Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Selected verses from Proverbs 16

Proverbs 16:1
The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit your works to the Lord
And your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:9
The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

In Proverbs 16 there are at least three verses that relate to planning. These verses are 1, 3 and 9. The one point all these verses make is that God is in charge and we’re not!

Eric Lane says, "The sovereignty of God is no mere philosophy, it is about life, both in its totality and its details. . . We work out where we want to go and how to get there, then take steps to fulfill our plans. But while free to follow our reason, we can ultimately do nothing without the consent of God's providence. He may prosper these plans, redirect or stop them altogether. For he too has plans, which take into account things we either don't know because we lack foresight, or we don't choose because they are unwelcome. (Emphasis mine) But he is the one with the greater power and it is his ‘purpose that will stand’ (Isa. 46:10, Prov. 19:21, 20:24, 21:30). Our best course is to cooperate with him by submitting our thoughts to him so that our plans coincide with his, and by committing our lives to him as we go out to fulfill them (cf. v.3)."

Folks, there is nothing wrong with planning. In fact, it's foolish not to plan, but we must never forget who is really in charge. When things don't go the way we planned we must resist the urge to grumble or complain. Instead, we need to recognize that the Sovereign One is working out His perfect plan and submit to Him!

As Eric Lane said, often God will choose things for us that we would never choose for ourselves. Many times this means adversity and a measure of suffering. When those times come we would be wise to remember James 1:2-4 which say, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, [3] knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

By the way, James 1:2-4 will be the text for Sunday morning's message! Hope to see you all Sunday!

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