The Master Plan

Many of Papemelroti's customers since the 70's will remember a plaque of ours that says "Plan ahead, it wasn't raining when Noah built his ark."

As 2013 kicks off, some of us may be making new year's resolutions and plans.  And some of us may be taking on a more free-spirited approach like actor John Cusack.  He once said "I'm not making any plans. I'm just going to let the universe surprise me.”

Is a plan simply a dream? a wish?  Well-loved book "Little Prince"s Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says, "A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

The word "plan" is both a noun and a verb.  Quoting from it is:
- a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc.,developed in advance: battle plans.
- a specific project or definite purpose: plans for the future.

Have you ever planned something and it never materialized?  Most of us have. 
The late Dwight D. Eisenhower (then a 5-star general and now often ranked as the top 10 U.S. presidents) said "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” 
Designing a home, building a business, preparing for retirement, all of these require proper planning. 
In the book of life, the Bible, we will see that even God Himself had plans.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11)
But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, (Micah 4:12)
God even shares His plans with His people.  God said to Moses in Exodus 26 "Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain."

What happens when we don't plan?
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra

If you plan to do some planning this month, here are some things to consider using some scripture wisdom:

- Always plan good things for yourself and for others.  Do away with angry thoughts, getting even or vengeful plans.  Goodness begets goodness.  In Proverbs 14:22 it says "Do not those who plot evil go astray?  But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness."

- Expect to work on these plans diligently in the coming year. "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." - Proverbs 21:5

- Sometimes we plan differently from God.  Like King David 1 Chronicles 28 "King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name..."   Let us spend some time in quiet reflection and ask for God's help in all our plans.  He desires what is best for us.  If we listen with an open, sincere and willing heart, we will hear His voice guiding us.  "We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. Proverbs 16:1

- God's ways are truly best for us.  He made us and He knows our purposes and plans.  We can count on the fact that the Master plan is the best plan for our lives.
- When we plan with God with us and within us, we can be assured that we can overcome any obstacles and challenges along the way for "There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord." Proverbs 21:30

Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
propose your plan, but it will not stand,
for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10)
- Remember that plans may not turn out as you expect them but sometimes these can be blessings in disguise.  If your plans get thwarted yet it brings a blessing, than it may be God's plan after all.  "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Prov 16:9

As you get a pen and pencil and map out your plans and strategies for 2013, hold on to God's promises for you.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)
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