Text: Proverbs 3:1-18
I. While God has given us guidelines wherein to make decisions, He does not make decisions for us
A. We are required to choose whether to follow God’s guidance or not
B. We are expected to make choices even between two paths of morally correct decisions
C. I can compare my decisions against the Word of God to insure that the decisions I make are righteous, but in decisions where matters of right and wrong are not involved, it means I might not always know which direction is best.
II. Why uncertainty exists
A. We don’t know everything
1. We know what we want, but we cannot find because of our own faults - Isaiah 59:9-15
2. Our best knowledge looks like foolishness to God - Isaiah 44:25; I Corinthians 1:25
B. We don’t know the future
1. We don’t know what will happen even later today - Proverbs 27:1
2. We don’t know what will happen after our life - Ecclesiastes 3:22
3. Foolish to even try - Ecclesiastes 10:14
C. We can’t control the future
1. Ecclesiastes 9:11 - Things happen
2. James 4:13-16 - Our plans don’t always work as we thought
D. Given all this, what does it mean then when I say that I’m going to college to get a degree, or that I’m going to marry someone?
1. It means I can’t be certain that any of my plans will work out as I thought
2. Ultimately we must realize that God is in control - Proverbs 19:21
III. What can I do?
A. Make some sort of plan
1. Even though you can’t control the future and you don’t know what the future holds, you ought to have direction to your life.
2. A wise man has plans to direct the course of his life - Proverbs 13:16
3. You see this in Paul’s life. He frequently talked about what he would like to do if things worked out - Romans 1:13; I Corinthians 16:3-8
a. He has ideas on what he would like to accomplish
b. But you also know that he’ll take things in stride if it doesn’t work out.
B. Get things ready in advance - Proverbs 20:4
1. When do you get ready for living on your own? (Hint: After the first bill comes it’s too late.)
2. When do you start getting ready for the responsibilities of marriage? (Hint: After you say “I do” it’s too late.)
3. Proverbs 30:25 - Doing things a piece at a time makes greater impact with less effort.
C. Don’t make impulsive decisions
1. Rushed decisions tend to be wrong decisions - Proverbs 21:5
2. Stay away from get rich quick schemes - Proverbs 28:20
D. Prepare for adversity
1. While things go well, prepare for things to go bad - Proverbs 6:6-11
2. Don’t exhaust your options - Proverbs 21:20
a. Leave padding for things that might go wrong.
b. Don’t let one thing be critical - Ecclesiastes 11:6
c. I hear people say, “I going to do X and if it pans out, then I’m going to be set for life.” That’s nice. What are you doing if it doesn’t pan out?
E. Pay attention to where you are going
1. Things unwatched disappear or go bad - Proverbs 27:23-27
2. Try to avoid evil when you can - Proverbs 27:12
3. Be willing to change when needed. Don’t be locked in the direction you are going - Proverbs 13:18-19
F. In other words you make the best decisions that you can
1. Knowing that at times you’ll make mistakes because we don’t know everything
2. Knowing that at times I’ll have to change course because it just isn’t working.
IV. Trust in the Lord
A. Always, the overall guide to my life is the Lord - Matthew 6:33-34
B. Too many know what they ought to do, but still they go their own way - Proverbs 3:5-7
C. Even in adversity, God can make things work out in the long run - Romans 8:28
V. Uncertainty will exist in life
A. No plan will protect you from uncertainty
B. So always plan with the one certainty in the Universe – God and His promises - Isaiah 14:26-27
C. Where does God fall in your plans? - Luke 12:16-21
1. What are your hopes for eternity?
2. Don’t be like the foolish rich man