(This is my inaugural blog in a weekly series where I share my thoughts behind some of my favorite scriptures out of the bible. If you want to see why I've started this weekly undertaking you can go back and read last weeks blog called "Pirates And Their Knots...")
"Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand." Proverbs 19:21
This is a verse that has frustrated me in the past.
I have a loud inner voice that shouts and kicks and screams for my way, my own purposes. I want what I want, how I want it, and when I want it. There is very little in my life that I actually see appease that obnoxious voice, though, and it's because of the lack of reconciliation between the two halves of this verse.
The word "plans" or also frequently used in other biblical translations "devices" means the things that a man meditates on or purposes or plots. The original Hebrew word also means artificial works. That is something that is constructed or built. I find this really interesting because we have all kinds of things we build, our homes, physically and immaterial, our careers, a fence, a Facebook page, a financial portfolio, our present and we also try to build our future. No matter what, though, whether constructed in the actual physical world or in our minds or hearts, these plans are still man-made.
Man's devices will never be God's plans. If it seems like my plan is lining up with something God is doing then it is only because I am actually just lining up my will with God's plans, not the other way around. In fact, the word "but" implies that eventually all of man's plans fail. Every single thing we try to do apart from Him will crash and fall but His purpose will never deteriorate.
This usage of the word "stand" in Hebrew means to arise, as if from a bed, to live, to raise up, to build up. I can see such a vivid picture of our plans being like buildings that we construct. Some tall, some short. Some are many window-ed, while others are solid brick. Fast forward a bit. 100 years or 500, it doesn't matter. Now that city of my plans looks like the crumbling buildings on the sand of Leonardo DiCaprio's limbo in the movie Inception. BUT, rising up out of the ashes of my plans is a city of indestructible construct, a city that was always intended and will last forever. This is the city of the Lord's purpose for me.
If I want to have a purpose or plan that will last forever then I have to focus less on building my own plans and more on the purpose of the Lord. What is He raising up? What is He building? That's the building I want to be carrying the lumber for.