There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel — that will stand.Prov. 19:21 NKJV
I’m just full of plans, but there’s no guarantee that any of them will come to fruition. (A plan details a purpose I have set forth.) Circumstances, limitations, and even my own laziness or ineptness may frustrate my success.
Forming a purpose and making plans are human activities that reflect the divine image, with one obvious difference: The Lord always performs that which he purposes. The weeping prophet wrote of God’s punishment of the cruel Babylonian empire, “For the Lord has both devised and done what he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon” (Jer. 51:12).
Truly, only the Lord can say with all assurance,
I have purposed it;
I will also do it.
You and I, frail humans that we are, must always preface our purposeful plans with a “If the Lord wills” (Jas. 4:15).
When God speaks, it’s as good as done (Isa. 55:11). Man’s pronouncements are contingent — he may or may not do as he proposes.
Jesus’ final cry at the cross was, “It is finished.” That’s why he is God’s Yes. “… in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:19,20).
So God is faithful, because he does what he sets out to do. His promises are sure, for he has never failed to fulfil a single one, nor will he ever fail.
Some have suggested that the Almighty just might invoke divine prerrogative to do things differently on the Last Day than what he has said he will do. These vain imaginings forget the infallible purpose of God!
- When God declares that he will save only the obedient who is immersed in order to receive forgiveness of sins, that will stand (Acts 2:38,39).
- The Lord in his purpose has provided strength to overcome temptation, and that will stand (1 Cor. 10:13).
- The Savior will use his church (and not human divisions and denominations) to proclaim the saving truth, and that will stand (Eph. 3:10,11).
- The called according to God’s purpose will discover that all things, barring none, will work together for good in their lives, because the Lord is doing it, and that, too, will stand (Rom. 8:28-31).
God’s counsel, or purpose, is immutable (Heb. 6:17). No amount of philosophizing, theologizing, or rationalizing will modify the purpose and plan of God.
He will do it.