Strategic Planning

Successful businesses engage in strategic planning on a regular basis. A leadership team will lay out their plans for the next month, the next quarter, the next year, the next three years, and so on. They do this so that they can set goals and provide vision and direction. Then, once plans have been set into motion, success is measured in the outcomes of those plans. Sometimes the plans come together, and more often than not, the plans need course corrections in order to ensure success. Meetings upon meetings are held, stakeholders come to agreement, and revised plans are set into motion.

The business of our personal lives should follow a similar planning process. Strategic life planning is very important if we hope to live successful lives. But that is easier said than done. Have you ever found yourself trying to get every aspect of your life in perfect order so that you won’t have to worry about tomorrow or next week or next year? Then inevitably something unexpected happens and your perfect plans are not so perfect anymore, and the order that you set into place is suddenly chaos.

Chaos often comes because we forget to consult the Key Stakeholder in our life during the planning process. The Bible gives us instruction about how we should plan. In Proverbs 16:3 we read, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (NIV).  The instruction here is very clear, when we plan we must first commit our plans to the Lord, but what does it mean, “He will establish your plans?” Well, it doesn’t mean that God is waiting to hear your plans so that He knows what to do. I have heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

“He will establish your plans” means that God will lead you in the perfect plans He has for you. When we commit our plans to the Lord, we are saying, “God from my point of view, and in the wisdom You have given me, here is what I think I should do. But I acknowledge that you are God, and I am not, and I am committing my ways to You.” When we come to the Almighty, with a humble and sincere heart, He does not laugh. No, I believe His very Spirit is moved and He draws near to us, and He directs our plans with His plans so that His plans become our plans.  And once this transaction occurs, He leads us day by day in the perfect plans that He has for us.

A.B Simpson once observed that “it is very hard to live a lifetime at once, or even a year, but it is delightfully easy to live a day at a time.” Planning is a very good thing. But when we plan, we should always commit our plans to the Lord, allowing Him to direct our steps, day by day. When we do this, it is delightfully easy to live day by day because, we know what ever may come has been committed to the Lord, and we rest in Him and in His perfect plan for our lives, rather than in our less than perfect plans.

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