We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:1,9)
Do you ever struggle to find the right answer to give to someone? There are times when this is a little harder than others - such as when truth needs to be shared, but you are pretty sure it won't be appreciated. No matter what the circumstances are for us today, we probably have some 'plans' for our day. They may not be all that grand, as it could just be a day of leisure when we luxuriate in the warmth of our home, but those are plans. Determined individuals may have more plans than those who live their lives rather spontaneously. A determined individual may even have something referred to as a five-year plan. They 'plan' in big ways. The bad news is that even the best laid 'five-year plan' may amount to dust if God isn't guiding those plans.
The one whose heart is determined to consistenly follow Jesus might have different plans than someone who is trying to fulfill their on 'preconceived five-year plan'. I learned a logn time ago that God isn't impressed with our planning - especially when he is not in the lead! Some Christians will assure you that God is in their plans, but he may not be in the 'lead' within those plans. It is kind of like God has been relegated to a 'consulting role' within their lives. When they anticipate they will need him, they turn to him for guidance, but as things are going along as they 'planned', they just plunge in full-speed ahead with all their plans.
Each of us needs 'determined steps' if we are to really accomplish the things God has planned for our lives. If you haven't quite realized it yet, the 'steps' we take with God far outweigh all the planned steps we may have made on our own. When our steps are ordered by God, God does more than just nudge us along - he leads the way. There is a big difference between being led and being prodded along! One is voluntary, while the other suggests just a bit of resistance! Resisting is kind of futile. We may get our own way and go about our own plans, but eventually all things will come back to the place where we come face to face with God's plan.
A friend recently said to me that he hadn't been through a particular challenge before and he didn't know what to expect as he faced this rather harrowing challenge. I didn't really know what to say, but I did know who to turn to in order to bring a little perspective into the 'next steps' he'd be facing. We prayed - asking God to give wisdom, help with the 'steps' that would be very challenging, and to keep him at peace through the journey. Sometimes that is all we can do. We just bring it to God and let him guide the steps. Just sayin!