Sunday, August 16, 2020

Planning and Providence


I am currently working on a project that I have big plans for.  I think about it a lot and have been putting in considerable time to bring it to fruition.  But what if God’s not in it?  How can I know if I’m wasting my time dreaming a big dream that may go nowhere?  Do you have any big plans you are thinking about too?  Let’s look at man’s plans and God’s providence.


Proverbs 19:21 - Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.


Things to think about:

·      Planning presupposes an end or objective. It is human nature to focus on the result without always taking into consideration the cost.

o   Luke 14:28-30 - “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?  For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

·      Have you ever had a big dream you chased?  Did it actually succeed?

·      What plans do you currently have?

o   Career

o   Financial

o   Spiritual

o   Ministry

o   Avocation

o   Something else?

·      Have you taken any concrete steps to bring it into reality?

·      Have you prayed about it? If so, does your prayer include being OK with God saying, "no" or “not now”?

Putting God first

·      Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these other things will be added to you.

·      Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans

·      When our motives or behavior are out of line with God, we should expect our plans to come to nothing.

o   James 4:3 – When you do ask you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend your money on your own pleasures.

o   Psalm 66:18 – If I had cherished sin in my heart, He would not have heard me.

o   Isaiah 59:1-2 - Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

·      Have you put God first in your plan? 


  • Proverbs 16:9 - In their hearts humans plan their course but the Lord establishes their steps

·      Romans 8:28 – All things work together for good for those who love God and called according to His purpose

·      God’s hand moves across the days of our lives in ways we may never understand.  This is the essence of faith – that God is good, He is capable, that He knows best, and that He cares.

·      Even if our motives are pure (at least as pure as a man’s heart can be) and there is no gross disobedience, it may still be that God’s plan and purpose is different than ours.

o   If that’s the case, can you be OK with that? 

o   Can you actually praise Him for that?

·       If you don’t really have any plans currently, are you starting to get some new ideas of how God may want to use your personality, talents, experience, passions, and spiritual gifts to take on a new project?

o   If you are struggling to think of something, ask others who know you and God well.  Proverbs 15:22 – Plans fail for lack of counsel but with many advisors they succeed.

o   We are here for a limited time, let’s be used in ways that bring glory and honor to God!