Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top Five Consequences of Over-planning


My last post, "Top Five Consequences of Poor Planning," has inevitably led me to this one.

On the flip side to poor planning lies over-planning.

Some of you know this side quite well, as noted in the comments on my previous post (not naming any names but hers starts with J).

And yes, even I, the sometimes poor planner, can work myself right into over-planning. Actually, I'm quite good at it. So good at, in fact, the title of my book I am currently working on is Over-planned & Unfulfilled. It has guided much of my life, right up there with busy-ness (again, not naming any names but someone else knows about this one, too).

I know this is a little odd, that I am affected by not just one but both of these. Call it split personality or what you may, God certainly has His hands full with the likes of me.

The Bible clearly recognizes this problem of over-planning so I'm certain I'm not alone.
  • Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."

  • And Proverbs 19:21 again exposes the issue, "There are many plans in a man’s heart," but reminds us that God is in control, "Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand."
God's call to surrender often requires that we let go of pre-made plans and ideas or solutions and remedies of our own making. If we hold on too tightly to those plans, trusting in our own ability and wisdom rather than relying fully on Him, we are certain to face some consequences.
  • We have more stress and anxiety. When we rely on our own efforts to handle a problem or issue, we create undue stress and anxiety. Trust that no matter how big the problem is, God is in control, "...we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chronicles 20:12.
  • Our lives cannot declare His good works. How can we declare His works when we are trying to do all the work in our own strength? Psalms 73:28 says, "...it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works."
  • Our strength, hope, and faith become small. We can wear ourselves out physically, mentally, and emotionally trying to do it all, have it all, and fix it all. Sometimes we need to let go and trust. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint," Isaiah 40:31.
  • We miss important instructions. God has given us wisdom and trusts us to make good decisions, but what if He wants to move in a different direction? What if He suddenly changes things up, opens a door, or interrupts your schedule? Can you lay down your plans for His? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6.
  • Our problems and circumstances appear bigger than God. Without complete surrender, we are sending the message that our problems are too big for God. When we choose to surrender and recognize His authority and strength He is able to move.


There are a hundred other points I could list. Our inability to let go of our plans and embrace His truly affect every area of our lives (and not in a good way). We must remain flexible, willing to move, and surrendered.

Even when we don't want to.

Even when we don't understand.

Even when our idea is brilliant.

Even when His doesn't make sense.

Even when it hurts.

Even when _________________.

I am praying today you (and I) have the courage to kneel and the power to surrender. His plans are so much greater than ours, friends. love, Shelly

"Lead me in Your truth and teach me,


For You are the God of my salvation;


On You I wait all the day,"

Psalms 25:5.

5 friends had this to say:

Shelley said...

Wow what an awesome post and one I definatly needed to read today! I struggle with letting go of my plans and schedules. I like to know what when and where things will happen.

Jean Wise said...

This is one post I reread several times - so many good points. Yes, I too am an over-planner. I know I miss God's joys and nudges in my barging through life with MY plans,in my attempt to keep control. I love these two verses you shared from Proverbs and they are ones that I often pray with.

One visual that has helped me is to remember I am the sheep and He is the shepherd. I can roam the meadow or corral but stay within His boundaries and listen for His voice.

great post today!

Shelly said...

Thank you, Shelley and Jean. Onward we march, releasing those white knuckles wrapped around our brilliant plans and embracing His plans! :)

Jen Ferguson said...

Amen! You said it so so so well!

Shelly said...

Thanks, Jen ...starts with a J :)