Charles Stanley - Planning Without God


Confusion and conflict versus provision and protection—which would you prefer? When we leave God out of our plans, we’re inviting all sorts of chaos into our lives, not to mention regret and loss. In this message, Dr. Stanley warns us against going our own way without a thought to what God thinks about our choices. God’s plans are the best plans, so why not partner with Him?

Sometimes we might wonder why a plan of ours doesn’t turn out as we had hoped. We were careful to think through every step, but it didn’t work. One possible reason is that we foolishly left God out of the plan. Instead of relying on the One who knows everything and has all power, we depended on our own knowledge, understanding, and resources to determine what we wanted to accomplish, where we desired to go, and how we would complete the plan.

An example of this kind of mindset is found in Genesis 11:1-9. After the flood, the Lord had told Noah’s sons, “Be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply on it” (Gen. 9:7). But their descendents gathered on a plain in Shinar and settled there, saying, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).

Although God had made it very clear that He wanted mankind to fill the earth, the people at Babel decided to make their own plan, disregarding the Lord’s instructions. In response to their rebellion, God confused their language so they could no longer communicate with each other and build the tower. As a result, His will was accomplished, and they were scattered abroad over the face of the earth.

Sometimes we act as foolishly as the people of Babel when we fail to consider what God would have us do. He is willing to guide our choices and direct us into His will if we will ask Him before we move ahead on our own. His plans for us are so much better than anything we could devise.

If we claim that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord, we should consult Him regarding every decision. He loves us, understands our weaknesses, knows what’s best for us and how to accomplish it, and can save us from the pain and trouble that could result from following our own selfdirected path. When He directs our way, He ensures that everything works out according to His will because He has the power to accomplish it.

We need God’s guidance for every area of our lives—financial decisions, marriage, business, education, or anything that concerns us. Sometimes we’re going in the right direction, but the timing isn’t right. God not only knows what we should do, but how and when as well. Some choices may seem fantastic from our perspective, but if they aren’t God’s will, we will regret them eventually. As Christ’s followers, we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us into all truth. But if we neglect His divine leadership and insist on going our own way, the Lord will let us face the consequences until we finally repent and turn back to Him.
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