Proverbs 16 talks a lot about planning. Solomon makes it clear that plans are defined by God. We may have our own ideas, but God is truly the designer of the future. “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord”. So as we plan, which we definitely should, the key is to focus on alignment with God’s plan, not dreaming up things on our own. His Word gives us great insight into what matters to Him. The plan for our life won’t be in conflict with God’s heart and commands, so we have some real direction on core areas simply by diving deep in His already defined truth.
Solomon also reminds us that execution isn’t about us trying hard. “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established”. Life is not merely me doing my best. God’s not just sitting on the sideline watching as a disinterested and hopeful third party. He desires to partner with us and help us achieve our plans and dreams. But it starts with us realizing who truly is in control. It isn’t about us asking God to bless whatever it is we decide to do. It is about us asking God to help us walk in step with Him as we live out His plan for our life under His power and help committed to His outcomes and desires. If we commit our efforts to Him, we’ll have success. But it isn’t about how hard we work or try. It’s about how well we align and walk with Him.
Solomon continues to drive home that reality. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. We have this inner desire as humans to be in control. God has given us free will which provides us the opportunity to make choices and decisions continually along our life journey. But God’s universal laws and truth will determine what happens. As much as we want to think we’re in the driver seat, and we are in many ways, ultimately God will direct the future. He determines the turns and outcomes. Our opportunity is to understand His ways and walk in them. God will be the ultimate source of success.
Solomon reminds us again of this truth – our ways won’t end well. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death”. God doesn’t dictate what we do in life. He made that clear back in the Garden when Adam and Eve had the choice of whether to obey His commandments or not. We have the choice of how we will live. But God does set the standards and the laws that will dictate the outcome. He determines what happens in the end. We cannot live successfully without careful attention to what we know are His laws for life. Living based on what seems right, or feels good, is a sure path to failure. It’s why planning is so important. We need to have a plan to align with God’s direction and keep us on course, rather than doing what seems right without those guardrails. Do you have a plan for your life? Is it lined up with God’s?