Best Laid Plans

Conventional wisdom tells us that to be successful we should become adept at planning. Good planning helps us manage resources and minimize unexpected challenges.

But life doesn’t always work out as we planned.

We pour ourselves into a manuscript, but agents and editors are not interested.
We finally receive that coveted contract, but sales are less than stellar.
We struggle to balance marketing our current release while writing the next book.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from Abram. In Genesis 12:2-3, God promised to bless Abram, who subsequently grew wealthy. Even so, God’s promise of an heir had yet to be fulfilled, and Abram and his wife became too old to have children.

Like any good businessman, Abram offered God a plan. He could adopt an heir according to the practices of his day. God was not interested in this or any other suggestion. His promise would be fulfilled in His way. He revealed Himself to Abram by a new name – Adonai — the Lord.

Abram called God, Lord GOD. He understood that the Lord — Adonai — had the right to command him. Abram’s sole assignment was to take God at His word. Like Abram, we need to trust God’s plans for our lives…and for our writing. He is our Lord and He has the right to command us. Ours is the privilege to believe and obey Him. The only appropriate response is to yield to His lordship.

So we continue to use the gifts God gave us to write and speak. We share stories and lessons because, as writers, we cannot not share them. We plan and prepare. We market and write some more. But ultimately, Adonai calls us to trust Him for the timing and the results.

One day, the world will acknowledge God is Adonai and that the title “Lord” also belongs to God’s Son, Jesus. For now, we write our plans in pencil and carry a big eraser.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established”
(Proverbs 16:3 ESV).

How are you planning your writing in a way that leaves room for Adonai’s sovereignty?

[Adapted from Ava Pennington’s devotional, Daily Reflections on the Names of God.]


Ava Pennington is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids,  including Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? She has also written numerous articles for magazines such as Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, Today’s Christian Woman, Power for Living, and Called.

In addition to her writing, Ava also teaches a weekly, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class. She is a passionate speaker and teacher, and delights in challenging audiences with the truth of God’s word in relevant, enjoyable presentations. For more information, visit her at

2 thoughts on “Best Laid Plans

  1. I’m a list-maker. IA really liked your note about writing in pencil and carrying a big eraser. Sometimes I find myself making plans without consulting God. Thanks for the reminder to reverse that process.

  2. A great post. Thank you!

    I love writing in pencil and I have got to have an eraser.

    God doesn’t measure success the way we do. He is proud of us for using our gifts. Maybe that should be all the payment enough.

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