There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21, NKJV)
We make many different plans in our lives – educational, career, family, retirement – the list is seemingly endless. It is very easy in our convenience-rich culture to think we are entitled to whatever plans we devise. Such thinking rarely, if ever, includes the Lord God. The mindset of entitlement is truly selfish as it shapes and fashions its plans, all the while forgetting it is God who gives us life and breath and all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). The wise course is to put God at the head of our plans. “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” guides the plans of the faithful (Jas. 4:15). Whereas our plans often falter and fail, the purposes of the Lord will always prevail. Wisdom directs us to make our plans in harmony with the counsel of His word, not the dictates of the human heart. With our heart aligned with His purposes, our plans will consider His will first – and always (see James 4:13-17).
Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. (Psalm 119:24, NKJV)
The best adviser in the world is the word of God. It holds the answers to all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). It lights the path to salvation from sin and shows the way to eternal life (Psa. 119:105; Rom. 1:16-17). The testimonies of God give wise counsel to the young and to the old. God’s word gives guidance on how to strengthen faltering marriages and how to protect strong ones. It teaches us practical ways to avoid many of life’s troubles by forming good friendships. And, the list goes on and on. Why then do so few people turn to the Bible and follow God’s counsel? When all the excuses are given, the bottom line may well be because so few “delight” in God’s testimonies. They do not wish to bend to the counsel contained in God’s word. They do not take pleasure in God’s word because they take no pleasure in conforming to it. When one has little faith in God, he puts little stock in God’s word, regardless of the great counsel it contains. Let us accept the counsel of God’s word and bend our will and our lives to it. God’s counsel never leads us astray.
1 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; 2 For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. 3 When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, 4 He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. (Proverbs 4:1–4, NKJV)
Isn’t it amazing how much wiser our parents became by the time we were twenty-five years old than when we were fifteen?! Of course, it was not that they had a spurt of wisdom, but that we matured and began to appreciate the understanding and wisdom they had all along. The seasoned counsel and experience of parents will be listened to and followed by the wise child. God has so arranged that each generation is helped grow to maturity by the wisdom of godly, parental instruction. Do not resist the “good doctrine” of your parents. Your will have a blessing in your life as you accept and follow your parents’ wise guidance.