What needs to be done to make sure our plans succeed? Today's proverb gives us that information. We find that the counsel God gives us on this helps us to grasp that to be a good leader who is able to make and succeed in plans, we do not need to be someone who can do it all themselves. Contrary to that thought - a good leader is one who when making plans is willing to consult with others. A great leader is one who also regularly consults with God.
Counsel is absolutely necessary when making good plans. Our passage today reminds us that plans are broken and frustrated when we do not do this. The word for frustration here is "parar" which means to break, divide, or frustrate. What is interesting is that the Bible speaks several times to the effect that God is the One Who will frustrate our plans if we do not seek Him in the midst of making them. What is even more fascinating is that we read in Isaiah 14:27, that the Lord's purposes cannot be frustrated. This leads us to the conclusion that the best plans are those made in concert with the will of God. Those are the plans that will stand - and will be established.
The second word that is interesting, especially in light of our plans and purposes needing to be those of God, is the word "consultation." This word is the Hebrew word, "sod" which means counsel or advice. The word has with it the concept of confidentiality and intimacy. Thus this refers to what some would call, "intimate counsel." The idea is that of great intimacy with the one from whom you are receiving counsel. Thus we come to the conclusion that in order to make solid, successful plans we need to have an intimacy with God. This takes planning out of a boring, man-centered process - and puts it into the category of fellowship and intimacy with God. If we lack this intimacy with God in planning - seeking His heart and His purposes to be fullfilled - we can expect some level of frustration and a fracturing of our plans.
When we have many counselors our plans succeed. The reason for this is because many counselors will help us to see our thinking and our personal planning from multiple perspectives. This will help us not fall into the trap of our own personal agenda taking over our plans. Another way of saying this is it keeps us from planning in the flesh. There will be enough feedback and counsel to rescue us from just doing what we want.
Planning is a good thing, but it breaks down when we make it too "me-centric." We are not farsighted enough to see everything that needs to be seen. We are too selfish not to see that we need multimple perspectives on a planned undertaking. The wise man therefore surrounds himself with a group of people who will help him see through another perspective than his own. The wiser man also spends much time in the presence of the Lord as he seeks to know what is the best course of action - and the best way to make his plans. This man will succeed.