Friday we started this new devotional series on plans, and looked at some verses that showed that God appreciates and approves of plans. Throughout this series we’ll gain Biblical insight on several different aspects of planning, but I would be remiss if I didn’t start this series by saying: Include God in Your Plans!
If you’re a Christian, you should be including God in every part of your life, and that includes the plans you make. I chose a photo of a wedding here – my parent’s wedding ceremony actually – because weddings require a LOT of planning. But this discussion applies to ALL types of planning – work, family, finances, short-term, long-term, etc. If we aren’t giving God a role in our planning, then we’re actually excluding Him. We’re saying that we know better than Him how to order our steps. But that’s not how we should be approaching things.
Proverbs 3:5-6 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.
When we’re making plans, it’s OK to do research, get training, phone a friend, or whatever we need to do to gain better understanding of a subject. But we should be asking God to help guide us to the right resources to form a good plan, to help us make sense of the information we receive, and to help us see the difference between worldy knowledge and spiritual truth. “Acknowledge Him” doesn’t just mean thank God when you receive your award, it means to put God in charge of your planning team.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
This is from the same speech that includes “Consider the lilies of the field” and talks about how if God takes care of them, He will take care of you as well. That passage is NOT about laying aside your plans and your work and just letting God handle it all; it is not justification to become a vagabond. Jesus has just been talking about putting our treasure in heaven, and not serving both God and money. He’s talking about the pressures and priorities of serving the world, instead of putting our focus on Him. That doesn’t mean not having jobs and responsibilities, (lilies still have to bloom and pollinate, right?) It means that when we choose to have Him and His ways as a guiding force, we can stop being worried and anxious about work all the time, because we know He’ll take care of our needs. But to fulfill the “seek first” part of that, we need this part:
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
When we do our work as for the Lord, that should mean we’re doing it in the way God would want it done; in a way that is pleasing to Him. Do our plans measure up to God’s standards, and His laws? Do they align with God’s priorities? And with God’s character? Are we acting within the fruits of the spirit, for example working towards peace, or being faithful? When we include God in our planning process we choose to work within His will, not through our own will. then they are going to be pleasing to Him, and that’s bound to make our plans more successful, don’t you think?