PLANNING YOUR FUTURE
Date: May 3
Category: Setting Goals
"A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure."
Some people may misinterpret this verse and think that because the Lord directs their steps and makes them sure they don't have to plan. At least that's what I thought when I was a teenager and even when I was in my early twenties. But that's not true. We still need to plan. It says here, "A man's mind plans his way…" This verse doesn't speak against planning. You have to plan for the things you want in life. For example, when you think of a career to pursue, you have to consider what education is required in order to start that career. When you decide what college you want to attend, you have to start planning for that even in high school. You need to take the courses that will qualify you into that particular college. So planning is very important.
Planning is important in marriage as well. Before you get married, you need to determine what kind of person you want to marry, and make sure you are the type of person your spouse would want to be with as well. After the wedding, and preferably before it, you and your spouse need to make plans about children. For example, how many to have, how to discipline them, what rules to set and so on. So planning is essential. God doesn't say that we shouldn't plan. Actually He says that a man's mind (that is his heart) decides what he wants to do. After he decides what he wants to do, then he has to figure out how he is going to get there. That's planning.
The second part of this verse says, "but the Lord directs his steps…" Sometimes in spite of all our plans, we have to be open for redirection. God might alter or add to our plans. For example, I had a few past girlfriends before I met Ljiljana. When I was with them I wanted to marry them, but none of them wanted to marry me. I found it so difficult to find a spouse. Then I met Ljiljana, the wife that God intended for me to have. So I'm glad things didn't work out my way.
When I was a student, I didn't want to move to Canada. I wanted to live in the States and go back to Yugoslavia as a missionary evangelist. That was my desire because I thought university in the States would be a good choice for me. But God didn't want that. Instead, He opened the door for me in Canada. Now I'm thankful everything worked out the way God wanted because God had a plan here in Canada for my wife and me. Sometimes you may want something, but you don't actually get it. That's because God may have something greater in mind for you. So if you don't get what you want, just say, ‘Praise the Lord! You have something better in store for me!'
God is the One who directs our steps and He is the One who makes them sure. But we need to rely upon Him. That means that we have to pray. Bring your plans before the Lord and ask Him if your plans line up with His plans for your life. When you know they do, then your steps will be made sure.
It's not enough to just plan what you want to do and how you want to do it, but you have to begin doing what's required to see your plans succeed. So just as this verse teaches, we are to plan our ways. But our plans have to be in line with the Lord because it is the Lord who will direct and establish our steps. God won't plan your way for you. You are expected to make your own plans. But He will direct you as you plan and as you take courses of action to fulfill your plan. In the same way, God cannot bless you if you don't put forth an effort, He cannot direct you if you don't plan. So determine to make good plans for yourself today, and you'll see how God will direct every step you take.