December 30, 2008

Planning for 2009

As I was driving last night, I heard a sermon about making plans and the importance of including God in those plans. This is timely because at the end of the year, I’m thinking of what the new year will bring and what I’d like to accomplish. The preacher said it is not wrong to plan, yet I need to remember that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). While I can make decisions, ultimately God is sovereign over my life.

Today’s devotional carries the same theme. The verse is Ecclesiastes 7:8: “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

The writer speaks about planning, including resolutions and decisions about the coming year. He says this (edited & personalized) to me:
Rarely will I know or foresee what will happen as a result of anything I attempt. I might begin it with great hope and in the end be sadly disappointed. I might begin it with much fear and find later that those fears are utterly groundless. It is rare that my expectations are fully carried out for I must learn again and again that I can “plan my way, but the Lord directs my steps.” I must also learn that my heart is filled with plans yet only the counsel of the Lord shall stand (Proverbs 19:21).

Yet because I am in the family of God and under His guidance, teaching and leading, whether my first expectations are accomplished or not, the end stamps wisdom and goodness upon all His dealings with me. God could take me the way of Job whose purposes were broken off and when he looked for good, evil came to him. Yet even after all those bitter things God seemed to place against him, eventually Job was blessed.

It is the same for every child of God, even for me. After all is said and done, I will be able to say, “Oh, how great is Your goodness which You have laid up for those who fear You” (Psalm 31:19) and boldly proclaim, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
These thoughts are helping me plan tentatively and with prayer. This includes the usual goals of eating healthier, exercising more, losing weight, but also goals like reading through the chronological Bible and learning new ways to worship Jesus, such as focusing on His ultimate glory as I exalt Him.

For me, and for all who plan for this coming year, may God be in those plans, giving sound ideas, providing insight and energy, and totally directing every step.


Margo said...

So blessed ready your entry today..I have been looking back over all the things God has spoken at the beginning of each year.. He spoke He will do a new plans are in His hands and you are right He is the child with His father....we simple trust and obey...Blessings this New Year...Maine

LC said...

Thank you. God is always so wonderful, so loving toward us even in His discipline, so wise. May you have a wonderful new year too.