How does God use plans to achieve His purposes?

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Prov. 16.9, ESV) God is sovereign over human history. But God gives people creativity and intelligence and wants us to use these abilities. Sometimes we develop plans that align very closely with his plans. Other times, we plan in ways that may have the same end goal in mind as God’s plans, yet He uses different means and strategies, and likely a different time frame than we anticipated to achieve that goal.

Still other times, we make plans that vary significantly from God’s plans. When we begin to act on such plans, He uses ill-conceived plans to route us in ways that teach us significant character lessons we need to learn, or to put us in contact with people, places and situations that will lead us to his actual plan.

Regardless of our plans, God has His best in mind for His children, and is not surprised by our plans. He is able to use our plans in ways that ultimately achieve His purposes.


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