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Planning and Preparation

June 11th, 2009

Any enterprise . . built by wise planning becomes strong.” Proverbs 24:3 The Living Bible

“Planning is looking with faith into a future that God alone knows.”

My thoughts today are about “planning and preparation.”

“Any enterprise . . built by wise planning becomes strong.” Proverbs 24:3 TLB. There is an unstated assumption and condition in today’s verse – that first, you’re engaging yourself in a venture at God’s direction. That is an incredibly important first determination. “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.” Proverbs 21:30 NIV.

The best of careful planning will never succeed as well without the Lord’s favor and blessing, as it will with them. Put God first in your planning. “I know, Lord, that a person’s life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course.” Jeremiah 10:23 NLT. Wisdom comes from above, not within. “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT.

Planning is looking with faith into a future that God alone knows. You want to successfully accomplish what you begin. There is a practical thing for you to consider. Jesus taught that every venture begins with cost estimating, whether a man building or a king going to war. “Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it . . consider whether he is able to oppose the one coming against him?” Luke 14:28-33 NIV. Planning alone will not guarantee your success, but wisely doing so increases the possibilities of your successful venture while not doing so greatly lessens or eliminates those possibilities. Failing to plan is a plan – to fail!

I was a Boy Scout, and as any Scout knows, their motto is “Be prepared!” Well, anyone who has lived any time at all has realized that you can’t always know for what you need to prepare. So what do you do? You prepare as you can and then trust God for the unforeseen. See Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT. You can trust God to direct your paths in everything in between, because God “declares the end from the beginning” Isaiah 46:10 NLT. And there will be things unforeseen in spite of your best preparations. Here is your point of confidence at such times: “The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 NLT.

Achievement requires more than God’s initiative and your good planning; success demands the hard work of your preparation. Never try to do for yourself what only God could best accomplish through you. The best and wisest plans will not succeed without God’s blessing and your obedient and diligent efforts to accomplish them. Do not expect God – or anyone else – to do for you what you can do for yourself; give God your absolutely best efforts for Him to bless. That is what separates those who succeed and those who won’t.

Paul described those who “will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21 NIV. I want those words to describe my life, and I think you will as well.

My prayer for you today is to know what you are to do and do it well as unto the Lord.

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