This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
—Proverbs 16:3, NIV
Most of us would agree that it is important to plan out short-term and long-term goals to help guide our life decisions — whether for personal, financial or vocational aspirations. With modern technology, we have all kinds of goal-setting methods, how to guides, advice columns, printable planners, and more literally at our fingertips.
Some of us are very goal-oriented and need to have things determined in a carefully constructed plan of action; any detours or roadblocks can cause great anxiety and stress. Others make more general goals and are flexible enough to know when to hold firm and when to bend to unforeseen obstacles. And there are some who don’t really make plans at all and just live day-to-day.
Though it may surprise some of us, the Bible has a lot to say about plans and goal-setting. The Lord encourages us to be productive members of our communities and our churches, good stewards of the gifts (including money) that He has given to us, and dutifully carrying out the responsibilities He has determined for each of us (perhaps leadership in a local congregation, a personal ministry, raising children, etc.). To do all these things well, we need to have a plan of action, a set of realistic and achievable goals.
However, the Bible also warns us that sometimes our plans don’t always go… well, as we planned. Sometimes the reason plans fail is that we do not take into consideration godly advice from those the Lord has placed in our lives. Proverbs 15:22 warns: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Sometimes unexpected challenges pop up that throw us off track, and there are also times when — for one reason or another — we just don’t follow through.
But most often, the reason our plans fail is because we did not seek the Lord’s guidance or will first.
Today’s verse encourages us to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3) Sometimes what we think is best is not always the best course of action, and the Lord, who knows the beginning from the end, He may interrupt our carefully laid plans to ensure His will, His purpose for our life, what is best for us, is achieved.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
So if you are currently struggling, as I am, with sudden and unexpected changes to your carefully laid plans, perhaps we need to ask ourselves: “Did I seek the Lord’s counsel? Is this really His will for my life or does He have something different and/or better in mind? Have I earnestly prayed about it? Have I been seeking the Lord and His will with all my heart? Am I willing to set aside my own plans and allow the Lord to lead, even when I cannot see where He is leading me?”
Beloved friends, may each of us seek the Lord’s will and purpose for our lives — both in the short term and the long term — with all our hearts. May each of us commit to the Lord whatever we do and allow HIM to establish our plans.
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: With man it is impossible, but not with God