This was a guest post on Michael Whitworth's Start2Finish blog today. For the original post, click here.
In my early days in college I was dating a girl whose father was a preacher, as if I wasn't afraid of going home to visit her parents enough already. I dated this girl for over a year and I went to her home several times. Every time we would go to worship, she had a young man who was a friend of hers who liked to sit beside her every time she was there. He was four or five and loved to color with crayons.
Every time my girlfriend's father would preach, he had a handout. These would be passed out to the congregation at the start of the sermon and the people could follow along with notes and fill in the blanks.
The young man who was sitting beside us would immediately get the paper and turn it over and start scribbling on the blank side opposite the nicely formatted notes on the other side. He would "draw" pictures of ships, planes, or cars. He would even sometimes give them to me or my girlfriend to keep after services.
Proverbs 16 begins by talking about plans. Verse 3 specifically says that if we commit our work to the Lord that our plans will be established.
How do we make plans in our lives? How do we go about all the planning and figuring and saving for all the different things we want to do?
And, in those plans, is God a factor?
We live in a horribly busy world. I kind of get irritated when kids in my youth group complain about boredom. I can't remember the last time I was truly bored with nothing to do. And when I think about where I've been, I've been busy making plans for years. I've been going to college, getting married, having children, running a ministry, getting caught up in events and hobbies - you get the point. Most of us are incredibly busy people.
The Bible in many ways says that, in a nutshell: if your plans don't involve God, then they really don't even matter in the long run.
If you're making plans without God, it's like drawing on the opposite side of the paper. After we're done, our crayon scratches and lines look like foolishness. God's plans were neatly put on the front side of the paper, we just didn't bother to look at it. We wanted to do it ourselves. We wanted to make our own plans without consulting God.
At this time of the year, we honor those who graduate from high school. Do we ask our 18 year olds how God factors into their plans? What college they will attend? How they intend to grow as a Christian away from the nest?
What about choosing a spouse? Do we ask if this person is going to help me get to heaven? Of do we just think they are " the one" we're supposed to be with?
Maybe you or members of your family have health concerns. Have you prayed to God about it? Have you asked Him for His will to be done?
You see, we can get carried away in life making plans for our future and forget to factor God in, to make Him the center of our plans for life. We forget that God is one who delivers us, watches out for us, and keeps us safe.
One of the big overall themes of Proverbs is wisdom. Having wisdom, making good decisions. A wise man or woman seeks God's plans for their life first. If we do that, then we can know that everything in our lives will fall into place.