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Making Plans

A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB)

Photo: Pixabay
What are your plans?  After we ask this question, then we have to work out the "when", "how", and "who".  

What are your plans?  Saying, "I don't know", is not an answer.  Doing nothing is not an option.  For the time we have here, we are stewards of our lives and we get to and must make plans.

What are your plans?  Are you making plans?

There is a question and a statement that asks and says, "If you could do anything and you knew you would not fail, what would it be?", "Do that thing."  A similar question and statement says, "What would you do, if money was no object?",  "Then do that."  The idea behind these, is to ask you what is in your heart to do.

When we make plans, we make them with God in mind.  When we make plans, we make them on the basis of our faith, in God.

When we fail to plan, we are planning to fail.  We are designed by God to plan.  When we plan, that is part of our ongoing dialogue with God.  We walk with and talk to God.

Our God is a God who talks to us, directing us, as we talk to and walk with him.  For there to be direction, there must be movement.  For there to be hearing, there must be listening, and listening comes within the context of relationship.

This verse in Proverbs says that I plan and God determines.  I believe that "directs" could also be a way to say this: "I will make my plans, Lord, but You direct my steps".  Some people have been crying for God's direction, but refuse to make plans.

To us that desperately want God's direction, God's will for our lives, he has already given it to us, in the scriptures.  The arc of the whole story really is, "God loves you.  Repent and receive God's love.  Love others.  Repeat.  Walk with God.  Let God love you.  Worship God.  Tell others all about it.  Live before him."

Within that context, make plans and God will determine or direct your steps.  It is pretty simple.  If you are stuck on that "faith challenge" I quoted that says, "If you could do anything and you knew you would not fail.....", that is ok.  Just do not stay stuck forever, but process your "stuck-ness".

What comes to my mind, is the question of, "what if I fail, then how does it work?"  Here is the answer.  Are you ready?

God loves failures.

We are talking about people who try and fail.  People who attempt things that do not take off or flourish.  People who take faith risks.

I can hear God say, "I love you when you try and fail", or "I wish you had tried more things, even if you failed".  

A high percentage of books are not "best sellers".  A large percentage of church-plants fail.  Many people do not become converted or born again, after hearing the good news.  Many people have started blogging, then quit.  Many people started learning a musical instrument, then stopped.

This list could be endless.  All of these things that are not quantifiable successes, are called living.  If you are alive, you will try stuff that does not flourish.

An interesting side-note, is that professional musicians or athletes have tremendous discipline to practice for hours and hours.  There is a giftedness, but then there is a desire and a discipline.

Plans.

What if you make plans that do not come together?  You keep failing.  We have something called perseverance.  Learn perseverance.  You must.

We are not called to success or to be successful.  We are called into relationship and to live in and by faith.  God loves people who are faithful.  

Winning or quantifiable success is not the goal.  Faithful love is the goal.

Perfectionism, sophistication, and logic are not Biblical, faith values.  We instead live by faith, in hope, and through love.

When you come up with a plan, then comes the step of, 'should you share it'.  We are relational beings.  It is natural to share your plans, but sometimes, we have to also be wise and sensitive about sharing our plans.  

If you belong to a fellowship of fellow-dreamers, who commonly have plans that are humanly impossible, it is almost "anything goes" and they will encourage you and say, "Amen!"  But, many other people may not like your dream.

We can make plans and not have the wisdom to follow God's direction for those plans.  We can also get a plan from God, but not execute the plan with God.  The scriptures and history are full of these stories.

There are two legs to walk out good plans.  You have plans and God determines how those plans plans play out.  We run with God.  We both plan before God and execute the plans with God.

What have you got?  What plans do you have?  What would you like to do?  These are questions for everyone to consider and answer.  After we answer, we talk to God about them in prayer and begin to process our plans with God.

We also need mentors, teachers, counselors, friends, fathers, and mothers to tell our plans to and seek wisdom from about the implementation of those plans.  However, we need to know that human nature is often skeptical, lacks faith, is jealous, and will take offense easily to your plans.  So, you must be careful not to be put off or devastated when people you love reject your plans.  

There is almost a 100% chance that some and even all of the people you value in your life will reject your plan.  Jesus was often rejected and Jesus did nothing wrong in how he followed the plan and lived it out.  So, do not be surprised if your plans are rejected or criticized.  

Relationships are sometimes lost, because of our following the plan we believe God has put in our hearts.  Even and often, parents forsake children, who decide to follow God's plan.  Understand that God has no grandchildren and the plans of God may cause a break and it is not your fault.

You might say, "What if my plan is not God's plan?'  That is why we walk with God today.  That is why we all need a relationship with God, the Spirit of God, who is here now, sent by Jesus, to guide us.  We need to live out the life in Christ, where Jesus is active and working through his disciples on the earth today.  He will determine your steps.  What did you say your plan was?


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