A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. - Proverbs 16:9.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:11-13.
I am now 54 years old (as of May 4) and during those years, I have rarely seen my plans come about in the way I originally planned. Actually, I doubt that any of them have. That may very well be a statement of life that our plans will never turn out exactly as we plan them. Reality may be better than we planned or it may be worse which is often the case.
This failure of planning doesn't just happen to us it happens to everyone from the President of our country to Bill Gates. You may be the smartest person in the world and still your plans will not turn out exactly as you planned. When we put together a plan, it is to some degree a guess of what we think and hope will happen. Because there are too many variables that we have no control over that can change our plan.
I have had during my adult life three careers. I've worked in the oilfield as a pipe inspector. I've been a state parole officer and for the past 13 years, I've served as a pastor. When I graduated from high school, none of those careers were in my plan or even in the realm of what I considered to be possible.
Financially too, only a very few of my plans have actually become reality and then only in an altered way. Living life, we can never be totally prepared for the financial reality. There are so many things that can happen.
In the past year, we have been on a roller coaster financially with the elimination of our debt and then both my wife (Jeanie) and I have experienced unexpected physical problems with the related expenses. Most recently, we have had to replace a transmission in one of our cars. None of those things were foreseen nor did I make adequate plans. Thankfully, God has provided but my financial plans have never turned out as I have originally designed them.
I do not believe any of my plans about anything have ever turned out exactly as I planned. The Bible warns us about this in Proverbs 19:21 where it says, "There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the LORD's counsel--that will stand." Another translation puts it this way, "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it's the LORD's purpose that prevails."
Our plans may be frustrated, almost certainly, they will be - but God's plan will reach its fulfillment. Isaiah 14:24 tells us, "The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, 'Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand'" and, Isaiah 46:10 says, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."
The amazing thing about God's wondrous plan is that He is bringing about that plan through the church and through each one of us that make up His church. Every one of us who know Jesus as our Savior have been elected, chosen, called. There is a purpose for our lives that makes up part of and will help to bring about God's incredible plan. No matter who you are or what your personal plans may be - God has a plan, a purpose, a mission for your life that is of vital, cosmic, eternal importance.
To have success in life we must give up on the idea of being able to map out every detail of our lives because it is never going to happen. Instead, we must seek out God's purpose, and plan for our lives. Become a co-laborer with Him, an Ambassador for Christ. This is His will for your life. It is written in His Word, written in His blood. Seek to serve God, and to see the fulfillment of His plan in your life with each day that you live and you will find significance, meaning, purpose, and success.
(This devotional came from the sermon I preached last Sunday morning. You can hear the entire sermon at: http://www.theburningbush.org/fbcswvideo.html)