Are You Planning or Trusting?
Infertility. Broken relationships. A scary diagnosis. A new career move or move to a new home. I hope you'll view this post through the lens of whatever uncertainty you're facing right now, friend.
One of my tweets this week drew fire from an apparent atheist. You can read the exchange with my new friend, Steven, below:
So is Steven right? Does inviting people to trust God create irresponsible sluggards? If so, such sluggards have sorely misinterpreted what it means to trust.
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Trusting in Christ does not negate our need to plan and act according to his will. It does, however, take away the worry associated with screwing up or accidentally going the wrong way. Believing that God is always working for the good of those who love him also replaces worry with peace.
The Bible has a lot to say about human plans.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
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
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
What do these verses teach us about human planning?
1. God expects us to have plans.
He made us each uniquely, not as robots for him to control via heavenly remote.
2. God invites us to seek him as we make plans.
He gives us guidelines in the Bible. Run from plans that miss the mark (i.e. involve sin). Chase plans that seek the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
3. God blesses plans that align with his will.
Seek insight through prayer, as well as by discussing your ideas with other believers.
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4. God intervenes in our plans to nudge our hearts into agreement with his.
Sometimes God's answer is "No" or "Wait". Both answers can bring us into a deeper relationship with him as we seek what's next.
5. God encourages us to use our brains to solve problems.
In Luke 14, Jesus talks about a foolish builder and a foolish king. Both fail to plan. The first cannot finish his house. The second arrives at a battle ten-thousand men short. What's the point? You've probably heard it before: Use your common sense!
6. We need not fear the future because God's good plans always prevail.
Even believers struggle to know God's will. Sometimes we think we're getting a green light only to hit a road block. Here's the good news: Despite our failures and disappointments, when we earnestly seek God and trust in his sovereignty, we can rest in this certainty: The Almighty will always lead us to where we need to be.
Photo by Werner Sevenster on Unsplash
Hence my tweet about Trust=Peace. When you have a God who spends 24/7 acting on your behalf, there truly is no need to worry. But plan? Oh yes. Which brings me to one of my favorite verses about planning, trusting, and peace.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Translation? Dream big!
Or you can be like Steven and delight yourself in the superior peace of mind enjoyed by non-believers. Self-reliance, no savior, and no guarantees (Friends, his Twitter profile pic makes me sad).
As for me, I'll continue to choose what's behind door number one. Trust=Peace.