God Is In Control

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

– Prov 16.1

Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.

– Prov 16.3

The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.

– Prov 16.4

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

– Prov 16.9

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

– Prov 16.33

As I typed the title for this post, the old Twyla Paris song jumped into my mind.  But this morning I have been reflecting on the weight and beauty of Proverbs 16.  If you ever need a reminder of God’s sovereignty and provision, just settle in that chapter.  What is so amazing to me in this passage is the tension that we feel in daily life:  I truly feel as though I am making my own decisions, or that decisions are being enacted over me – but “every decision is from the Lord” (16.33).

I might encounter a situation and react, but “the answer of [my] tongue is from the Lord”(16.1)!  I might think that I am planning my path, my route, my life, whatever – but “the Lord direct [my] steps” (16.9).  And the most effective encouragement in my life is that “every decision is from the Lord” (16.33).  The Scriptures show us regular examples of people casting lots (rolling dice)  to determine the will of the Lord.  We can certainly use logic, discernment, and educated decision making processes, but V. 33 tells me that even if I throw dice, flip a coin or “pick a hand” to make a decision, the Lord is in control of that decision!

He has a perfect plan for my life to result in His glorification, a plan to sanctify me and to establish my path.  Do you trust Him to that end?  Or are you pushing back, imagining that you are in control?  Let us trust Him.

He who neglects discipline despises himself.

“A fool rejects his father’s discipline, but he who regards reproof is sensible.”

– Prov 15.5

“A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, he will not go to the wise.”

– Prov 15.12

“He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.  He who neglects discipline despises himself, but He who listens to reproof acquires understanding.  The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.”

– Prov 15.31-33

The book of Proverbs is one of the most gut-wrenching books of the OT to apply to life.  For me, anyways.  The conviction that flows forth from each verse reminds me of God’s holiness and goodness and my constant need for grace and mercies that help me attempt to apply these statutes for my life through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Hebrews makes the admonition to “not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He scourges every son whom He receives.” (Heb 12.5-6)  Who likes to be rebuked?  Who likes to hear that he is wrong?  Who likes to receive criticism?  Proverbs says that the wise man does.  That he heeds rebuke, discipline and reproof and applies it to his life.  And not only that, but the mark of belonging to the Lord is to be disciplined by the Lord.  Let us press on to be humble, receive and apply reproof, for only then can come honor.