Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Proverbs 16:9

The following was shared with us by a friend. I really like it and it spoke to me. I thought I would share it with you.

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Man is an intelligent creature: he has desires and can plan the means to achieve them. Irrational creatures cannot do this; they only react by their instincts. But the sovereign God manages the details of men's plans, so that we are dependent upon Him; for He may bless the good man with favorable details and turn the evil man's plans upside down.

Here is God's government of our race. Man proposes; God disposes. Man freely devises; God powerfully directs. Man willingly plans; God masterfully dictates. Man acts as he pleases; God is pleased by how He uses man's actions. He is the LORD!

Many wander and wonder through life, wishing they knew God's will for them. But His will is not a mystery, and much of the answer is in this proverb. Commit your works to the LORD (16:3; Ps 37:4-5); devise a way to achieve your desired godly objectives (16:1; 15:22; 20:18); believe that He will take care of the details (Ps 37:23; 84:11). Simple!

Obedient Christian reader, these words are for you: the LORD gave you a heart, so follow your affections for what you prefer. He gave you a mind, so think of how you want to get there. Once you commit it to the Lord and follow the rules of Scriptural wisdom, go for it! No matter what it is! Simply submit it to God's will (James 4:13-15)!

There is no "perfect" anything, so don't look for it. We live in a sinful world; everything is imperfect. God has not revealed perfect choices for us. You cannot see even the future of the next five minutes. You will waste your life searching; and you will always be frustrated. Most any job will do, if the Lord directs your steps! And this is the same with marriage, house hunting, business deals, family size, and so forth and so on.

Ruth devised in her heart to glean fields - pick up after the reapers - the sorriest job ever (Ruth 2:2)! But the LORD directed her steps to the field of Boaz, a rich, single man who married her, and they had David as their great-grandson (Ruth 2:3; 4:17). Glory!

The Jews were condemned! Esther devised in her heart to have King Ahasuerus and Haman for lunch, though she feared even asking the King (Est 4:16-17). But the LORD turned his heart toward her; and after she told him of Haman's evil plans, the King found him begging for his life upon her bed, and that was that (Est 7:7-8)! Give God the glory!

Abraham devised a way to seek a wife for Isaac, and the servant met Rebekah directly. Jacob devised a way to flee from Esau, and the Lord blessed him to become rich with a large family. Joseph chose to be righteous, and the Lord directed his steps to Egypt's throne. Jesse devised a way to send food to his sons in the army, by his youngest son David, not knowing that God was directing David's steps for a showdown with Goliath!

But let us look at Esther in reverse. Haman devised a way in his heart to annihilate the Jews, and he manipulated King Ahasuerus into signing the decree (Est 3:1-15). But the Lord directed his steps to total humility and ruin by building a gallows, meeting the king at a time that resulted in honoring Mordecai, and falling on Esther's bed (5:1 - 7:10)!

Consider Joseph in reverse. His brothers devised a way to get rid of "the dreamer," that tormented them by his divine revelations; but the Lord directed their steps to sell him into Egypt, where he saved them all from starvation (Gen 45:4-8; 50:19-21).

The Jews devised in their hearts to rid themselves of Jesus of Nazareth, but our glorious LORD turned their devices upside down. For His crucifixion was God's choice for the salvation of the very people they hated and hoped to ruin; and He returned in holy revenge to destroy their temple, city, and nation. Every step they took in this most heinous crime was according to God's eternal purpose (Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:28; 15:18).

When hearing of the devices of the wicked, do not be moved by them at all. They can bring nothing to pass that God has not already from eternity planned to overrule for His own glory, purposes, and people. See the comments on 19:21.

When facing a decision and not knowing what to do, here is wisdom. Submit your life and works to the LORD, choose that course that pleases you best within the limits of godly wisdom, and trust the Lord for the details. Do not seek or fret about the perfect choice, for you are not capable of making it. Your Heavenly Father cares for you, and He can more than compensate for any "mistake" you make with an inferior choice.



Anonymous said...

After an exceptionally rough week, I can not tell you how much this has encouraged me!

"When hearing of the devices of the wicked, do not be moved by them at all. They can bring nothing to pass that God has not already from eternity planned to overrule for His own glory, purposes, and people."

Thank you for that reminder!!

Much love,

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we have all said this many times, but God meant for me to hear this today. What a great encouragement and blessing. Thank you for sharing and opening your life to us on your blog.

fourkid said...

Thank you for this - so simple and so true.

stacy said...

what good thoughts you have given me today. thanks! i always enjoy visiting you at your farm.

blessings, stacy