I spent several hours on Saturday beginning my initial planning for 2010. I find it very helpful to pray through and think through what is ahead and begin to get a glimpse of what could be for the year ahead. However in 26 years of ministry I’ve heard over and over again about the “evils” of planning from well meaning Christians. There’s a sense that planning is something that is done in the flesh and we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead spontaneously as he wishes, and any type of planning is trying to control God.
While that may sound spiritual I don’t see biblical evidence for this thinking. Certainly as leaders we can plan in the flesh and end up devising our own path rather than Gods. But there is one problem with this line of thinking…God is a planner and if I want to be like Him then I need to be a planner as well. I did a search through Scripture on the word “plan” and “plans” and gained some interesting insights. Here are just a few of the Scriptures that support planning.
- God is a planner. Psalm 33:11, But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
- God shares his plan with us. Amos 3:7, Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets
- God expects us to plan. While Scripture does not come right out and say, “Thou shalt plan” there are plenty of Scriptures encouraging us to plan wisely. Proverbs 20:18, Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.
- Planning is beneficial. Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
- The Holy Spirit guides us in planning. When we practice Spirit lead planning it allows God to display His wisdom through our leadership. 1 Chronicles 28:12 He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things.
- Plans are to be written in pencil not in ink. Proverbs 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
When was the last time you had a really good Spirit-led planning session?