Every day we make decisions. Every day we find ourselves trying to figure “it” out. “It” being everything that requires us to plan a course and to execute that plan. Planning is a huge part of our successes and a lack of planning is a common reason for failure. We can not get around it. We can avoid it, but planning is a part of the human experience! The question becomes how do we best plan. What is God’s intention for planning? What do the bible verses about planning say?
I am grateful to have a mom who spent a significant amount of time encouraging us to think through a decision from beginning to end. She guided us to plan out our paths as a part of the decision process, and as I have studied the following scriptures about planning I am even more grateful that her lessons in critical thinking were more than a educational practice but a biblically backed skill for living.
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Why is planning important?
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
This is a very commonly recited quote and there is so much truth in it. Planning allows us to prepare for the things that we can control. Now, as Christians we know that in the end God is in control. He has the final say in any situation. But, he didn’t create us and leave us on earth without choices. He gave us free will and the ability to choose to prepare for our future and his plans for us, or we can sit back and allow life to happen around us.
In life we will sometimes come to places where it feels as if we are standing still. We may feel stagnant and or feel as if our dreams or purpose is never going to be within reach. This is the time when you want to pray and plan. Planning provides us with some pretty amazing benefits that help us navigate this human experience better like:
Planning helps you see your purpose Planning helps us be very specific about our prayers and how we seek god. We serve a God who will lead us in the right direction, but he also doesn’t spoon feed us. He directs us and gives us opportunity to grow. Planning and setting goals helps us to see the vision and make sure we are prepared for it.
Planning helps us minimize idle time Have you ever noticed that you get into the most mess when you are not diligently working towards something? Planning and goal setting helps you ensure that at any given time you have a purpose (even if the purpose of a particular step in the plan is waiting on God.
Planning helps you steward your time well When we plan, when we make the best use of the precious time we are given, we ensure that we are stewarding our time well and increasing our ability to be fruitful. This doesn’t mean we end up striving and being busy, on the contrary, when we plan we increase our ability and capacity to serve God well and rest in him well.
God has a plan
God is a planner, he had a plan that was formulated at the beginning of time. We were created in the image of God. Because of these two crucial facts, we can deduce that we are meant to plan!
All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent
This verse from Isaiah 28:29 reminds us that God has a beautiful plan based on his infinite wisdom. Job 42:2 reminds us that the Lord’s plans will come to pass
I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted
This is such an encouraging message for me to know that God is not only orchestrating everything, but also knowing that in the end, what he has planned will come to pass!
What does God say about making plans?
There are many examples of bible verses about planning to study. In many the Lord’s command is clear. We should make plans, but those plans should be made through counsel with God. The only way to ensure the success of our plans is to test them with the desires of God’s heart.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:9
This scripture about making plans is a simple reminder that while we may make plans, it is ultimately the Lord who establishes and directs our steps. It is his guidance and leading that pushed us towards success.
When the Lord establishes something, he is rooting it. This means that he is putting his stamp on a thing (be it an action, a goal, or a plan) his establishment means he is putting his power and weight behind it in a sense. This should encourage us to press into him before we execute any plans to make sure that it is a plan that God will establish.
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.Proverbs 16:3
There are so many Proverbs on planning in the bible. Proverbs 16:3 is one of the more well-known ones. As a matter of fact, Chapter 16 of Proverbs has 7 verses that speak to making plans. This verse on planning Reminds us that the way to have your plans established or rooted, is to commit them to God. That means allowing his will to be done with your plan. Do not hold on to them so tightly that He can not move in your situation.
Bible verses about planning ahead
It you are someone who is prone to just go with the flow, you may find it hard to plan ahead. This is one area where my husband and I differ and we are able to lean in on each other. I am a planner. He is not. We are a beautiful mix of spontaneous planning.
God’s word encourages us to make plans. But to be conscious of the Holy Spirit and the fact that God’s plans will have the final say. The following verses about planning ahead can be mantras for you to prepare ahead and to pray often.
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. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”James 4:13-15
As humans, with limited foresight, we make many plans. We speak about the future and create a future that we desire with our words. This bible verse about planning for the future reminds us that we do not know the order of our life. We do not know what will come next. So we should make plans but with the caveat that all is done if the Lord is willing. Meaning if it is within the will of God.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?Luke 14:28
Proper planning should be a significant portion of making any decision. While determining whether to set a goal or not, we should be mindful of what it takes to make it to that goal. This not only includes the costs, but also the overall sacrifice that will be made.
This could come in the form of time expenditure, monetary sacrifice, or in cases of poor planning it could be more detrimental sacrifices. The important thought in this scripture on making plans is that when we desire something, we should also look at what it will take to achieve that desire.
