Have you ever had a plan you wanted to work so badly but something happened and it didn’t go your way? You felt like everything—possibly including God—was going against you?
Maybe you questioned God’s reasons why it didn’t go the way you wanted. Especially because your intentions were good.
It was to help people out. It was to make a huge impact. It was going to set up your family so you would not have to worry about anything for a long time.
You maybe even questioned God’s judgement of your motives. After, your motives—your intentions—were innocent.
We say “but doesn’t God know why? ” and things like “doesn’t God know I want Him to get the glory.” Or, “God, You know my heart!”
After all, our hearts are pure and motives are legit. We can justify the reasons why we want what we want. To withhold answering our requests and prayers prayed from “pure motives” seems questionable because we think we deserve or need the request and can handle having what we request—or, so we think.
King Solomon, the wisest man—other than Jesus—to ever live, penned these word that might give us direction when our plans fail or our prayers go unanswered.
To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:1-2 (NIV)
You may have come up with a great plan you thought was motivated with great intentions but God sees even into the core of our intentions. He sees how our hearts will be shaped by the outcome of the plan.
There are many people who want to see God do big things. They have dreams of helping many people. They tell God, if you do this for me then I will do so much for you.
But it never happens. Why? Well I don’t know. I can speculate but that can come across as judgmental. What I do know is God sees our motives.
I’ve had plans fueled by what are good intentions that never came to be. As I evaluated them, there seemed to be a core heart issue of my identity, popularity, acceptance, and achievement behind them. The pride embedded in my plans was more than likely the reason I didn’t see them fulfilled.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)
Maybe what you are dreaming big dreams for is great. But guard your heart. We can deceive ourselves and convince ourselves our intentions are pure. But God sees deep into our hearts and can determine the true motive we can justify away.
So guard your hearts with your plans. Better yet, give your plans to God.
King Solomon follows this wise word up with a great promise.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)