The Wisdom of Planning Ahead

August 28, 2014

The Wisdom of Planning Ahead

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Proverbs 21:5).

Someone has said, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”  It is extremely important that we plan ahead, but we must also seek the will of God.  If what we plan to do doesn’t meet with God’s approval, it is certain that his blessing won’t be on it.  Pray about what you plan to do, and wait for his approval.  Seek God’s direction in carrying out what you plan to do.  If we humbly pray the prayer of David in Psalm 31:3 we can claim the promise of God in Psalm 32:8.  “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.”  “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

The wise man, Solomon, strongly recommended that we plan ahead.  He tells us that we should do things in order.  Proverbs 24:27 says, “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”  He is saying, don’t neglect the necessary to do something visionary.  If, for example, you plan to build a house, he gives the following advice.  “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:   And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4).  The Apostle Paul also said in I Corinthians 14:40 “Do all things decently and in order.”  That takes planning.

The man who loves God includes the glory of God in his plans.  His thoughts are not just in bringing glory to himself, but rather in bringing glory to God.  I Corinthians 10:3 says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  Many come to shame and disgrace because they don’t seek the wisdom of God in their planning.  In James 1:5 God promises to give us wisdom.  “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

Evil men know how to plan.  In Proverbs 24:1-2 Solomon warns us of the danger of being envious of what they accomplish.  “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.   For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” God promises to give mercy and truth to those who plan to do good.  “Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.” The terrorists who destroyed the twin towers in New York City some years ago had planned well.  It is possible to plan ways of bringing about destruction and misery.  It is far better to plan ways of bringing about prosperity and happiness.  Micah 6:8 tells us, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

We can’t plan well without wisdom.  Wisdom is to make decisions based on knowledge of the truth.  It helps to have knowledge of history.  It may be that others have already tried and failed to do what we are planning to do.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but we need to give serious consideration to the obstacles that will be in our path.  Jesus gives us that admonition in Luke 14:28-30.  “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,   Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”  If God is calling us to do something, it is possible to do it, in spite of the obstacles that stand in our way.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

In planning for the future there are goals we should set for the days, months, and years ahead.  Many long distance goals are reached by reaching the goals we have set for today and tomorrow.  If we don’t have the discipline and stamina to complete the near goals, there is no chance that we will reach those we have set for months and years ahead.

Not planning ahead is an indication of a lack of initiative.  More and more people today are adapting to the welfare system that provides for their needs without asking that they give anything in return.  They make little effort toward self-improvement since the provision of their needs doesn’t depend on them.  Have you ever thought of what would happen to our society if all welfare payments were suddenly cut of?

If you are a child of God, you are special in his sight, but he wants to make you better.  We are all a work under construction, and we will be until we die.  Then we shall be what we should be.

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