The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
–Proverbs 16:9

Some Christians think planning is unspiritual. They say, “I just let go and let God.” But the Bible says that only a foolish person refuses to make plans. Over and over, the Bible extols the value of careful planning in every area of your life.

The writer of Proverbs emphasized the benefits of planning. He said, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established” (16:3). “Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance” (20:18). “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty” (21:5).

Of course, God has the final word about our future, but that does not mean we should avoid making plans. Here are four important components of developing your plan:

First, clarify the problem. Summarize in a word or a phrase the problem you are trying to remedy in your life, such as financial insolvency, wrong career choice, or termination from a job.

Second, visualize the goal. In one sentence, describe your desired outcome for this problem. Let’s say you are facing financial stress. You could say, “I would like to have enough money so I do not have to be overly concerned about finances.” That is a biblical goal. Proverbs 30:8 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food that is my portion.”

Third, identify the obstacles. What barriers are keeping you from your optimal situation? In the example of financial stress, maybe your income is too little, or your outgo is too much. Maybe you have maxed out your credit cards or failed to save enough for financial margin.

Fourth, specify the steps of action. Once you have identified the obstacles to your goal, write down specific action steps to remove those obstacles. For example, if you have insufficient cash flow each month, then you could find a different job, get a second job, or reduce your expenses.

Obviously, any of our plans can be overridden by an all-powerful God. But the reality of God’s sovereignty does not negate the importance of developing plans. We all need a plan.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know To Start Over When I’ve Blown It?” ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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