Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Making Plans

“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

God’s plans and your plans can work together to accomplish the purpose he has for you. Nehemiah is a great example of this. Yesterday we talked about the first two steps Nehemiah took when he made plans toward his goals that would honor God.

Here are three more steps that Nehemiah modeled in developing a life plan.

Step 3: Expect fear, but don’t let it stop you.

When the king saw Nehemiah approaching, he asked him why he looked so sad. In those days, it was a crime to be sad before the king, yet Nehemiah was about to ask for a leave of absence to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city.

Nehemiah did two things with his fear:

  • He expressed his feelings. Nehemiah replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins” (Nehemiah 2:3 NLT). Admitting how you feel is how you grow.

  • He prayed quickly before speaking. “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4 NIV). Sometimes prayer can just be quickly and silently saying, “Help!”

There is a myth that godly people are never afraid. That’s nonsense! Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving ahead in spite of your fear.

Step 4: Establish a clear target.

Nehemiah got specific in his request to the king: “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city” (Nehemiah 2:5 NLT).

To establish a specific goal, you need to ask yourself three questions: What do I want to be? What do I want to do? What do I want to have?

Make sure you let the size of your God determine the size of your goal. A God-sized goal honors God and shows him that you trust him to help you.

Step 5: Set a deadline.

Nehemiah 2:6 says, “Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?’ It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time” (NIV). Even though it was ultimately God who orchestrated the timing, Nehemiah still “set a time” so that he had a clear plan.

If your goal doesn’t have a deadline, then it’s not a goal. Ask, “How long is it going to take?” Then put it in your calendar. Remember, a dream without a deadline is an empty wish. It won’t go anywhere.

Tomorrow we will look at the final two steps Nehemiah took in developing a life plan. Don’t miss it!

Talk It Over

  • After reading today’s devotional, in what ways do you think about your fears differently?
  • How has God been encouraging you to develop a life plan? Let the following questions guide you: What do I want to be? What do I want to do? What do I want to have?
  • Deadlines can often inspire dread. How does viewing deadlines in light of God’s purpose change your feelings about them? How are they beneficial when you make plans for your life?

The only way to truly live without fear is to settle your relationship with God. You can do that today by asking Jesus into your life. Start by praying this simple prayer: “God, you promise that if I believe in Jesus, I will be forgiven. I ask for that forgiveness now. I know that I am a sinner and that you are the only one who can cancel the record of all the things I’ve done wrong.

“Jesus Christ, I believe that you died to pay for my sins. I believe that you rose again and took away the power of death so that I can have eternal life with you in heaven. You also took away the power of sin in my life. Please help me to turn away from sin and faithfully follow you as Lord of my life.

“Thank you for saving me. Thank you that I don’t have to work for my salvation and that you gave me your grace, even though I don’t deserve it. Thank you for loving me, saving me, and accepting me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.