Summary: A very "application-oriented" message about how to make plans in view of God’s sovereignty.
Making Wise Plans for the Future
November 2, 2003
We have looked at how to live life in view of God’s control, or sovereignty as the theologians call it. We looked last week at developing a biblical mindset, and next week we look at how to live a life of anticipation of heaven, and of God fulfilling His promises on earth while we wait.
Today I want to talk about how to make plans for the future, as we continue to look at how to live a life in the peace of God.
The Scriptures are clear that planning is a good thing. The Bible says we are to plan on having money to support our family by saving, by looking at what the future might hold, and planning for it, and so on.
So planning is a good thing.
My main emphasis as we go along today will be along the lines of job and career choices, since these are so crucial to our emotional and spiritual well-being, as you will see as go along today.
I’m not going to talk about such things as planning your wardrobe, what color to paint your house, or anything like that. You have a brain, and I’m going to assume at this point that you are capable of making some of those decisions on your own.
But I want to offer you three keys to making wise plans, and my hope is that you will actually make the effort to integrate these into your life.
You won’t regret it, and you may just open yourself up to new adventures for God.
Let’s get started, shall we? The first key to making wise plans for the future is to…
1. Plan with the purposes of God in mind.
This will be where we spend most of our time, so buckle your seat belts!
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.
Two weeks ago, we talked about the fact that God is in control, no matter what, and that man can do nothing to thwart God’s plans.
This verse is stating that our planning should take into account that God’s plans are most important, and that we need to be open to what He wants us to do, even if that means a course correction in mid-life.
Let me share some ideas to help you make plans with the purposes of God in mind:
Ask God for His vision for your life.
We are generally self-sufficient beings, not wanting help from others, because we don’t want to look weak or indecisive.
But if we want to be people of wisdom, we need to listen for God’s voice to give us direction for our lives.
Are you willing to take the time to ask and wait for Him to answer?
You might be thinking that maybe you’re too far along for God to give you His vision or direction for your life, but remember, it’s never too late for God. He is sovereign, remember?
Important: ask for patience from Him in this. Sometimes we get in a hurry, and that’s when we make wrong decisions.
So be serious about asking God to give you a vision for what He has for you.
Seek godly counsel:
The Bible says that with many counselors there is success.
Get input from others. Sometimes we don’t always see things as they really are, because we are so wrapped up in the circumstances, we can’t see outside of them. So it’s very valuable to get counsel. Let me offer you, very quickly, three major sources of counsel that you can take advantage of:
Did you know that one of the chief reasons God gave you your spouse was to complete you?
This implies something: you are incomplete! If you’re married, you have a goldmine of inside information about your personality and strengths, temperament, and all sorts of stuff that no one has access to except him or her.
Part of how your spouse completes you is in helping you make wise decisions.
Ask your spouse about what you’re thinking. And be willing to listen. Even if what they say is not in line with what you are hoping or planning.
This is humbling, believe me. I’ve had to re-think a lot of things after talking to Debra, but after I get over my pride, I see she’s usually right after all.
Quick disclaimer: if God has called you to be single, then you are still incomplete, but you find completeness in God and others, not a spouse.
My talk of incompleteness is not meant to be a slam against being single, nor is it meant to proclaim that everyone should be married.