Read Jeremiah 10:23
23 I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.
We are not able to plan our own course. (NLT)
At first glance, this seems far too radical. All those diary appointments, all those church planning meetings, all those rosters, all those commitments, all that scheduling—is it all human folly or even sin?
Not quite. Of course we make our plans and think ahead. But always in a conditional sense. We plan what we believe is right and good and yet leave it open for God to change things as he sees fit. Paul planned much of his missionary activity but we know that sometimes things changed his plans.
The point seems to be that while we may plan, we ought not to assume our lives can be arranged independently of God. He alone knows the future. We can make certain assumptions and properly plan on the basis of those assumptions. But we cannot by force of will or intensity of organisation make the future just the way we want it to be. We can’t single-handedly bend the world to our will.
So we make all future plans on that understanding. And we remain open to what the future may hold. The anticipated smooth sailing may end up being rough buffeting. The anticipated fearful threat may be no more than a passing irritation.
Remember that the future has no real existence: it has not yet become real. Rather than trying to control the future, our focus is to be on the present. And to trust that the God, who is with us in the present, will be with us in whatever future is in store for us.