Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 5. Plans

Proverbs 12:5
The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

This is probably dumb, but sometimes I feel guilty for making plans. I feel like I shouldn't have to make plans, I should just pray more. I feel like my options are to either plan or pray. For instance, I want to write a book and speak at more churches, but if I actually call churches and conferences and make plans to do that, God will be disappointed in me. He'll look down from heaven and grumble, "Why do you keep making plans? I want you to wait at home, on the couch and let me provide you everything you need." And didn't Proverbs 12:2 say that favor comes from the Lord?

But here, the righteous are making plans and the plans are just. They have not failed because they made plans. They are not sinning because they have made plans. I think it’s OK to prepare. To work hard on our dreams and our goals. I don't think making plans means we don't trust God. In fact, it might actually be an act of trust. Because when you plan, you put yourself out there. Planning takes hope and trust in a Lord that knows the outcome of all situations but might not have shared them with you yet.

Which is better to do, plan or pray? I think the answer is "yes."

17 comments:

Andrew Rennie said...

Loving this study on Proverbs 12. Thanks for the work Jon.

Lisa said...

Great post. I'm a planner, too, and sometimes get criticized (only lightly though) by those who aren't.

But the Spirit works in all points of time, and for me, he works strong in the "pre-" times, helping me with the planning so I'm freed up to more effectively glorify God when the planned event occurs.

And, yes, pray. Before, during, after. :-)

Jeremy said...

wow!

thanks a lot jon! :)

this series of your has been been really appropriate for where I am at with my life... except for the wife one :D

but today especially, just affirmed me that there is nothing wrong when I "jump the gun and plan"

Donna said...

yes.

LeLe said...

My problem is that I rely too much on the planning because I want to be in control and know the outcome. And for me, there is fine line between planning and trusting in God that I don't realize I've crossed. I have a hard time with this one...

Paul said...

Well, that depends. If you use planning, like I did for much of my life, as a way to escape the here and now, it can be a very destructive practice indeed. I was constantly thinking about what comes next. In my mind it was always about where I wanted to be fifteen minutes from now, fifteen days from now or fifteen months from now. It was never about now. I used it as a way to disengage or better yet as a way to avoid ever being engaged in the first place. If my mind is elsewhere, you don’t matter. I don’t even have to acknowledge you. Since I already planned this moment at some point in the past, it’s already over for me. You’re history. I’ve already moved on to the next thing.

{ jamie } said...

From yet another planner, thanks for this post. And I think you're right about the answer: yes.

Justin said...

Yes

Justin said...

Yes

Tabitha said...

Great post, and great thoughts on planning versus praying. I've been reading a book by Dallas Willard called "Hearing God" and it is related to this idea. My favorite illustration he gives is at the very beginning of the book. He writes about a mother watching her child on the playground. He says something to the effect of, "Whether the kid plays on the swing, the slide, or the monkey bars, if he's playing happily, he is completely in his mother's will." Essentially, his point is that God's will isn't necessarily a "Do this and only this; go to this school; marry this person" type of will. It's more about obedience to Him in whatever choices we make.

Anyway...thanks for sharing these daily thoughts from Proverbs! I love it.

Kendra Golden said...

The part that hit me was the "putting yourself out there." I've gone way out on a limb for God and it's pretty scary up here sometimes. Even though this was the plan and I've prayed about it a lot.

Daniel said...

This reminds me of that story in "Facing the Giants" where the old man talks about the two farmers praying for rain, but only one preparing his field.

He was obviously "planning" for the rain to come and having faith that God would provide the rain.

I guess, to me, this goes along with James 2:26, the "faith without works" idea.

Bruce IV said...

Yeah - at least in my own life, I find that my plans tend to work out a whole lot better when I'm also praying a lot about them while making them.

NEM said...

I thank u and praise God for "this".

'This' stands for today's insight. I've been wrestling with this lately.

'This' stands for sharing through the medium of this blog. I've never done a daily devotional and this is blessing me. Also the books mentioned in the comments sound like ones I want to read.

Thanks again.

CAUGHTNOTTAUGHT said...

I suspect that a good verse to read alongside this one is Proverbs 12: 11.

He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Nobody who works his land fails to plan.

http://caughtnottaught.blogspot.com/2008/11/proverbs-12-11.html

vikki (Philippines) said...

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. If you want to make him laugh some more, tell Him what you know".

Ken Boa mentioned that in his study series (on Proverbs, i think)...

Sylvia Goode Basham said...

Thanks!