Years ago, when I was an assistant high school baseball coach, I created a daily practice plan for our team. There were things we needed to accomplish individually and collectively, and attempting to do so without a plan seemed foolish to me. So, at some point before every season began, I made a list of the skills each player–and our team as a whole–needed to hone. Then, each day I created a detailed (to the minute) plan for that afternoon’s practice.
There was only one remaining step: get the head coach’s input, correction, and approval for the plan.
Proverbs 16:3–“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
The practice plan I designed was, in my mind, perfect. Except when it wasn’t. Except when the head coach saw it differently, when he wanted something else accomplished, when he had something else for us to do that day. The practice plan was always subject to change, depending on the head coach’s wisdom and ideas.
Are you open to God changing your plans? Honestly, most of us are not. We want to do what we want to do, regardless of what God might have to say about it.
Here are three ways to know your current practice plan might be a problem.
You made it with you primarily in mind. Your plan is mainly about your career, goals, family, security, and money. It won’t take long before that kind of plan contradicts God’s desire for you, which probably doesn’t include a you-centered life.
You ignore anything that contradicts it. That verse in Scripture? Well, I’m sure God meant something else for someone else. That sermon I heard in church? Surely, that can’t apply to me. The friend who isn’t sure this is best for me? He just doesn’t get it. If you’re routinely ignoring the advice of Scripture and godly friends, your plan might not be the problem, but your pride sure is.
You’ve never prayed about it. Or, your prayer was, “God, this is what I’m going to do. Bless it!” We might as well not insult God with that kind of prayer. It’s like the assistant coach telling the head coach what he’s going to do. Laughable, at best. Praying about our plans isn’t primarily to get God’s blessing on what we’re going to do anyway. The objective must be to truly “commit” them to the Lord, let him adjust, overhaul, or change them completely, so that they can be “established” by him.
If you want an established practice plan for your life, construct it based on God’s others-focused agenda, seek out the wisdom found in Scripture and God’s people, and pray incessantly until your will has been bent to the Lord’s.
Lord Jesus, you know the plans I have for my life. You know how fiercely I protect them. Today, I’m humbling myself before you, asking you to establish my plans, even if that means they change completely. Give me wisdom. Amen