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The Best Laid Plans

12 Jul

Four Greek LettersTrevor Lund of Expectancy Ministries ~ “Rev Trev” ~ loves to tell stories about his daughter when she was a little girl. He wrote about how NOT to teach a three-year-old Greek. (6/23/11 newsletter)

“Taiessa was three,” Lund wrote. “She was saying words like ‘indubitably’ in the correct context, Greek Alphabetbut on occasion had trouble saying words with ‘th’ and mixed ‘d’ and ‘g’ sometimes. We would correct her when it was necessary, and she was usually eager to say things correctly … that is unless she heard herself say it correctly.

“I had it in mind to teach her the Greek alphabet. She didn’t have a firm grasp of the English one,  mind you, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to teach her Greek, French, Hebrew, and possibly Latin (if I could learn it first) before she went to kindergarten. I’d let the teacher handle the basics.

“On one fine day, I got her excited about learning the Greek alphabet, so I began:  ‘Taiessa, repeat after me.’

“OK, Daddy!”

“Alpha, Beta, Gamma…”

“Daddy, it’s GRANDMA, not GAMMA!” she emphatically insisted.

“The best laid schemes of mice and men….”

Indeed, the most carefully prepared plans may go wrong.

A scripture verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” In other words, we may make plans in our hearts and even act on them, but it is God who controls the outcome. (See Proverbs 16:9).

Many people have used the folksy quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Kenneth Boa, president of Reflections Ministries, says, “We could add to it, ‘If you want to hear him laugh even louder, tell him how much you know.'” (1)

Pride of knowledge is a subtle root problem in much of our planning. We simply think we know everything! Sometimes this pride leads to boasting.

James gives us some insight on this: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes….” (James 4:13-14a; 15-16a).

Our proper attitude in making plans should be to make the wisest plans we can, but also to keep our hands and hearts open to any changes God wants to make. There’s no room for boasting God'sWay-MyOwnWay signabout our plans (Proverbs 27:1; Luke 12:18-20). There’s no room for presumption over what is going to happen; we need to trust God and give all of our expectations to God. 

When it comes to planning, we must be careful that we have no personal agenda except to obey, serve, glorify, and please God. Our attitude should be humility and dependency on Him. We must acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives. Jesus came to do all that the Father asked Him to do (John 4:34; 6:38) ~ He had no other plans. He said “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). “Not my own way, but your way, Father” ~ that should be our desire as we consider our plans.

The scriptures say, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). The “best laid plans” are those plans that are fully surrendered to the Lord.



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