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Don’t you hate when your plans fall apart? It’s downright maddening to carefully make a plan only to have it not work out. Here are 5 essential steps to making plans that will not fail.
Jeremiah 10:29 is a rather startling verse to read if you’re a control freak. Really. It’s not at all cool if you like guarantee your own outcomes by your own efforts. And I do. Is that you, too, my lovely friend?
I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
~Jeremiah 10:29, ESV
Seriously startling, right? It’s just not in you (or me) to chart our own course. What a counter-cultural truth!
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Spurgeon (ah, I love Spurgeon!) had a great message about this verse where he discussed what you should take from this verse. And if you follow his directions, your plans simply can’t fail (you can read the full sermon entitled “An Instructive Truth” here if you’re interested).
First, Spurgeon wants you to recognize the truth in this statement. There are things beyond your control that exist outside of yourself. You can’t control sickness or accidents or other outside forces.
Next, even if you could chart your own course, you shouldn’t. The heart of man is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and therefore cannot be trusted.
Spurgeon suggests that “even when grace has renewed his nature, his judgment is so fallible that it is a great mistake for him to attempt to direct his own way.” Simply put, we’re redeemed, but we’re still so incredibly human that we need to leave the directing of our life in God’s hands.
Lastly, it is suggested that you shouldn’t need to plan your own way because God who loves you and who sees the end from the beginning does it for you.
Making Plans That Will Not Fail
So how on earth can you make plans that won’t fail? These 5 tips for making plans are the way:
Avoid Making Resolutions
In James 2:13-15 it is suggested that you don’t say “I’ll do that no matter what,” but rather adjust your thinking. Instead, say “should the Lord allow…” and recognize God’s sovereignty. Any plan established by God will not fail.
Don’t Have Expectations
It’s also not good to have expectations. Spurgeon suggests that the only expectation we can have is that God will keep His promises. Our God is not a liar and you can trust everything He says (Psalm 33:4). In order to not have your plans fail, you can expect only for the things God has ordained to come true.
Don’t Misplace Your Security
The old adage to “hold onto the things of this world with open hands” rings true in light of this prophetic encouragement from Jeremiah. Holding tightly to the things of this world won’t work; they are temporal. Don’t allow yourself to feel secure in anything other than God.
Submit to God in All Things
Proverbs 16:9 reminds that a man can plan his course, but only God can establish His path. Whatever you do, if you want your plans to succeed, they must be submitted to God.
Pray About Everything
As Paul said in his letter to the Philippian church, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, ESV).
If you pray about everything, God will surely lead you in His truth.
If you want to learn more about prayer, take the free 5-day Prayer Challenge.
Plans That Do Not Fail
The only plans that do not fail are the ones set in place by God. If you want to be able to plan your life, you must do so in alignment with His Word and through prayer, trusting Him each step of the way.
Related: Learning to Balance Faith and Logic