Proverbs 20:18

ESV Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
NIV Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
NASB Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.
CSB Finalize plans with counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.
NLT Plans succeed through good counsel; don't go to war without wise advice.
KJV Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

What does Proverbs 20:18 mean?

Seeking advice from others is strongly advised in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 11:14; 18:17; 19:27). Good plans based on wise guidance are valuable when waging war. The same general idea applies to all situations. Diligence and planning are important (Proverbs 12:24; 15:22), even as we recognize that everything is subject to God's sovereign will (James 4:13–15). As a king and judge, Solomon understood this truth by personal experience.

Christians face many battles in the war against the Devil. He employs numerous schemes and evil allies against us. Ephesians 6:11 counsels us to put on the whole armor of God in this war. Verse 12 informs us we wrestle against a hierarchy of dark forces: "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." However, God gives us specific wise counsel by telling us to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and shoes of the gospel of peace. Also, we are supposed to employ the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God's Word. Finally, we are advised to pray at all times in the Spirit and to stay alert (Ephesians 6:13–18).
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