Are you the type of person who likes to have a plan before beginning your day? Do you know what you’re going to eat for dinner before you leave for work that morning? Have you already mapped out your child’s path to college despite the fact that he or she is only in preschool?
It’s okay, I’m a planner myself. Nowhere in Scripture do I read that it’s wrong to have foresight and be organized. Oftentimes, I see some of the most successful and wise people having thoughtfully planned out how they were going to build their own business or acquire a higher degree of education.
In Proverbs 16:9, however, we’re told that our plans may not always match up with God’s plans. The New Living Translation renders this passage, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
God doesn’t despise proper planning, but He does ask you to be flexible. He asks you to be sensitive to His still small voice. We read about God whispering to Elijah in 1 King 19:11-13 (NKJV) as the prophet was fleeing to Beerhseeba to avoid the wrath of Ahab and Jezebel.
‘Then He (God) said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”’
When we ask God for guidance, I tend to think we expect this inescapably bright light to shine down and focus on the path we’re supposed to take; almost like runway lights at an airport. But, more often than not, God will use a still small voice. We just have to block out the noise in order to hear what He has to say.