Plan vs. Providence

“The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble…
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him…
The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps…
A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;
    all the weights in the bag are his work…
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver…
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
    and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:1-4,7,9,11,16,20

We plan, plot, and pursue, and all the while God reigns. He watches over His will to perform it, sovereignly using us as instruments while training us in spiritual and practical maturity unto the work He’s planned for us. We walk a mysterious blend of self-will mingled with God’s will, of faith and divine providence, and learn through life that seeking His wisdom and committing our ways to Him frees us to make our way with His blessing. (Jeremiah 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-10)

We are called and empowered to plan- to plan well and in a way that pleases God. That is the secret. Our intent is important to Him who knows our heart. Are we ambitious for success for its own sake, or to win at the expense of righteousness, or others? Are we motivated by greed, or a drive for independence from authority, or a love of ease? Are we accurate and fair in assessing the cost? Are we willing to carry His cross in order to do His will? As we give thought to the standards in God’s word, and entrust our plans to His shaping and favor, we can be sure they will be accomplished according to His purposes. (Luke 14:27-33)

With many choices before us, the choice to seek God’s best should be paramount. Our plans need not oppose or compete with His. When we yield to His sway, His glory will be reflected in all we do, and His work will bring Him praise.

“Have thine own way, Lord! 
Have thine own way! 
Thou art the potter, 
I am the clay. 
Mold me and make me 
after thy will, 
while I am waiting, 
yielded and still. 

Have thine own way, Lord! 
Have thine own way! 
Hold o’er my being 
absolute sway. 
Fill with thy Spirit 
till all shall see 
Christ only, always, 
living in me!” ~Adelaide A. Pollard (1906)

Father, I long to know Your plans for me, and to accomplish them unto You. Teach me to arrange my days within the glorious boundaries of Your good providence, so You fulfill every resolve for good and every work by Your power, in Your time and way. May I follow Your lead with vigor and faith, that You and Your grace be glorified. (Jeremiah 29:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

One thought on “Plan vs. Providence”

  1. Love ❤️ “ Father, …… Teach me to arrange my days within the glorious boundaries of Your good providence, so You fulfill every resolve for good and every work by Your power, in Your time and way. ……” — Amen!

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