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.Proverbs 21:5
Here we see another one of the bible verses about planning that comes from proverbs. This scripture tells us that we can not simply plan and then hope for the best. We must remain diligent in our planning. We must not make hasty decisions and we should use that wisdom that God promises to those who ask for it to make smart decisions and to create plans that will be sustaining and help us reach our goals.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.Proverbs 6:6-8
Planning ahead and making plans is not a feature held specifically for humanity. There are so many lessons that can be learned by observing God’s creation. This scripture focuses our attention on the tiny ant, who prepares for the future by gathering for harvest.
This is a reminder that although God has plans and desires abundance for us, he also is gracious towards us and will withhold abundance if it will lead us to destruction. We can not simply sit idly and wait for God to move. We must wait well, proactively singing his praises and preparing our hearts for the plans he has for us.
What does the bible say about planning and goals?
Many of the bible verses about planning give us direction on how we should move following the setting of goals. These desires of our hearts are simply dreams until we begin to diligently plan and prepare for their success.
These scriptures on planning for the future will encourage you to set your goals and the plan well for them.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:6
This has always been one of my favorite scriptures. This one reminds us that in everything we do, in every plan we make, God should be the center. He should be acknowledged. When we do this and attribute glory to Him, this intimacy with him keeps us on a path that is straight. We are led by his spirit and our plans become closely tied to his plans for us.
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.Proverbs 24:27
Goal setting and planning go hand in hand. When we set a goa, our next step should be to plan and prepare. Much like with building a house, you do not decide to build a house and then start building. There are steps of preparation that are required before any actual building starts.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
Perhaps the most well known scripture about making plans, this verse reminds us that in the end, the Lord has plans for us. This means that even when the road ahead seems murky and we are not quite sure if the goals and dreams we have for ourselves are the “right path,” the Lord has a plan. His word tells us that before we were born his plan was in motion so we don’t have to worry about what tomorrow brings. His plan will not fail.
How can you ensure successful planning?
Studying bible verses about planning may have you fired up for planning your next steps in your purpose. Knowing that God has a plan for you and trying to order your steps so that they are in line with the the plans that God has for you can be tricky, but this is the key to successful planning.
Here are a few steps to help you ensure the success of your plans.
Seek God’s plans first and often
Maybe it goes without saying but any plan that is contrary is bound to fail (either in actual failure, or in the fact that you won’t be able to maintain it). Because God has a plan that he created for us before we even existed, He should be the first person we consult when we set our plans! Our hope and prayer should be that he helps to align our plans with His. Maybe this is easier said than done.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to youMatthew 6:33
But here is a practical example. For the person whose resolution is to lose weight, maybe your prayer shows you that your health is important to you being able bodied to complete Gods plan for you.
You can then remind yourself of this fact when the habit gets hard to follow through with. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has plans for us. This is a promise he gives us and one we can hold on to.
Write down the vision
Habakkuk 2:2 tells us that God desires we write down the revelation and make it plain. I am the queen of having an idea, and hoping I remember it later. God didn’t call us to use our memory and hope it stays there. He commands us to write it down. We are even told in Deuteronomy that we should write his word on our foreheads in order to meditate on it often.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeedPsalm 20:4
Practically, this looks like a journal or keeping phone notes of the things that God places on your heart. Using a goal setting journal or creating a vision board can be an excellent way to see your goals and plans come to fruition.
Get an accountability partner
I am beyond grateful for the women that God has placed in my life. This is one tip that I am glad God has shown me its importance and that he has given me people who take this seriously. I have been in an on again off again relationship with procrastination and gratefully God has placed women in my life that remind me how terrible procrastination is for my God given purpose. Proverbs 11:14 says
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety
Seek someone who you trust and who has similar God dreams/goals as you. As iron sharpens iron, you and your accountability partner can push each other to reach the goal you set forth for the year.
Focus only on what you can focus on
It’s easy to want to do, “all the things,” but impossible to live out a life of balance doing “all the things.” Pick one habit, or change you want to see, and focus in on that one. Instead of multitasking and trying to do everything at once, and not really doing anything well. Philippians 4:6 which is one of my personal favorite scriptures about planning and life in general says
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
How often to we get anxious about our growing to do list or the mountain of steps we need to take in order to achieve our goals. If you find yourself here, take a moment a breath. Pray and ask god for direction. Planning doesn’t mean that we have to go it alone. It doesn’t mean that God is going to leave us out the the wolves. In fact, planning should be done with God in the driver seat. This should be our opportunity to participate in God’s plans for us. Moments when we feel stuck should be times when we press into him and trust him even more!
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Practically, this looks like trying to master one change, or one step, celebrate the victory and then move on to the next thing!
Remember God has a plan for you
In your planning and preparing always remember that God has a plan for you. This truth is essential to ordering your steps so that they align with the beautiful plan that God has prepared for you!
How do you plan? Whether it is planning for a goal, an event, or simply planning your day, having a consistent method of planning is important.
Use a planner? Sticky Notes? Cell phone app? Share your favorite methods of planning in the comments below!