Monday January 22 2018

MCC Pulse 9/1/18 – Plan!

Proverbs 6:6–7, “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest.”

The ant is an example not only because it works so hard, but also because it plans ahead. It takes thought in summer that there will be need in winter, and this forethought provides its needs in winter.

Proverbs 14:15, “The simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going.” 

The difference between planning and not planning is whether you look where you are going in the future or whether you focus all your attention on the immediate right in front of you. If you are not a planner, then you will be at the mercy of others who try to give you counsel about how to act now so as to be happy in the future.

 Proverbs 15:22, “Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Here the wisdom of planning is taken for granted, and the writer simply gives us advice for how to make plans that succeed. He says, Don’t be so independent that you think yourself above counsel. Read the wisdom of others who have gone before you. Talk to experienced and wise people. Watch the way others do things and learn from their mistakes and successes.

Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.”

How can you plan in such a way that what you produce will have abiding value and not just pass away overnight? Answer: Commit it to the Lord. That is, always seek the Lord’s guidance and strength in your planning. Trust his wisdom and not your own. Then your plans will bear fruit that stays. 

Careful planning is part of what makes a person wise and productive. Not to plan is considered foolish and dangerous. This is true even though the Proverbs teach that we do not know what the future may bring. “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). The fact that the Lord is ultimately in control of the future does not mean we shouldn’t plan. It means we should commit our work to the Lord and trust him to establish our plans according to his loving purposes. 

The ultimate reason for planning is that God is a God who plans and we are created in his image to exercise dominion in the earth under his lordship. 

Plan for the Most Important Things in Your Life

Plan how you are going to spend time with your spouse to deepen and strengthen the relationship. Plan how you are going to spend time playing with and teaching the children. Plan how you are going to get the amount of exercise you need to stay healthy. Plan how you are going to get enough sleep. Plan how much you should eat and how you are going to limit yourself. Plan your vacation so that it really gives rest and spiritual renewal.

And most important, plan how prayer and meditation on the Word are going to be significant parts of your life. Without a plan these most important things always get pushed aside by urgent pressures. But it won’t work just to plan something tonight or tomorrow. Planning must be a regular part of your life.