Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Order My Steps

May 16, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 16:9-16 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):

The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.

As I thought about this proverb, several instances popped into my mind of people who made plans, but the Lord directed their steps.

The first to come to mind is Abraham and Isaac. Abraham thought he understood what God asked of him, and went to the mountaintop to sacrifice his son Isaac. But just as Abraham drew back his hand to take Isaac’s life, an angel spoke to him and showed him another way — a ram that was caught in the bush. Instead of leaving the mountain miserable because he had sacrificed his son, Abraham left the mountain praising God and giving God the name Jehovah Jireh — the God who provides

If you prefer the New or Second Testament, Saul had a plan to slaughter (or at least arrest) all the believers who were walking in the Way. On the road to Damascus, he was struck down and heard a voice asking “Why are you persecuting me?” He lost his sight and was taken blind to a believer’s house in Damascus, where he received his sight and converted to the Way — to being a follower of Jesus. His name was changed to Paul and he became just as vigorous in his service to Jesus as he had been when he was following his own plan.

Even I had a plan; my plan was to be a chaplain. I enrolled in seminary with the express purpose of being a chaplain. I worked through a summer unit of CPE (clinical pastoral education) and a year’s chaplain residency. However, I participated in a “clearness committee” that pointed me toward parish ministry. Reluctantly I agreed to follow their recommendation and found that Iloved working with a congregation. I would have been doing a good work as a chaplain, but perhaps not a God work.

Were we wrong to make plans? No, an earlier verse in Proverbs 16 states: Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Abraham’s plan was to sacrifice on the mountaintop; which he did, but he sacrificed a ram instead of Isaac. Saul had a plan to go to Damascus and do what he felt God wanted; which he did, but he ended up proclaiming Jesus. My plan was to walk beside people who were in hospice and needed comforting. I do that, and more besides. All of our plans were established, but in ways different than we imagined, with God directing our steps.

Thought for today: Do you have a plan? Is it a good plan? Do you think it’s exactly what God wants you to do, and yet instead of going straight you find yourself veering ever so slightly? Not because you wanted to, but because circumstances dictated that you should. Don’t rant and rave or feel miserable that your plan isn’t coming to fruition. In fact, your plan may just be beginning to be established.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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