Dr. Dianne Coflin, Co-Pastor River of Life Church
I was reading in Proverbs 19:21 AMP. “Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for Him that will stand (will be carried out).” I know how a new year at times brings on new outlooks and fresh beginnings. So often we take on this idea that we will put the previous year behind us and start a new chapter in our lives.
Typically, this is how it goes—one gets all these new ideas about how to succeed where failure has happened in the past. Some may write down new resolutions and be filled with passion to begin, but then along comes February and desires have waned and so the cycle begins, until the next year. Has anyone done that? I know in times past I have been guilty as charged.
In Proverbs 19:2-3 AMP, it says, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and to be overhasty is to sin and miss the mark. The foolishness of man subverts his way (ruins his affairs); then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord.”
All these verses present a theme that we can have many ideas (plans) that come to our minds. We may even attempt to pursue those plans or resolutions. Unfortunately, however, without gathering the necessary knowledge we need to obtain about that pursuit, and impatiently rushing in to fulfil it, we risk failure and anger!
What has always surprised me about verse 3 is who gets blamed for the foolishness of this man subverting his own plan? The LORD!! Clearly the foolish man ruined his own plans by not taking time to get informed about his endeavors, counting the cost and being advised from the Lord.
I love what Proverbs 24:3 AMP says, “Through wisdom a house, a life, a home is built and by understanding it is established on a good foundation!” The Living Bible’s translation says it this way: “Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong though common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.”
You may ask yourself, “What is it I keep doing that keeps me in a rut and thus failing, whether it be with resolutions, new endeavors, or relationships or lifestyle changes?” Maybe the problem is not taking time to plan properly, maybe the need is to acknowledge the Lord first.
Proverbs 3:6 AMP says, “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge the Lord and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” In addition, Proverbs 16:3 AMP says, “Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him, and He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will) and so shall your plans be established and succeed.”
I am always so grateful the Lord wants to be part of making my life successful and is so ready to impart His will and His way to me when I ask. Acknowledge Him and He will direct your thoughts. Then begin to trust those thoughts and take a step of faith.
Maybe the problem is being hasty or impatient, as was suggested in Proverbs 19:2-3. Have you ever thought that being impatient is the antithesis of the right way to do things? You might say, “What if that were so? I don’t know how to change.”
In the book of James chapter 1, we are told that whatever we are going through, (a trial, a new plan, idea, or pursuit) that we are to allow patience to have its perfect or complete work so in the end we are in want of nothing. Apparently, patience is quite the necessary virtue for anything to be successful.
In the next verse it tells us if we are deficient in wisdom, and I might add, in how to be patient, ask God who will give us that wisdom liberally and not chide us in His response. That’s how much He wants to help us succeed!! How awesome is that? It is all there for the asking!
Finally, don’t give up. Luke 18:1 says, “We ought always to pray and not faint.” First, this implies that in the end, we always need God’s help, that is, His strength to fulfill those plans. Secondly, without remaining dependent on the Lord we could faint, implying we lose courage, give up, ending in a failure to obtain that pursuit. So, I encourage you to begin afresh, receive the wisdom and strength to pursue that plan again.
In Jeremiah 29:11 NLT/AMP it says “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope!”
Food for thought!!
Dr. Dianne Coflin Co-Pastor River of Life Church
410 East Chapman Rd. Lutz, Florida 33549
Service Times: 10:30am Sunday morning and Wednesday night 7:00pm. Childcare provided. We are also online at roltampa.org to watch live!! Hope to see you soon!!