Often times, we try to invite God to join in with what we’re planning. But one thing that is crystal clear from this passage is that this the wrong way to go about living our lives.
We shouldn’t be inviting God to join in with what we’re planning. Rather, we should be asking God what he’s planning and how we can join in with him.
Solomon knew this well, and he wrote,
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. (1)
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (9)
We can make all the plans we want to, but the final answer belongs to God. And if our plans aren’t aligned with his, they are doomed to fail.
Solomon goes on to say,
All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. (2)
More than that,
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (25)
Sometimes we even deceive ourselves as to our motives for doing things, and we make our plans because they seem right to us. But God sees to the very heart of why we do things. And though we may feel that our plans are good, they can actually cause us great harm.
So when we make plans, we should be asking him, “Search me and know my heart. Why am I making these plans? Are they truly from you, or are they merely from me?”
Solomon expounds on this idea saying,
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (3)
Again, this doesn’t mean making our plans and saying, “Okay God, please join in with this plan I’ve made, and bless what I’m doing.” Rather, in everything we do, we need to submit to his Lordship, asking “Is this your will? Is this what I should be doing?”
Only when we and our plans are fully submitted to him, can we be assured that our plans will be successful.
For as Solomon said,
The LORD works out everything for his own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster. (4)
God is never surprised by anything that happens. He is never taken aback by the choices we make. He knows every choice people will make, and has plans for every contingency. His plans are never truly disrupted by ours. But ours can be disrupted if they’re contrary to his.
So what do we do? Humble ourselves and ask God what he would have us do. So many people think they are wise enough to make their own decisions without God, but Solomon writes,
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (18)
On the other hand,
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. (20)
How are you living your life? Are you making plans and then asking God to bless them? Are you trying to align God to your will? Or are you aligning yourself to God’s?