“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
Remember when I said that God often catches my attention through repetition? (see my previous Repetition=Pay Attention post) Well, this verse is one I have seen in different items I have been reading lately or has come up in other areas of my life. So I feel I need to stop and ask what is God trying to say to me through this verse?
I think it is really speaking to me about the issue of control. And giving control up to God in my life. In Mary DeMuth’s book, Everything, she talks about this in-depth:
“If we desire to live sustainable, growing lives, we must get to the place where we understand that our effort, even what we perceive to be holy effort, cannot accomplish God’s purposes. Our need for control shoves away God’s ownership in our lives, and it keeps us at the helm. In relinquishing control, growth flourishes. We learn to trust the sovereign One with our lives, to no longer micromanage even our relationship with Him. That type of journey thrives from the inside out.”
This quote shows me that my need to control my life undermines God’s work. The more tightly I hold onto the things around me, the more I get in God’s way. It is with an open hands and an open mind that I can finally begin to glimpse God’s purposes. Because I want Him at the helm, not me!
What I also like about this quote is that it even addresses the area of “holy effort” that I can sometimes think makes me worthy in God’s eyes. That without this effort of mine, God’s kingdom won’t (and can’t) truly come about. But that is not a biblical point of view. God can (and does) use me to change this world but he doesn’t need my efforts for His plans to come about. Jesus even rebukes his disciples once, saying “Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly?” (Matthew 26:53) This shows me that God’s plans work on a level I will never fully comprehend.
I also wrote about a similar verse in My Life Verses, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) In that post I said, “If only I can live out my life in such as way as to make this truth come alive in it. To understand that all my best laid plans are nothing compared to the ways God desires to work in and through me instead.” See the entire post here.
And yet, I am a planner! I love to-do lists and my online google calendar and organization, etc. I know this is part of who God made me to be so I also don’t want to discount that either. Therefore, I need to remember that these verses in Proverbs 19:21 and 16:9 don’t say that making plans is necessarily a bad thing. No, but what they do say is that in the midst of making our own plans, we need to bend a knee before the One who is really in control of it all!
**I’m linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart today. Click on the image below to find some other great posts in the linkup**