Monday, January 9, 2012

One Minute Devotion: Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart plans his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
When preparing this latest installment I had a choice between two particularly moving passages, Proverbs 16: 5 and 9. I went with the latter this go round and will save verse 5 for another time. I call this verse the definition of actual control. It sets up the architectural design of the reality of control. To put it simply, if control was a house, God provides the foundation, infrastructure, roof, electrical and plumbing, paint, tile, flooring, landscaping, and all aspects of pre and post construction. We in turn hang a couple of pictures set out the welcome mat and mow the lawn. In fact, we do not own the funds to sign the check and pay the contractor. A person may even be bold enough to think he provided the blueprint for his domain when, in fact, his schematics would not pass the smallest of spiritual building codes. A wise man once told me, man conceives the goals for his life with consummate enthusiasm and pride only to hand them to God and watch Him laugh at them. Does that mean God is cruel? Absolutely not, instead; God knows that left to our own resources we would build sandcastles in the midst of hurricanes. Our agendas always fall somewhere between selfish, materialistic, narcissistic, and self promoting usually ending in failure. God's plan provides us with the ability to be everything He created us to be. To be useful in a way we may never have imagined, bless others in extraordinary ways, and literally move His kingdom plan forward. Impressive compared to our so called ideas of accomplishment or greatness. To better understand this we must first examine the word sovereign which describes the primary attribute of our creator. Dictionary.com defines sovereign in this way;  as being above all others in character, importance, and excellence and greatest in degree. God possess all authority over the universe as He is the one who crafted it. So his sovereignty over our lives is a given. This may seem to us, who are entitled and proud thoroughly unappealing. How dare God rule over us?  How could this sound like a positive proposition? The answer to the question is found in the word providence. The same website states providence is the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of earth and a manifestation of divine care or direction. Providence is the highest form of care, guidance, and direction. Providence is only successful when applied by a sovereign God. God's interest is not in ruling over us that is what sin does. We are addicted obsessed manipulated cajoled and decimated through the course of our sins. We have no choice when we are in sin it sits as king on the throne of our hearts and governs us without mercy. It is a ruthless dictator that insists that its commands are followed without contradiction. God freed us from that power through His Son's sacrifice on the cross. His passion is to be our sovereign Lord, so He may bestow His prefect providence to us. He knows all the trappings that sin has left behind, where we will make our mistakes, what relationships will be a benefit and not a burden, and what we can become shaped by the potter's hands. Our best interest is always where His heart is. So does that mean we do not plan? That we sit idle and do nothing. Again, absolutely not. Instead, God wants us to have our desires match His, to seek out what God's desires are for our life. The process is uncomplicated, pray and plan, not the reverse, seeking God's wisdom to find the best plan for our lives. As His word says, "Trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding." Without God's guidance how do we navigate life and survive its squalls and rogue waves? Without God's care how do we overcome tragedy and trial? Without God's direction how do we truly know where we are headed? For finite beings, control is an illusion. We are either puppets of the world or free men following the wisest and greatest of leaders. Life is a losing game of tug of war when God is left out of the equation. We are pulled away from a future in Christ while being pulled to our own destruction. Now the thing that will blow your mind is that God is never absent from the equation. Whether we accept His providence or not, He will work His will. He forged all existence from the words of His mouth and holds the only keys to history and time in the palm of His hand. He is called almighty for a reason and this almighty God's greatest desire is to have you submit to Him so that he may perform a complete work in your life. Think for a moment, have you ever been offered anything better than that? Who is sovereign over your life? Who has control? God bless.

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