Tag Archives: planning

Have a plan

moses-2628535_1920Moses, what a guy.  Talk about job stress—the perks were pretty great but so were the occupational hazards.  (And I think I have tough days!)  At least there was clear communication with the Boss; no lost email trails or intra-office misinterpretation of body language, all that.  God’s instructions were always unmistakably clear, right down to what colors of decorative embroidery thread to use for the big church tent!

One year into their miraculous escape/rescue from centuries of Egyptian slavery, God now has them positioned to pull up the stakes and start their journey in earnest to the Promised Land. 

He has also promised to be their Guide, a cloud by day and something that looks like a pillar of fire by night.  Again, fairly distinctive, even for someone directionally challenged, like me.  When He moves left, they move left.  When He stops, they stop, and up go all the tents.  Kind of like a cosmic GPS.  What could be easier?

Then I read this short conversation sandwiched in the account of the Israelites getting ready to leave.  It’s between Moses and his brother-in-law, Hobab, (who is not an Israelite).  Moses is inviting him to join them on their journey, and that they will share all the blessings that God will give them. 

“But Hobab replied, ‘No, I will not go. I must return to my own land and family.’  ‘Please don’t leave us,’ Moses pleaded. ‘You know the places in the wilderness where we should camp. Come, be our guide.’”

Hold on.  I thought God was their guide…?  Has the great leader of the Old Testament who walked his people through the sea on dry land and spoken to God Almighty in the burning bush suddenly gotten cold feet?

As much as I love the “humanness” of our biblical heroes, I don’t think that is the case.  We’re talking about over a million human beings here, so “camping out” isn’t just a matter of taking over, say, an entire State Park.  It’s more like taking over Chicago.  God was going to guide Moses to a general area; a good leader was needing to prepare for at least some of the particulars.

Now, I’ll admit that one of my failsafe, fall back phrases is “God’s got a plan”.  Okay, true enough.  But many times, the very real question of the moment is,… do I?

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

In other words, God’s guidance does not preclude my personal responsibility.  Reasoning brain and redeemed spirit work hand-in-hand.  It may seem like push and shove sometimes, but God can still get His end result accomplished.

ThreadBecause sometimes He may just give us the pattern and let us pick out the color of thread.

Numbers 10:30; Proverbs 16:9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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You can make plans …

Keeping it short and sweet today, the sixteenth chapter of Proverbs basically says the same thing throughout:

You can make plans.

Sometimes you get in the way of your plans.

Sometimes others, such as those in authority over you, get in the way of your plans.

Sometimes everything flows perfectly.

In every case, the Lord is in control.

It may be that He allows your mistakes and missteps to detail your plans, or He sends someone to block your path, or He keeps all of that from happening to let your plans succeed.

No matter how much you scheme, wink at the right people at the right time, or surround yourself with faithful helpers, if you are not relying on God, your plans may very well be worthless.

Trust God to guide you, and your plans will become His plans. Or at the very least, you can more easily handle when plans seem to change suddenly.

Take a few minutes to read chapter 16. You will see how much Good has told us.


Prior Planning and Preparation

Proverbs 24:27 

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

photoA very good friend of mine is building his retirement home at the moment. I have to admit that Frank has certain advantages as a trained carpenter who has worked in construction all his life. He also has experience, having built his first house forty years ago. Frank sold that house when his father died and moved into his dad’s bungalow. Directly behind his father’s home there was an orchard. Frank cleared the orchard and some old outbuildings, and got planning permission to build a large garage with an adjoining workshop. This was designed and constructed so that it would comply with the rules for a residential building, with the aim of one day converting the garage/workshop. That work is currently underway. A new smaller garage has been completed and the former garage/workshop extended and altered internally. The roof is now complete, windows were being fitted last week, and under-floor heating has been installed.

A great deal of planning has gone into Frank’s new home over a number of years. There has been wise financial planning, and much forethought on many levels, including the need to comply with past and present building regulations. Without this level of planning Frank would not have been able to build his new house.

Thinking about this proverb and the way that Frank has planned reminds me of another carpenter, and the amount of prior planning and preparation that preceded His arrival in the world 2,000 years ago. God didn’t just have a bright idea one day in Heaven. He planned for His Son to visit our planet in human form before He created the Universe. Furthermore, God’s attention to even the smallest detail meant that He planned the writing of this Proverbial Thought and He knew who would read it. I find that absolutely mind blowing. Having planned and prepared God then built His house. Jesus told us that it has many rooms; and that there is a room in His Father’s house for each of us. It gets better. Jesus paid the rent up front, in full.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NIV)

Prior Planning and Preparation

Proverbs 24:27 

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

photoA very good friend of mine is building his retirement home at the moment. I have to admit that Frank has certain advantages as a trained carpenter who has worked in construction all his life. He also has experience, having built his first house forty years ago. Frank sold that house when his father died and moved into his dad’s bungalow. Directly behind his father’s home there was an orchard. Frank cleared the orchard and some old outbuildings, and got planning permission to build a large garage with an adjoining workshop. This was designed and constructed so that it would comply with the rules for a residential building, with the aim of one day converting the garage/workshop. That work is currently underway. A new smaller garage has been completed and the former garage/workshop extended and altered internally. The roof is now complete, windows were being fitted last week, and under-floor heating has been installed.

A great deal of planning has gone into Frank’s new home over a number of years. There has been wise financial planning, and much forethought on many levels, including the need to comply with past and present building regulations. Without this level of planning Frank would not have been able to build his new house.

Thinking about this proverb and the way that Frank has planned reminds me of another carpenter, and the amount of prior planning and preparation that preceded His arrival in the world 2,000 years ago. God didn’t just have a bright idea one day in Heaven. He planned for His Son to visit our planet in human form before He created the Universe. Furthermore, God’s attention to even the smallest detail meant that He planned the writing of this Proverbial Thought and He knew who would read it. I find that absolutely mind blowing. Having planned and prepared God then built His house. Jesus told us that it has many rooms; and that there is a room in His Father’s house for each of us. It gets better. Jesus paid the rent up front, in full.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4 NIV)