"A man's steps are directed by the LORD.
How then can anyone understand his ownway?"
"What will you be when you grow up?" "What is your careerpath?" "What is your 5-yearplan?" In light of Proverbs 20:24these questions seem a bit presumptuous.I think we all want to know where life is headed and I believe that weshould be diligent in planning and preparing for what is ahead. However, this proverb lets us in tosome key truths of our life path that we must deal with as we make our way intothe future.
1. Godholds all the answers. YES –He knows where your life is headed and is actually directing yoursteps. We should understandthis “directing” work as both His “allowing work” through the upholding ofthe universe and literally giving you air to breathe and a mind to thinkand His “guiding work” through the Holy Spirit’s active leadership in ourlives giving us the path and plans as needed in our lives.
2. We donot know what is best for us.This is a tough admission in our world. We like to think we know ourselves so well and candetermine with accuracy what is the best plan for our lives. Part of living a life ofdependence on God’s Spirit is admitting I don’t know. This is why we must be carefulabout announcing what we “will do one day” or what we “will neverdo.” God has a funny way ofmaking fools out of men.
3. Notknowing is NO excuse. Toomany Christians today are paralyzed in making decisions. This truth in Proverbs does notexempt us from the necessity of good decision-making in life. In this life God primarilyuses the mechanism of your decision-making to bring His will about in yourlife. Sure, on occasion He can and does dramatically interrupt your plansbut most often uses good old-fashioned choices…so make some!
4. We mustengage God’s directing work.God is actively guiding and directing us. We must engage Him inthis process. As we learn tolive in “active dependence” we will learn to discern His guidance anddiscover His direction. Alongthe way mistakes and mixing our desires with God’s direction willinevitably happen. Don’t letthese set-backs discourage you, simply engage Him again. Ideasfor engaging the Holy Spirit’s leading…
- Dailyresign the command of your life.Tell the Lord that it is Him you are following and submit to Hisleadership.
- Makeplans, but hold them loosely.Don’t simply “wing it,” make a plan for your day as well as yourfuture. As you discover God’sdirection freely adjust your plans or celebrate the confirmation and keepmoving along.
- Praydiligently about what you already know! Too often we in seeking God’s will we come with a “blanksheet of paper.” Instead we shouldpray about and commit to those things we already know are His will. Trust me – you will have littletime for much else! Istrongly suggest reading Matthew 28:19-20 (the Great Commission) and Mark12:28-31 (the Great Commandment) as a starting point.
- Dreambig. Bring your dreams tothe Lord. Pray about them.Ask God to direct or re-direct your thinking but don’t be afraid todream. Sometimes ourdreaming reflects our spiritual gifts that God uses in and through ourlives.
I hope this helps you know how to live for God today. I hope it clarifies the coming togetherof our decision-making and God’s directing in your life. I hope it makes sense. AS