It's become a well-worn axiom for business managers: Plan the work and work the plan. This statement challenges us to commit significant thought and energy to the details that must be taken care of in order to meet an objective. We have to map out the processes. We have to consider the implications. We need a strategy. We need a plan. And then we need to execute it. We need to stick to it, adjusting only in the face of hard, new evidence and not on a whim.
But who's making this plan? And who is responsible for its success or failure when it is implemented?
The Hebrew word translated “plans” in Psalm 20:4 is sometimes translated as “counsel” or “strategy” (Isaiah 11:2; 36:5). There is an implied understanding of the limitations of human planning. As the king is about to go into battle, his people are praying not only that his plans succeed, but also that God's plan for him succeeds.
• “May the lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you” (v. 1).
• “Now I know that the lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the lord our God” (vv. 6-7).
When we're walking with God—when we're joining Him in the things that He is doing—our plans are inseparable from God's plans. We can confidently ask Him to make our plans succeed because those plans are in line with His plans.
Whether it is a king going into battle, a manager planning a sales strategy, or a CEO planning a corporate merger, there are limitations to human planning. Today, take comfort in knowing that God is there to help you plan the work and work the plan.