To what level is God sovereign in our lives? There are some who think God is not sovereign over their lives - they can do whatever they want. They can plan their lives to the smallest detail without ever consulting with the Lord to make sure that their lives are pleasing to Him. The truth though is something far different.
The plans of the heart belong to man is what Proverbs tells us. A man makes plans - and tries to set up how his life is going to be. There are those who make a few plans - and others who have an entire plan-book detailing almost every aspect of their lives. Whichever you are - you make those plans in your heart thinking that if you act on them you will be able to do what you want. But here is where Proverbs tells us something a little different - well - a lot different.
The answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Jehovah is the One who determines whether the plans of men are accomplished or whether they just remain plans. God is the ultimate arbiter of all things - if He says this will not happen - it will not happen. But on the flip side of this is a very comforting realization. If God says something IS going to happen - it will just as He said it would. This does place us in choppy waters at times, because men will criticize God for what He allows within the scope of difficulties, disasters, and ungodly behavior. All we can do in these situations is to call upon the revealed character of God as well as His perfect wisdom and wait until the day that all the secrets of men's hearts will be revealed to us. To us life may take on the look of the backside of a tapestry with threads seemingly going all directions in what looks like a helter-skelter pattern. Yet the front of the tapestry reveales His eternal plan which is beautiful in every way.
What we are to learn from this Proverb is what James tells us in his letter. When we presume upon God by saying we will do this or that, we are acting in insolent pride. What we need to say is that we will do this or that if God wills it. That is the wise man's stance on these things. There is one last lesson though - and that is we should seek and know God to where what is most important is not the inadvertant ways we may cross God's will with "our" desires, but rather that we would strive to know Him intimately so that "our" desires are submitted to His design at all times.