When we think about planning our lives or talk to other Christians about making plans, there’s one verse we’ve all heard. You know it well. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Let’s be real for a moment. You’ve been told this or maybe even encouraged or corrected someone else with this verse. We know this verse, but do we really believe it? And if we believe it, do we really believe God is good in the way he establishes our steps?
It can be difficult, even devastating, sometimes for God to wreck your plans. You were certain you were where you were supposed to be. The problem is that deep down we think we know best. We know what we need to do and when we need to do it—or so we think. What’s actually happening is a war in our hearts over who will rule our life: us or God. When our plans change, we must fight to believe that God rules and that he is the good and right ruler.
Here are 4 truths to remember when God changes your plans.
1. God is sovereign.
Sovereignty is the authority to rule. There are no limits to God’s rule. Nothing is outside his control: not your life circumstances, your relationships, your family, or your job. Abraham Kuyper says, ““There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” Everything belongs to him because he made everything. If he made everything, then he gets to decide how everything works. If he changes your plans, it’s because he knows things you do not know. In the next two truths, we’ll see why that’s ultimately good.
Scripture to Memorize: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
2. God is good.
Knowing that God is in control, that he is sovereign, that he knows things we do not know is important. Maybe you realize this, but you have to also believe that what he says and does is good. When God created, he made everything good. If what he says and does is good, it’s because he is good. We can trust him not only because he knows and made everything but because he is good. Imagine how beautiful that is, the person who knows everything is also good. C.S. Lewis wrote this about Aslan, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” When he changes your plans, it’s because he is good.
Scripture to Memorize: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
For Further Study: Read Genesis 1.
3. God is for your good.
Because God is good, everything he does is good. If everything he does is good, then everything he does is for your good. When he changes your plans, it’s because he knows what you do not know and it’s good for you. God loves you. He doesn’t have ulterior motives or a hidden agenda. He is making us more and more like Jesus, his perfect Son. What could be better for you? Everything he does is preparing you for eternity with him. Everything he does is bringing glory to him, which is always good for you. It might not always feel good, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Your feelings are not truth. God’s word is.
Scripture to Memorize: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
For Further Study: Read Philippians 1.
4. You are not God.
At the beginning, I told you about a war waging in your heart over who will rule your life: you or God. Here’s what you need to know. You and I are not sovereign, no matter how much we want to be. We don’t have ultimate knowledge or control. Apart from Jesus, we’re good. We can’t be good enough on our own. This leads us to not always pursue what’s best for us. If our hearts apart from Christ are turned towards evil and we don’t know everything, we can’t possibly always pursue what is good for us, even if we think it is. Simply, we need to trust God with our plans because he’s God and we are not.
Scripture to Memorize: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
–Greta (College Team)
 Quoted in Timothy Keller Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work pg. 252
 C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Blog photograph by Will Suddreth.