded of us. Like a tour player who must improvise when a gust of wind has taken him out of his game plan, we must back off, take a breath, seek the Lord’s mind and heart in the matter, and—here’s the key—keep walking.

Proverbs 16:9 encourages this kind of flexibility. If we plan our ways in our life and do our best to pray and plan, then when God determines steps for us that we did not plan, we will still recognize this as best for us.

Now let’s take this one further step before we close. The 18th Century commentator Matthew Henry wrote: “If men devise their way, so as to make God’s glory their end and his will their rule, they may expect that he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace, so that they shall not miss their way nor come short of their end.”

Do you see the great principle in Henry’s suggestion? If we plan in our own mind, we may find ourselves thwarted and frustrated by God’s constant redirection of our steps. The “gusts of wind” will be many! But if we start with the basic idea that our lives are to be lived for God’s glory, then our plans will take that shape, too. And God won’t thwart his glory!

It’s not so much that God’s plans are better than ours (though he certainly functions with greater knowledge and wisdom than we can imagine!); it’s that his plan is better. That plan is to establish his glory and fame throughout the universe. When we build our plans in connection with that plan, we are walking the right path!

Dereck Wong and Jeff Hopper
May 13, 2014
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