Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” When your plans fail, ask God to order your steps, be open to redirection, and trust His will for your life.
Day to day plans are great because for the most part they’re routine. We know that we have to get up by a certain time, be at work at another time. Run errands on this day. Take the kids to practice on that day. Grocery shop by this time, so that dinner is ready by that time, and so on, and so forth.
If something comes up, we just go with the flow and make it work. Even if we run into some challenges during our day to day routine, we get past it in a fair amount of time, or we find a way to adjust.
For the most part, our day to day plans goes according to plan, but it’s not as easy or simple, when it comes to our long term goals.
Sometimes we make these huge plans. For instance: Graduate college by 23. Get engaged by 28. Get married and buy a house by 30. Have a baby by 32. Be in an executive position by 35.
All these plans are great, because it helps us look at our lives and prepare for where we want to be. It forces us to get out of our comfort zones and do something we’ve never done in order to get to a place we’ve never been.
We do the work, and we accomplish great things, but sometimes we run into these challenges that aren’t as easy to overcome as a day to day challenge.
For instance: A person could graduate college as planned, but every plan they’ve made after that could come in a different order or not come at all. This could be devastating for some, and for others, they readjust. However, readjusting sometimes means resetting that goal or removing it.
As life goes on, some people learn to live with their new norm, and some people begin to feel hopeless. Some people even try to make their goals work within their time frame, no matter what, which can be a good and bad thing depending on what you sacrifice to attain those goals.
The Word of God tells us in Proverbs 23:4, “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.” Another scripture says in Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and to lose his soul?”
It’s great to want success, a family, a certain lifestyle, or a certain career. It’s great to create a timeline, because it helps you prepare. However, we must remember Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” With this in mind, as we work towards our goals, we need to say, Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done Lord (Luke 22:42).
Speaking this trains our minds to be open to change. It helps us accept that things may not always go according to our plans or in our timeline, but it teaches us to trust God’s plans for us, and be at peace with His will for our lives.
Truth is, in a perfect world, everything would happen on our terms and according to our plans, but we’re not living in a perfect world. We’re imperfect, we make mistakes, and even if we did everything right, life will throw a curve ball that will force us to reevaluate things and change.
Not too long ago I heard someone say, as we grow, things change. So, our goals should also change as we grow.
This changed my entire perspective about how I view my short and long term goals.
When we are young, we don’t have the same mindset that we do when we’re middle aged, so why get depressed about something you wanted to do at 18, when you’re now 40? If it means that much to you, do it, but first, seek God’s face on whether you should, because we can make our plans, but God could be leading us somewhere else or to something better.
If you have the health, strength, and faith, I say go for it! I’m 41 and this is my second time in college. I have no desire to continue a career in something that I went to college for when I was 20.
I believe that if you are still breathing, it’s not too late to be all you can be! Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
If things aren’t going according to your plans, don’t be dismayed. Know that God knows your beginning and end and remember, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
No matter how many times you’ve fallen short of a goal. No matter how much your life seems to be out of whack. No matter how many disappointments you’ve had. No matter what you’re going through- know that God is for you, and with you.
Don’t stress about things outside of your control. Do what you can to get to where you want to be, and trust God to do the rest in His will and in His timing.
I think that regardless of the goals we’ve made in life, our main goal should be- to do. As long as we’re actively doing something to show God that we have the faith, He will honor that, and get us to where we need to be, and we will not have to jeopardize our health, peace, or faith to obtain it.
Isaiah 60:22, “At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.”