In yesterday’s post we looked at getting our strategy from the Holy Spirit. Often, He will lead you in an unpredictable direction. However, this in no way negates using your brain. God expects you to use the Bible, and the wisdom He has already given you, to make wise decisions.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible for planning is found in the Book of Proverbs (my favorite Book in the Bible).
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV
When you are not sure what way the Holy Spirit may be leading you, use your godly wisdom. Simply make the best decisions you can with the information at hand, then trust that the Lord will guide you as you go. He will open doors, or shut doors, depending on what direction He wants you to go. But,
God cannot guide you if you are standing still!
Paul, the apostle, planned his missionary journey by simply following the Great Commission.
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
However, as he was heading into a city, the Holy Spirit told him not to go there. Then he was heading into another city and the Holy Spirit told him not to go there as well. Then Paul had a dream that he was to go to Macedonia.
If Paul were not moving forward, the Holy Spirit could not have directed his steps.
One of the most effective ways I plan my life is by mapping out my “Roles and Goals”. What I mean by that is, I make a list of roles I fill in life; Christian, husband, father, pastor, son, sibling, friend… Then I set goals in each of those roles. Then I write out action items for each of those roles, so they aren’t simply pipedreams.
Once I write out my roles, goals, and action items, I invite the Holy Spirit to direct my steps. I ask Him to guide me as I go, so I can make any Spirit-Led adjustments.
God is a planner. He planned the crucifixion and resurrection of His Son from the beginning of time. He arranged all the stars and planets in the galaxies, He designed the Church, He instituted marriage and family, the law of gravity, and every other part of ordered creation. But He is also spontaneous. At times He moves suddenly and surprisingly.
You are created in His image. Don’t be afraid to plan. Planning is godly. It sounds trite but it is true that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Then be ready to make spontaneous adjustments as the Spirit leads you.
Write out your roles and goals, plan out some action items, and invite the Holy Spirit to guide your steps as you go.
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” Psalm 32:8 NLT
THINK ABOUT IT
- Do you trust that God has given you wisdom to make decisions? The Bible says that you have the mind of Christ. “But we have the mind of Christ”. 1 Corinthians 2:16b
- Are you stuck, not wanting to decide about what job to take, who to marry, or where to invest your money? Make a godly decision (one that aligns with the Bible) then trust God to guide you.
- Do you think planning equates to not being led by the Holy Spirit? If so, how does knowing that God is a planner change your thinking?