MARCH 17, 2023



“‘What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,’ says the Lord.  ‘You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins’” (Isaiah 30:1 New Living Translation).

It is often said that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. That’s true. But making wrong plans is also another way to fail. It’s not only enough to make plans but to make the right plans. But what appears right to human beings may not be right to God. Human beings have limited knowledge of the future.

But God knows the past, present, and future. He knows plans that appear right today but will lead to disaster tomorrow. He knows the right plans for some people, which might not be the right plans for others. Just as there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death, as Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 say, there are plans that seem right to a man but the end could be sorrowful.

Given this, it is important to make plans that agree with the plans of God for us. He told the people of Judah who were in Babylon that He knew the thoughts that He thought toward them, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give them a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Asking God for His plans and making plans that agree with His is the surest way to succeed in life. If we are going to prosper in life, if we are going to enjoy the best that God has for us, we must be conscious of the fact that His plans are the best for us and seek to align ourselves with His plans, not to pursue some plans that are contrary to His plans.

In Genesis 11:1-9, the Bible tells us how the people made a plan contrary to God’s and pursued it. God planned that human beings would fill the earth. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1:28a New King James Version). That was part of what God said to man after creating them, male and female. But these people in Genesis 11 had a contrary plan. Their plan was contrary to that of God. And it’s always dangerous when a man makes plans contrary to God’s, especially if he does that in rebellion or knowingly. Don’t make plans contrary to that of God for your life, another person, or generally.

Genesis 11:1-4 says, “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth’” (New King James Version).

These people didn’t want to scatter abroad upon the face of the whole earth contrary to God’s plan. They wanted to build a monument to themselves. They wanted to be famous. Their motive was to satisfy their interest and not to do the will of God. What is your motive or motivation for your plans? Would you say that your plans agree with the Word of God, or is it just about satisfying your selfish desire? Some people waste time, money, and other resources pursuing plans that God does not approve of or bless.

Even though these people had the resources to execute and accomplish their plans, God showed them that all power belongs to Him. He acknowledged that left alone, these people would succeed because they were united, but He demonstrated that if He was against them, they could not succeed. Genesis 11:5-8 says, “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city” (New King James Version).

God confused their language. They couldn’t understand one another. Thus, the project couldn’t continue. The people were scattered. If God decides to move against someone, he cannot succeed. If God assists someone, nobody can resist him and succeed. And if God resists someone, nobody can assist him and succeed. Don’t make plans contrary to God’s.

Talking about the rebellious people of Judah, the Prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 30:1 “‘What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,’ says the Lord. ‘You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins’” (Isaiah 30:1 New Living Translation). Isaiah rebuked the people of Judah for making plans to seek protection from Egypt. They wanted to seek the help of Egypt against Sennacherib of Assyria. They did not care if their plan was contrary to that of God.

See how the Good News Translation renders Isaiah 30:1: “The Lord has spoken: ‘Those who rule Judah are doomed because they rebel against me. They follow plans that I did not make, and sign treaties against my will, piling one sin on another.’” Don’t make plans that will cause you sorrow or disaster.

God also said in Isaiah 29:15, “What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their evil deeds in the dark! ‘The Lord can’t see us,’ they say. ‘He doesn’t know what’s going on!’” (New Living Translation). Why would anyone want to hide his plans from God? It’s a futile exercise because He sees everything; He knows everything. Isn’t it wise to lay your plans before the Lord and ask Him to guide you? Isn’t it wise to tell God what you plan to do and ask Him if He approves of it?

But some people will not do that. They hide their plans from God by not telling Him or asking for His direction. We all make mistakes; we always don’t know the right thing to do. Many times we do the wrong things. Should we not ask for His guidance? Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil” (New King James Version).

Be careful not to make plans that are contrary to that of God. King Jehoshaphat of Judah went into a wrong business alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel. It takes huge money and a lot of time to build ships but all of that was wasted because God was against his plan. Whereas The Titanic sailed before it sank four days into its maiden voyage when it struck an iceberg, the ships of Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah did not set sail!

