To humans belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.
All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,Proverbs 16:1-3
and he will establish your plans.
Even though these are separate verses they flow together to send me a message I needed to be reminded of today. To me, these verses are all about humility. As humble as I may try to be, pride is always crouching in wait. It sneaks in when we are least expecting it, and we often don’t readily see its presence. It generally begins slowly when we are experiencing success. The pride growing in our accomplishments is a good thing, but I must be careful not to attribute my successes only to myself. If I begin to give myself too much credit I also start forgetting that my success flows from the blessings and spiritual gifts provided by God. This subtle shift changes my perspective. I stop looking to God to direct my path and start making my own plans.
God is bigger than our plans, and His plans are always better. We may believe we are doing what is right or working for God’s purpose, but God knows when our hearts have shifted towards ourselves. On the outside, and to other people, we may still appear to be putting God first, but God knows our hearts and our motives. When we take control our motives become selfish, and we can get lost. But if we continue to look to God he will direct our paths and always lead us to the proper end.
I experienced this personally over the past month. I started writing a little over a year ago. When I had started researching and writing I was doing it just as a way to organize my own thoughts. It helped me to dig deeper into God’s word and find answers to the questions I had. As I continued, I felt the Holy Spirit stirring in my soul. It was exciting and I couldn’t wait to learn more. I spent most all of my spare time researching and comparing history and science to God’s Word, and I loved it! In fact, there were times that I felt like the Holy Spirit was the one doing the writing. I was compelled to see it through to its conclusion.
I immediately wanted to share it with everyone I knew because the message felt bigger than me. Somewhere along the way, however, my focus began to change. I began to take control, trying to make it better. I decided to self-publish last month. I’m not sure when I started believing that it was up to me to succeed. It was only through God that I even wrote it. I wanted to share the message so I started trying to think of ways to make people take notice. Further, I was frustrated when my attempts were failing. Then I remembered… God doesn’t need me. If He wants something to succeed He will make it succeed because there is nothing he can’t do. With that realization I saw that maybe writing had really been about teaching me something about myself and about God. Even if I was the only one to benefit, it had still been worth doing. So I have committed my writing to the Lord. I pray he continues to guide me and teach me more every day.