by Chuck Hetzler

“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue…Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16:1, 3  

Is it better to plan or pray? Should we put more emphasis on what we can do or what God can do?

With the new year just underway, maybe you’ve been rethinking some of your personal plans. Perhaps you want to change a bad habit or begin to save more money or serve more with your time. How should you go about making these adjustments? Should you simply pray and hope that God will do all the work for you? Or should you work hard to make the changes on your own?

The Bible teaches us that there is a role that we play in making our own plans and there is a role that God plays in determining what comes to pass. Both we and God are instrumental in the outcome.

Making plans is a good thing. And God’s word gives us even more suggestions for how we should forecast our lives. For instance, Proverbs 20:18 tells us to “make plans by seeking advice.” The more wise counsel we receive, the more likely our designs will succeed.

However, the Father wants us to know that we are not solely in control. He has the ultimate say in the affairs of humanity. We shouldn’t make plans that are devoid of Him. The best plans are not just the ones with advice. Our best strategy is to commit our hopes and dreams to God. When we order our aspirations under God, we’re more likely to succeed.

So if you’re making plans for 2017, take time to get the best advice possible through prayer. Bring your ideas before the Lord. Pray and ask Him to direct your thoughts. Wait until you have His peace in your heart and mind before committing to your plans.

Pray and plan. Plan and pray. Do your best to make your plans work, but trust God with the results.