Planning For My Future - Multiple Verses
A B C’s of Planning God’s Way
A __________ my planning in God’s past blessings .
This really is the starting block to planning God’s way - to understand that He has been there with you and helped you in the past.
“Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT
So what’s the key to this first step? Purposeful thanksgiving! Happens in worship. Also daily quiet time. And then talking about it. Continuous reminders in our conversations. This is not automatic. Purposeful. This is the main lesson from the early Old Testament stories. Israel forgot. Solution?
“Search for the LORD and His strength. Always seek his presence. Remember the miracles He performed, the amazing things he did and the judgments He pronounced.” 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 GWT
Search. Active looking. “ALWAYS seek His Presence.” When we don’t do this we slip back into our own strength. We limit our view and our goals. But when we remember that we’re not working in our own strength, but in God’s, we start to think in terms of “miracles” and “amazing.” We start planning with a “why-not?” kind of attitude! God has worked in my past and He will surely work with me and for me in my future!
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’” Lamentations 3:22-24ESV/NIV
The secret to planning with God as your partner and your inspiration is patience. “I will wait for Him.” It doesn’t mean you never act. It DOES mean you begin to think in terms of acting with God - in His love and in His power & strength. So much so that you wouldn’t think of making a move or planning without Him.
That’s WHY we call this 1st step the ANCHOR. We don’t plan in a vacuum. We plan in the midst of difficulties and trials. Sometimes we can’t see about the waves of trouble. But when we go to God every morning and we recognize His love and His mercy and the newness of His relationship in my life, I can plan for better days in the future. Because God DOES have plans for my better future too!
B ____________ now in God’s plans for me so I plan with confidence .
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This kind of confidence is rock solid. Always dependable. We don’t always follow through with our plans and so we can fail. Our failures tend to reinforce themselves so that we just give up on ever planning for a better future. We call this survivor mode. However, our life with God is never just “survivor mode.” Because even when we don’t believe in our future, God does! He has His own plans for us. Good plans. Plans to prosper. Plans that give us hope. We need to believe to tap into them.
That’s why planning God’s way involves trusting in God, not us!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Do you see where it says “in all your ways”? That includes all your planning. So submit all your planning to God. Because He knows things you don’t. Why would we lean on our own understanding when we have God on our side? He says “Come to me.” “Trust me.”
Look at that last part: “He will make your paths straight.” What does that mean? It means there’s more to planning than the first day of planning. We set a goal the first day, and we plan for it. But then the second day, we adjust course. We reevaluate and re-plan based on updated information. The great thing about planning with God is that He helps us with this corrected planning mode.
Look at different translations. (always a good study tool!)
“He will keep your ways straight.” (CEB)
“He will level your paths.”(CJB)
“He will guide you on the right paths.”(CSB)
“He will show you the right way.”(GNT)
“He will make your paths smooth.”(GWT)
“He shall direct thy paths.”(KJV)
“He’s the One Who will keep you on track.”(MSG)
“He will show you which path to take.”(NLT)
So daily planning and adjusting and counting on God for His wisdom, guidance and smoothing out the road ahead. The only thing that doesn’t work is NOT planning and NOT seeking God’s help. We have a word for that: FOOLISH!
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!” Proverbs 13:16 TLB
The wise man is a planner with God as full partner and motivator and - if there’s ever any doubt - the ONE in the driver’s seat of my life. If this is true, THEN I can fully commit to my plans for a brighter, hopeful future.
C _____________ to my future plans knowing God loves me and wants me to succeed.
How do I know I’m really committed? I WORK THE PLAN. Some people just plan plan plan, but never do anything about it. God may make our paths straight, He may smooth out the road ahead, but it’s still up to us to take those steps! We walk WITH God at our side. But WE WALK!
“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks and attend to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23 NLT
What kind of shepherd says, well these really are God’s sheep. He created them. He’ll take care of them. I’ll just sit here. NO! There is active work involved. Knowing the state of my flock and attending to their needs. Same is true of all of our endeavors. All our planning, goals.
When we follow this ABC - Anchor in God, Believe in God’s plans for me, and then Commit to those plans with daily hard work to bring it about - then I can actually pray this prayer of blessing upon myself.
“May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4 NLT
This isn’t self serving in any way. Because I’ve followed the ABCs. I’m anchored in God’s plans. I have confidence in God’s plans. This is another way of saying that I believe He wants the best for me - as HE defines it for me. I’m only praying the same prayer of blessing He also prays over me. That I would know the true desire of my heart the way He does. That all my plans for those future God-oriented desires would also be God blessed.
That becomes our basis for daily worship (not just the Sunday morning variety.) In all I do, whatever I do…
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 NIV
This is a lifelong daily practice. Seeking God. Seeking His will. Knowing His purpose for me. Knowing that purpose will give me my greatest joy. Wanting that purpose with all of my heart. Making plans to bring it about. Having confidence in those plans knowing they are also God’s plans for me. Then working those plans every day. Making adjustments every day. And giving thanks every day for what God has done, for what God is doing, and what God will bring about!