We find the reason for this waste of resources in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37:  “After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.’ Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish” (New King James Version). 

You could see that from the outset, their business partnership was doomed to fail. The ships were destroyed before they were built! Also, 1 Kings 22:48 refers to this incident this way: “Jehoshaphat made merchant ships to go to Ophir for gold; but they never sailed, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion Geber” (New King James Version). Jehoshaphat’s plan didn’t agree with God’s plan because he was in partnership with a wicked king. It appears that Jehoshaphat learnt his lessons and refused further business partnership with Ahaziah when he proposed it (verse 49). Beware of making plans that are contrary to that of God. It leads to sorrow, doom, failure, and regrets. It could even lead to death. God forbid that you experience any of these.

In 2 Chronicles 18, even after the four hundred false prophets had deceived Ahab to go the war against Ramoth Gilead and the Prophet Micaiah told him the truth, he didn’t change his plan. Instead of listening to Micaiah’s prophecy, he took it personally against him and said he should be put in prison and fed with the bread of affliction and water of affliction until he returned from the war. “Then Micaiah said, ‘If you ever return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.’ And he said, ‘Take heed, all you people!’” (Verse 27 New King James Version). 

The audacity of Micaiah in making this declaration should have made Ahab finally change his plan but he refused to. True to the words of Micaiah, he died in that war. He wouldn’t have died if he had cancelled his plan and listened to a true prophet of God who revealed to him the intention of God to make him die in that war (2 Chronicles 18:18-22). Jehoshaphat at whose insistence Micaiah was brought to tell them whether they should go to the battle would have died as he was mistaken for Ahab who disguised himself to go to the battle while Jehoshaphat wore his robes.

Jehoshaphat shouldn’t have gone to that battle having heard what Micaiah said. How could you seek to know whether your plan was right and when a true prophet told you it would lead to disaster, you rejected his words and still went ahead with your plan? Jehoshaphat nearly died in that war. I think God showed him mercy because he was a good king.

Beware of making plans contrary to that of God. What should you do?

1. Don’t make plans contrary to the Word of God. The Word of God is the will of God. Let your plans agree with the Word of God. As Psalm 119:105 says, God’s Word should be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.

2. Make plans that are not contrary to what the Holy Spirit has said or is telling you. The Spirit of God always agrees with the Word of God. The Spirit of God will not lead you contrary to the Word of God. In Isaiah 30:1, God said in the second part of the verse that the people of Judah devised plans, not by His Spirit. Make plans by His Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

3. Pray to God as you make your plans. Don’t hide your plans from Him. Don’t be wise in your eyes. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight. The Bible records instances when David enquired from God before he took some actions. He wanted to be sure if his plans agreed with that of God for him (1 Samuel 23:1-5; 30:8; 2 Samuel 2:1-3; 5:18-20, 22-23).

Because of this, all his actions were successful. But in the case of Bathsheba, whom he committed adultery with, he didn’t enquire of the Lord! 2 Samuel 11:3 says, “So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’” (New King James Version).

4. Don’t make plans that go contrary to law – the laws governing society. As long as the laws don’t violate the Word of God, you must obey them. Those in authority must be obeyed, for all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God (Romans 13:1). Be law-abiding.

Beware of making plans that are contrary to that of God either for your life or concerning any other pursuit. Such plans don’t have His blessing. Always seek to follow the plans of God. They are the best and they are blessed.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me not to make plans that are contrary to that of God for my life or concerning any other pursuit. Show me the plans of God always that I may follow them; deliver me from following plans that go against God’s plans. Holy Spirit, I don’t want to follow my own plans; I want to follow the plans of God because they are the best and they are blessed. Guide me, Holy Spirit, not to do what seems right in my eyes but what is right in eyes of God.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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