“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Job’s life had been put on hold. His plans had been derailed. He lamented over what could have, but would not be: “My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.” (Job 17:11) Why? Why did things so suddenly, so violently, “go south” for Job? God had other plans.
Making plans is not forbidden in scripture. In fact, we are told: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Prov. 16:9) James tells us to hold our plans loosely, and be open for redirection:
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:14-16)
It is a true enough statement: “Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” God will allow men to succeed for a time. He will let them feel that they are the master of their fate, the captain of their soul, and then He will say to the proud waves “No further!” (Job 38:11) No, God will not give up His throne for proud men or proud angels. He is God, and we are not. “He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.” (Dan. 4:35)
Ultimately, only God will have His way in the earth. What He has planned, will come to pass.
Scripture tells us that: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12) But it is possible that what is good in our sight may also be good in God’s sight. He can “sign off” on what we’re doing, confirming it in various ways. But what if He doesn’t?
We read: “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.” (Prov. 21:3)
And: “The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.” (Psalm 33:10,11)
Ultimately, only God will have His way in the earth. What He has planned, will come to pass. All of men’s utopian dreams will be consigned to the dustbin of history, not because God has some sick desire to show He is superior to His creation – but simply because He is superior. When His will is done on earth as it is in heaven there is life, and joy, and peace. He is worthy to rule every life and the course of all the world.
There is no need to fret if your plans have not worked out when His plans are still right on course for your life.
Job came to the sober realization that whatever God chose to do with his life was better than any plan of his own. “Then Job replied to the LORD: I know that You can do all things and that no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1,2) We do well to come to the same conclusion, submitting ourselves to the Ancient of days, the Lord God Almighty. There is no need to fret if your plans have not worked out when His plans are still right on course for your life.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7)