When we unpacked Proverbs 27:1, we learned that bragging about our plans isn’t the way to go. But what about planning? Surely that isn’t a bad thing.
After all, Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). Sounds like planning to me. And when David wrote, “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” (Psalm 20:4), we’d need those plans in hand, yes?
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans… Proverbs 19:21
Story of my life, beloved. Endless good intentions. Lists upon lengthy lists. Not just to-do but must-do. I have a Word document with my daily schedule that runs through 2016. It is 35 pages long. I wish I was kidding.
Uh-oh. I just ran roughshod over our favorite proverb, “Do not boast about tomorrow” (Proverbs 27:1). Still, a crazy-busy schedule is nothing to brag about.
- It says, “I can’t say no.”
- It says, “My priorities are out of whack.”
- It says, “I’m afraid to let go.”
- It says, “I don’t trust anyone else to get the job done.”
Confession may be good for the soul, but it looks pretty ugly on the screen.
Whether our notebooks have pale blue lines on paper or tiny pixels on a screen, we keep “brainstorming options” (MSG), coming up with “many devices” (ASV) and creating “all kinds of plans” (EXB).
That’s the problem. They’re our plans. We forget to check with God before we check our calendars. We neglect to seek His counsel before we start looking for something to write on.
“We may make a lot of plans” (CEV), but it’s worth asking—where are all those ideas generated?
…in a person’s heart,… Proverbs 19:21
Ah. Human plans, then. Not divine. Some plans that “occupy the mind” (ISV) may reveal questionable motives or selfish desires or outcomes that aren’t remotely good for us.
We all know “the impulses of the human heart may run wild” (VOICE). When I was twenty I wrote out a bucket list of sorts. Sky diving was in my Top 10. A decade ago, I quietly dropped that one. (Jump out of a perfectly good airplane on purpose? Not this girl.)
The truth is, we can plan all we like,…
…but… Proverbs 19:21
My favorite word in the Bible.
But forces us to reconsider and reminds us Who is in charge.
But halts our wayward thinking and tugs us back on track.
The Lord “knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile” (Psalm 94:11). We may act like we’re all that, like we know what’s best for us. But God knows better.
…it is the Lord’s purpose… Proverbs 19:21
Purpose tells us this is not a whim, not a passing notion. God isn’t capricious, pushing us around for His amusement. Everything He does is according to His will—His “good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
That’s why we can depend on “the counsel of Jehovah” (ASV). We can say with David, “I trust in you, Lord,” and “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14).
We can watch “Adonai’s plan” (CJB) unfold and know it’s His very best plan for us. Does it always look like a good plan when we’re in the middle of it? Well…no. Will it prove to be the best plan when we stand at the finish line? Absolutely.
We can’t picture with any certainty what our lives will be like even five minutes from now. The phone rings, a letter arrives, a text message appears, and nothing is the same. Yet the Lord is always the same—“yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
His plan is The Plan.
…that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
The only time we hear the word prevail anymore is when a weather forecaster talks about prevailing winds. The cool thing is, prevail means “victorious.” Literally, the One left standing.
On hard days, when I lose my bearings and get bogged down in the details of life, this is what keeps me going: knowing God wins. His plan is the ultimate plan, the one that will “succeed” (CEB) and “stand firm” (DRA) and “endure” (GW). We can be sure His purpose “wins out in the end” (NIRV).
I love happy endings. Sometimes in movies or books, that final scene can be downright sappy. But in real life? Our forever life? Bring on the hats tossed in the air, the bells ringing, the showers of confetti, the angels singing.
When God wins, “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). When God wins, there will only be joy.
Now it’s your turn
- What does this promise mean to you personally: “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (Psalm 33:11)?
Thanks for taking a moment to share under Post a Comment below. Your honesty warms my heart, every time.
Meanwhile, the free Printable of Proverbs 19:21 is ready to download. If you’re memorizing our 50 Proverbs, these printables can really help.
And have you checked out the Artful Words from Proverbs that I’ve pinned on Pinterest? At the moment you’ll find 33 colorful, inspirational images to share and pin.
I love autumn, so am thrilled September is finally here. Blessings on your day!
Your grateful sister, Liz