It seems that many folks grapple with finding God’s direction for their lives. Relax, verses 1, 3, and 9 begins to help us discern how God directs our steps. Keep in mind that it is a process, not an event. It requires a steadfast commitment to … waiting. Let’s read those verses, then rough in a structure for the process of learning God’s plans for you.
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.” Proverbs 16:1
“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
From these verses a framework for following God’s leadership develops:
- Plan, but plan prayerfully – A bucket full of verses in Proverbs have shown us that we tend to think and move in directions that seem natural to us, but are not God’s plan at all. God’s ways are not our ways; His plans are not like our plans. See Isaiah 55:8-9
- Submit to God’s Word and direction – Submission is continual surrender to God and following what He shows you. You cannot be “surrendered” to God until your will is neutral and you are happy with any direction that God provides.
- Keep seeking Him in His Word. The primary way that God teaches and “speaks” to us is through His Word.
- Be patient!
- Move as God directs, one step at a time, and be content with only knowing the next step, not the ending.
Take a few moments and think back through each of those points. Ask yourself some tough questions from them.
I assume that you took a few minutes to revisit those verses. If not, shame on you. You will never know God’s plan for your life. I’m kidding, sort of.
Now, back to our routine that highlights some intriguing verses in a succinct and snarky fashion:
- Verse 7 – Walking with God can help tame even your fiercest foes. This a remarkable kind of favor from God. Keep in mind, this is not a passive process.
It’s not, “Hey God, look, I’m being nice, give me peace with the jerks around me.” You might want to review the summary of verses 1-3 that you brushed off earlier and read the verse below:
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:5-6
- Verse 24 – Being kind-worded helps others; it helps them down deep. It helps even more than we know.
- Verse 25 – While doing dumb and destructive things might seem normal to us, it’s always best to check with God first. All the more reason to listen the counsel of others.
- Verse 27 – People who stir the sewage are not a new phenomenon! Even Solomon had to put up with those types of no-gooders. Stay away from them. This verse yields a fine description of a trouble-maker — one who looks for trouble, digs it up, and spreads it at record speed.
- Verse 32 – A cool, deliberate head has greater might than the biggest muscles.
As we close … Memory verse alert!
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
OUCH! That one stings, but it saves us from trouble. When we are most self-pleased we are most suited to fall, or fail. Rather than elaborating on this, just circle back, read that verse several times, and commit it to memory. You will be surprised how often it flashes to mind during the day. And, how it humbles you … which is the point.