Working in Vain or Co-Laborer?
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
This verse reminds me of the saying, “if you want to make God laugh, well just tell Him your plans.”
So often man settles for his plans rather than pursuing his purpose. We come up with the work we want to embark on, write up goals we want to accomplish, design vision boards based on our dreams and what we see others doing in the natural...without ever consulting the Author of our life’s story.
We quote, “write the vision, make it plain,” but leave out the major detail that GOD provides the vision.
We pray and ask God to bless OUR work, OUR ideas, OUR goals, OUR efforts, OUR plans not realizing how much we are settling...how much we are selling ourselves short.
It’s not about seeking God’s HAND to ensure that OUR plans don’t fail. It’s about seeking God’s PLANS to begin with - they never fail.
It’s about being co-laborers with God on the work that HE has established for us. It’s about walking in purpose.
I remember how before the year began, I had a list of goals I wanted to reach and when I wanted to reach them by. I even mapped out how I planned to accomplish them. However, as the beginning of the year transpired, my plans started to be delayed and I had to make adjustments. I was confused. I had prayed for God to work my plans out because of course they were in His will for my life. So why weren’t things going as I planned.
That’s it. That right there. I consulted God to bless my plans instead of seeking Him about His plans which are already blessed. Yes, my goals may be in His will for my life but did I ask Him where they were on His timeline for my life? Did I ask Him how He wanted me to go about accomplishing and obtaining these things? No. I didn’t.
Just because something is good doesn’t mean that it’s in God’s will for our life. Just because it’s in God’s will for our life doesn’t mean that it’s in His will for us to have right now. Just because it’s in His will for us to have it now doesn’t mean that He wants us to obtain it any kind of way. I had to learn this.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3 NLT
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”
Proverbs 19:21 NLT
“A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of God’s purpose will succeed in the end.”
Proverbs 19:21 TPT
Choose PURPOSE over PLANS.
When we pursue God’s purpose and plans for our life and are co-laborers with Him, success is inevitable. It’s a sure thing. Nothing we do is in vain when we are in His will. When it’s His will, it doesn’t matter the credit score. It doesn’t matter the education. It doesn’t matter what savings looks like. It doesn’t matter how many investors or supporters we have. It doesn’t matter who speaks against it or what obstacles arise. Whatever God starts, He sustains. Whatever work He establishes is sure to endure.
We must seek Him first in all of our ways (Prov. 3:5-6) but not only that, we must then follow suit with His instructions (Is. 30:21) for His ways are far better than ours (Is. 55:8-9). He isn’t a friend who we ask their opinion and then consider it. He is our Heavenly Father, our God guiding us in the way we should go. REST IN HIS PLANS for you. They are pure, true and without fail. With His plans, there’s no need for a safety net or plan B. They are a sure thing.
The key to success is seeking God FIRST and FOREMOST. (Matthew 6:33 and Proverbs 3:5-6)
Seek Him for His will.
Seek Him for His approval.
What God sets in motion, He sustains.
What God wills doesn’t return void.
What God establishes endures.
What God starts can’t be stopped.
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands — establish the work of our hands!”
Psalms 90:17 HCSB
“Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food — yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.”
Psalms 127:1-2 HCSB
“Find your delight and true pleasure in Yahweh, and He will give you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way, you’ll find HE pulled it off perfectly!”
Psalms 37:4-5 TPT
“For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:9 HCSB
We toil endlessly trying to establish and sustain our own plans rather than seeking God for the plans He’s already established for our life.
God’s way affords rest.
“It really is senseless to work so hard from early morning till late at night, toiling to make a living for fear of not having enough. God can provide for His devoted lovers even while they sleep!”
Psalms 127:2 TPT
Work smarter, not harder. Work wiser with God. This isn’t to say that God’s plans don’t take real work, they do. But our work isn’t in vain with Him. With Him the load is lighter because we’re operating in His strength and favor. Working with Him enables us to endure. Working God’s will, God’s way frees us from the stress and responsibility of ensuring it withstands time, gossip, opposition, etc. Working with Him, what we do is established and lasting.
“And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.” So they were persuaded by him.”
Acts 5:38-39 HCSB