Planning for a New Year
From the very beginning of creation God revealed His intention for mankind to develop the whole earth for His glory (Gen.1:26-28). As this has been God’s plan from the start, we should keep it in mind as we make our own plans for a new year.
Making plans for the coming year is a wise thing to do. God Himself makes plans, and by making plans ourselves we show that we bear His likeness.
But we must not merely plan – we must have regard for God in our plans.
Many will make plans during this time of year. Those with wisdom will make them with an awareness of God’s presence and a desire for His glory.
The Proverbs reveal an inescapable interplay between the plans of men and the plans of God. Consider a few examples. . .
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord” (Pr.16:1).
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Pr.16:3).
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps” (Pr.16:9).
What is the gist of these verses?
When it comes to planning, human responsibility and divine sovereignty must be taken into account. We are to plan to the best of our ability, but it is God’s larger plan that will ultimately prevail, often leaving our own plans different than when they were first conceived.
Consequently, all the plans we make are to be done humbly and with dependence on God. For this reason, the Bible warns that we shouldn’t boast about what we are going to do tomorrow or next year. We don’t know what our lives will be like tomorrow! You and I are just a vapor that appears for a while and then vanishes away (Jas.4:13-17).
Yet, at the same time, we should plan with confidence, knowing that even if God turns our lives in a way contrary to our plans, it is all for His larger purpose. This is true even if His plan involves pain and hardship. As the Bible also tells us, “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28).
So, as we embark upon a new year, make plans. They’re essential to following God’s design for you in this world. Realize, however, that as God works out His plan, circumstances will come that will require you to refine your course..
The need to change your plans at any given time should not be a cause for aggravation, but an occasion to focus on God and rejoice as His plan and yours come together.