By Tim Wesemann
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A note in my weekly planner says to take a spontaneous trip to visit my son next Friday at 4:00 p.m. Okay, so maybe I’m not the most impulsive guy.
My wife, on the other hand, has no problem deciding a mere day or two in advance to make a ten-hour, multistate trip to see our grandchildren.
Wise decisions often follow meticulous planning as we travel through life as God’s faith-filled people. But the wise man Solomon reminds us:
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9 ESV).
While we make plans, using our God-given discernment and gifts, we also recognize and appreciate that the Lord’s wisdom far outweighs our human judgment. We wisely, though sometimes reluctantly, ask the Lord to lead us in his way, even if that takes us in a different direction than we planned.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . . Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:13–15 ESV).
We pray that our planning process involves looking to God’s will first and our own, often-flawed reasoning second. (Or not at all!)
If you’re a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, remember this: the Lord can use our faith, compassion, and wisdom in the spontaneous decisions we make throughout each day, too.
He may surprise us with opportunities to show empathy to a struggling co-worker, to pray with a stranger, to listen with heartfelt concern to the needs of a family member, or to gladly forgive, as the Lord has graciously forgiven us.
With Jesus as our travel companion, we set our itinerary. We make plans, trusting at the same time that the Lord will direct us to necessary detours and that the Holy Spirit will surprise us with opportunities for spontaneous acts of grace.
Prayer starter: Jesus, I love that I can always plan on you to reveal your ways to me and lead me where you want me to go. Teach me to follow with a grateful heart . . .
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