A few weeks ago I came under fire from one of my critics for telling him that I had planned several months ahead of what I felt the Lord was leading me to share with our congregation. This individual took my words and twisted them, and began to spread in the community that I had no place for the leadership of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of the Word of God in our Church.
If you’ve read “My Beautiful Tension,” you can see how ridiculous it is for any pastor to plan sermons without the help of the Holy Spirit or even do ministry for that matter. Even though I have addressed the subject here, I feel the need to talk about it again.
There is school of thought in certain circles about the subject of planning that I believe is out of sync with scripture. A lot of well meaning people believe that planning is of the devil. I am not one of those. I do not believe planning is of the devil. It surely is a great thing to plan for life. People who don’t, and criticize others for planning, are only projecting their confusion about what the bible actually says about the subject.
As far as I can see, The Bible is clear on the subject:
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands. Isaiah 32:8
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
I believe plans should be made with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and counsel of wise advisers. We must include the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our planning. We must also be humble enough to seek out wise counsel from others.
As far as I can see, the bible is also clear on that subject
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverb 15:22
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
One must also be willing and ready to adjust and or change course at any time when directed by the Holy Spirit or guided by wise counsel. These principles should be the foundation for every planing in life, family or ministry. To ignore it is a recipe for disaster.
The Bible is also very clear on this subject:
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2
And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
I know too many well meaning people who missed God’s perfect will because they didn’t seek His guidance or the guidance of trusted counselors. Or, they were not willing to change coarse after hearing from God or trusted counselors.
Here are 7 things to do with your plans:
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Commit your plans to the Lord
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
Trust in His ability and not yours
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6
Make God your delight
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalms 37:4
Get some sleep, don’t stress over it
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalms 127:1, 2
Be anxious for nothing; pray for everything
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Understand that failure does not mean denial (try again)
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Zig Ziglar once said – “If you aim (plan) for nothing, you will hit it every time. How true is that statement? The only way to achieve your dreams and goals in life is by careful, purposeful and deliberate planning. God is not against planning. He wants for you to plan. Involve him in the process.
According to Dr. Graeme Edwards, “It is not the plan that is important, it’s the planning.” So begin taking the necessary steps today. Alan Lakein said, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Don’t leave things to chance. Plan well, plan with God. He has great things in store for you.