We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Have you ever wondered about this verse? At first glance it might make you feel that even though God has told us that we are free to choose our own direction in life, maybe we aren't free after all, but take a look at what happened to me in this true story. Tell me, did I do exactly as I had planned to do, or did God use me along my way, tweaking my plans, and making them better?
Years ago I worked in one area of a hospital for most of the day, had a 3 hour break and then went to another area to work for a couple more hours there.
I recall one specific Friday that after I had worked in the first area until 4pm I waited for my start time of 7pm to begin, and when I arrived I found that they had canceled all their appointments and were closed, but nobody had contacted me to let me know. My plans that evening were to drive 300 miles after 9pm to see my wife who was attending a class for continuing education, but I could have left at 4 when I was done at the first job.
As I drove home to get my stuff and prepare for the trip I recall being very angry, and as I left my home my anger continued. As I got close to the freeway though I recall being sorry that I was angry because I knew that God was in charge. Besides, I had asked Him to be, and He is always faithful.
I turned onto the freeway and within about a quarter-mile I passed a man who was walking with a large backpack, but I don’t recall him hitchhiking actually. He wasn’t asking for a ride, but I as I drove past him a little voice inside of me told me to stop and pick him up. By the time I quit arguing with the voice I was at the next exit. So I turned off the freeway, went back around to the last exit and got back on the freeway. Then I stopped in front of him. As he came running to the truck he said, “There is a God”!
I recall being surprised by that remark, and I’m not sure exactly how I responded, though I do recall telling him about me turning around to get him and why, and telling him that God must love him a great deal. I also recall that he seemed surprised to hear that.
The next two hours turned out to be the shortest two hours of my life because he and I talked mostly about God and his love. We talked about how all the things that had happened had been used by God to bring us together at that exact point in time, things like him walking an extra 45 minutes because he missed his turn and me being delayed like I was.
The Bible tells us that we can make our plans but that God will change them if we allow Him too. Keep in mind that God will never lead His children in a direction that they wouldn’t choose for themselves if they knew the end from the beginning like God does. My plan to drive to see my wife became a reality, but God sure changed my "steps" and my attitude! I am still praising our God because of that experience, and it's been over 12 years!
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.