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Your Plans Will Succeed
Proverbs 16:3 Stressed out when your plans don’t work out the way you think they should? Consult with God before you start…
Original photo © 2016, Steven Sande
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3 NLT
As we travel the roads and pathways of our earthly life, we all do a lot of planning. Sometimes those plans turn out just as we imagine, other times we get a result that is the complete opposite of what we wanted, and in many situations our plans may take us in an unexpected and different situation than what we had planned for.
There’s a great Yiddish saying — Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht — which translates as “Man plans, and God laughs”. In my early and (in hindsight) overambitious days, I had a lot of plans for success… but those plans were for my personal edification, not God’s glory. Rather than accept that God had different plans for me, I was constantly stressed out, angry and frustrated when things didn’t work out my way.
In the original Hebrew of today’s verse, the word commit is golel, meaning “roll to or upon”. Solomon meant that we should commit our actions or works to the Lord, at which time our thoughts and plans would be established, in line with His plans, and more likely to succeed. That’s kind of the opposite of what most of us do — we come up with our plans, then plead with God in prayer to make things go our way.
British Old Testament scholar Derek Kidner explains:
Our activities and plans will be no less our own for being His: only less burdensome, and better made1
God is a much better project manager than any human could ever be; after all, He created everything in six days, and even had a slack day built into His plan! We would all be a lot less stressed out about how our ideas will come to fruition if we rolled that burden onto Him and listened to His advice before setting off on an uncertain path.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
God, be with me today, surrounding me with Your wisdom and encouraging me to do everything for Your glory. I commit my works to You, and pray that You establish my thoughts with an unwavering focus on Your goals, not mine. AMEN.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Kidner, Derek "Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary" (Kidner Classic Commentaries) (Nottingham, England: InterVarsity Press, 1964)