“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes to poverty.”
Planning for the future is right.
Planning for the future is wise.
Planning for the future is the will of God.
As a matter of fact, the more diligent you are to plan, the more abundance you will enjoy because of the plans.
What is more, NOT planning – or NOT diligently preparing for the future – is wrong.
Approaching life in a hasty manner leads to an empty life.
Let’s get this straight, then: Planning = Good; Carelessness = Bad.
If this is true, then what about verse 1? “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.“
If the LORD directs hearts of people – even kings – then WHY PLAN???
Or what about verse 30? “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD.”
Seriously? If nothing can avail against God, then why even plan for the future? Why not just “let it all happen” in a hasty way?
Or what about verse 31? “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.”
If victory belongs to God, then why even get ready for the war? Why plan for it?
If God directs hearts and if nothing can avail against God’s purpose and even if victory is decided by the LORD, then why would diligent planning lead to abundance?
It seems as if the author of Proverbs says it is wrong NOT to plan for the future; AND it seems he says elsewhere that God is going to accomplish things in His way and time anyway. Do you feel the tension?
The wisdom here is to remember – as you diligently plan for the future – who is in charge. You see, the LORD wants us to work and plan and be diligent and prepare and be ready. He made us to work and prepare and set a forward trajectory for our lives. But there is a subtle danger than creep in if we aren’t careful: in our diligent planning, we can be prone to forget Who is in charge. We can “play” God if we aren’t careful and leave Him out of the mix altogether.
Jesus’ brother gets it exactly right:
“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 4:13-14).
It’s not wrong to plan. No, no. It’s wrong NOT to plan.
But it IS wrong – very wrong – to plan diligently for the future without the faith in or knowledge of God being sovereignly and lovingly involved in every area and detail of your life.
Plan. Be diligent to plan. But make sure you worship as you do it.