Most of the business leaders I know are planners. Depending on their role in the organization their plans may be largely short-term and tactical while others are long-term strategic planners.
The same is true for many of the leaders I know in ministry. Some are short-term tactical planners, and some are visionary strategic planners.
I also know some leaders, mostly in ministry, who say they are reluctant to plan because they do not want to run afoul of God’s leading in their life. Their feeling is that making plans is presumptuous and might cause them to ignore God’s leading.
I think the weight of Biblical evidence falls on the side of planners.
Take, for example, the story of Joseph as a young man in Pharaoh’s court found in Genesis 41. The Lord sent a dream to Pharaoh which Joseph interpreted warning of seven years of famine that were to come. Pharaoh asked what should be done and Joseph laid out a fourteen-year plan to collect food during the seven years of plenty in order to survive the following seven years of famine.
The story of Gideon in Judges 6 is another of the many examples in which the Lord gave very specific plans to an individual leader. In this case, the Lord called on Gideon to attack the Midianites. Gideon was given a very specific plan of attack by the Lord and Gideon followed the Lord’s leading exactly.
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who were planners. The difference between those who were successful and those who failed is the successful planners followed God’s leading in their lives.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, made quite an issue of the importance of planning in chapter 4 of his letter.
James relates the story of businessmen who boast about going from city to city doing business and making a profit. Yet, says James, these businessmen do not even know what tomorrow will bring.
The issue is these businessmen have not sought the will of God, they are not relying on God, and they are not conducting their business for the glory of God. They are completely self-centered, focused on their own abilities and desires.
James says this type of planning is presumptuous because we do not even know what tomorrow will bring. God knows the future. We do not.
We are completely ignorant of God’s plans for us, and that is a good thing!
If, for example, we knew that God was going to make us wealthy and successful might we not become prideful and boast of our lot in life before we had even achieved anything meaningful?
On the other hand, it is a good thing we do not know about the difficulties and trials that lie in our path. We might be reluctant to move ahead, frozen in fear at the prospect of facing the trials of life.
We like to think we control much of our lives. We often act like we are our own God. This kind of attitude is prideful and arrogant. To presume we control the future when we cannot even control the events of the day is foolishness!
Instead, says James, we should plan with a humble heart saying, “If it is the Lord’s will we will do this or that.”
We do not have a right to tomorrow. Every day we wake up to live another day is a gift from God.
We should be planners. It is good stewardship to plan the time in our life. BUT, we should plan humbly, “If it is the Lord’s will.”
Whether you are in business or ministry, the plans you make should come as a result of seeking the will of God, they should rely on God, and they should be for the glory of God. Successful plans start with, “If it is the Lord’s will…”
Join the Conversation
As always, questions and comments are welcome. Do you usually make plans that start with “If it is the Lord’s will”? Or, do you tend to rush ahead of God making plans without His leading?
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Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God