Man Creatively Plans; God Masterfully Dictates
‘A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9’
Men have intelligence. They set goals and plan the means to achieve them. Irrational creatures cannot do this; they only react by instincts to stimulus. But the sovereign God manages the details of men’s plans, so that you are dependent upon Him, for He may bless the good man with a favorable outcome and turn the evil man’s plans upside down.
This proverb of Solomon is important. God rules your life. Man proposes; God disposes. Man freely devises; God powerfully directs. Man creatively plans; God masterfully dictates. Man acts as he pleases; God is pleased by how He uses man’s actions. God is the LORD! Your life and its plans are in His hands. Learn how to utilize this knowledge.
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 (Pr 16:3; Ps 37:4-5); devise a way to achieve your desired godly objectives (Pr 16:1; 15:22; 20:18); believe that He will take care of the details (Ps 37:23; 84:11).
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 might achieve your goals. Once you commit it to God 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 do not look for it. You live in a sinful world; everything is imperfect. God has not revealed perfect choices. You cannot see even the outcome 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.
Abraham devised a way to find a wife for Isaac, and the servant met Rebekah first. 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.
Consider Joseph in reverse. His brothers devised a way to get rid of “the dreamer,” who tormented them by his divine revelations, but the Lord directed their steps to sell him into Egypt, where he saved them all from starvation some years later (Gen 45:4-8; 50:19-21). They eventually fulfilled every dream Joseph had about them bowing low before him.
The Jews devised in their hearts to rid themselves of Jesus of Nazareth, but the glorious LORD turned their devices upside down. 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 about plans of wicked men, do not worry. They can bring nothing to pass that God has not already planned from eternity to overrule for His own glory, purposes, and people. The wicked are His pawns or puppets – His sword and His hand (Ps 17:13-14). Remember, He may even allow prosperity to deceive them (Pr 1:32). Remember, He may allow them to be successful for a while to heap up riches for you (Pr 13:22).
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, obtain the approval of many wise counselors, and move ahead trusting the Lord to take care of the details out of your control. Do not fret about perfect goals or strategies, for you are not capable of picking them. Your Heavenly Father cares for you, and He can more than compensate for any “mistake” you make with an inferior choice.