This week’s verse? I spent too many years living it in reverse. My version went something like this:
Commit your plans to paper,
and hope the Lord likes them.
Of course, God’s Word says just the opposite. His version is the right one, the one that matters:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,… Proverbs 16:3
Donna chose Proverbs 16:3 as her favorite: “Prayer first is a mighty force when guidance and direction is needed.” Exactly so.
This is how we roll, sisters. We pray.
Now, get ready for a big, juicy aha: the words “commit” (ASV) and “trust” (NLV) and “share” (CEV) and “depend” (EXB) and “show” (WYC) and “lay open” (DRA) are all fine translations, but the original Hebrew gives us the best word picture of all.
Galal means “to roll.” To physically roll something away from you. To release it. As my friend, Karen Ehman, says, “Let. It. Go.”
Imagine rolling your “work” (NLV), your “efforts” (GW), your “activities” (HCSB) off your shoulders and onto His. Think of laying your daily burdens at His feet. Picture entrusting your loved ones to His care. Envision releasing your long to-do list to Him, then letting Him put things in order and check off each item for you. Done.
That’s what this verse from Proverbs asks us to do. “Roll your works upon the Lord” (AMP). Trust Him to guide you from one task to the next, according to His best plan for you. Put your faith in His choices for your day. Let go of the need to control. every. minute.
Stop measuring a productive day by what you have accomplished, and celebrate what God has accomplished in and through you.
…and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Jeanne held onto this verse while planning her oldest daughter’s wedding. “Whenever I got overwhelmed with all the details, I repeated Proverbs 16:3, reminding myself that her special day belonged to the Lord, and I dedicated it to Him. The result was a day beyond my expectations, filled with delight and joy overflowing.”
Wish we’d been there, Jeanne. Always a joy to watch God work.
In Hebrew, His plans, His “purposes” (ASV) for us are kun, or “firm.” God leaves nothing to chance or whim. What we call interruptions, God calls perfect timing. What we consider mistakes, He considers lessons.
Before your plans are ever written or spoken, they are thoughts. That’s the exact meaning of the Hebrew word, chashab. God doesn’t wait until you’ve done something to get involved. He is in your heart and in your thought processes from the beginning. We’re talking the very beginning, beloved.
Because of His boundless love, your “thoughts shall be directed” (DRA) by Him, and “He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will” (AMP).
Wait. Is this like brainwashing? No, this is more like heart cleansing (Hebrews 10:12). God assures us everything “will work out well” (NLV), according to His plan for us. So, our “planning will succeed” (ISV) because God is alive and at work in our hearts, minds, and actions.
Laurie loves Proverbs 16:3 because it reminds her “to commit my actions and plans to further God’s kingdom, and not my own agenda.” So well said. And Betsy’s beautiful thought? “May God guide me always to be at work in His will.”
Heavenly Father, in this busy season of making a list and checking it twice, help us lay down our pens and our plans, and seek You in our prayers. Guide our thoughts, so they are in alignment with Yours. Give us the courage to say no to overspending and yes to spending more time with You. Let Your light shine in the darkness of our days. Let Your love shine in our works and on our faces.
Now it’s your turn
- What do you need to roll onto the Lord’s shoulders right now?
Sometimes typing our thoughts onto the screen literally gets the ball rolling. Please click Post a Comment below and share what’s on your mind.
As a special thank-you for being one of my faithful readers, each time you post a comment on my blog from now through December 31, 2014 (one comment per post, just to be fair), you’ll be entered to win a special custom-made gift from Lizzie which features Your #1 Favorite Proverb of the year!
Of course, if I show you these items, I’ll be spilling the beans. So…trust me? They are lovely. Minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’ll chose 10 comments at random and give away 5 silvery necklaces and 5 colorful prints, both with Proverbs __:__ on them.
So excited about spending December with you!
Your grateful sister, Liz
For readers who love a romantic time and place: A Wreath of Snow
For children who love a heartwarming story: The Pine Tree Parable
For friends who love being encouraged: The Women of Christmas