The Plans of Man

The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but l the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
    be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
    than great revenues with injustice.
The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:1-9).

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (Proverbs 19:21).

As I’ve been reading Proverbs, this theme comes up again and again: We plan, we pursue, we do good deeds, but only God knows our motives. We act, but God ordains. And what God ordains will stand.

One of the many principles this passage teaches is that planning is great and it’s important, but my plans are best written in pencil. They may fail. They may come together in a very different way than I initially expected.

But God will not be slowed down. He will not be hindered. While my plans may fizzle, God’s purposes will never fail.

And that’s a great comfort.