Have you ever heard the expression that the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans? I have found in my life that many of the plans I have made have not really worked out as I thought they would. I’m not the only one.
The Apostle Paul had intended to persecute Christians, but his goal changed on the road to Damascus. (Acts 22:6-10) That was a sudden change of plan. Joseph’s brothers had intended to get rid of him by selling him to the Ishmaelites. They wanted to eliminate the competition for their father’s affection and having to listen to Joseph’s dream interpretations which I’m sure they found to be rather arrogant. (Genesis 37:5, Genesis 37:26-28) This change of plan took a little longer. It was many years later that the brothers became afraid of and then grateful to Joseph for saving their lives. The brothers had meant only harm for Joseph, but God had a plan to use their actions for good. (Genesis 45:5-8, Genesis 50:20)
I’ve known people who debate whether we truly have free will or whether our actions are predestined by an all-powerful, all-knowing God. I believe that we do have free will, but God also has a will, and He is sovereign; His plan will be accomplished. God gives us the opportunity to be a part of it, but we can choose whether we want to cooperate or not.
Proverbs 16:9 tells us that a person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. We have the privilege and the responsibility to make our own decisions, but God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us, (Jeremiah 29:11) and in time He will work circumstances out the way He chooses. If our plans are aligned with His, we might not be frustrated by unexpected changes quite as often. If we commit our ways to Him, seek His will through prayer and Bible study, our plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)