“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3 NLT
There are some verses in the Book of Proverbs that sound almost too good to be true. They seem to offer us some pretty significant promises; like guaranteed success in all our plans if we simply commit those plans to God. But is that what this verse is really saying? Is this some kind of spiritual secret to success that assures us of a positive outcome no matter what we plan to do? Common sense would tell you that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. The first part of this verse is critical to understanding what’s offered in the second half. “Commit your actions to the Lord.” That word “commit” can literally be translated “roll over.” It conveys the idea of rolling over or transferring something from one person to another. It is the idea of rolling over or committing your actions to God. Give them over to Him. The word “actions” are those works you intend to do. It has to do with your future plans. In other words, we are to give over to God those works that we want to do. Hand them over to Him. Share them with Him. Get His opinion about them. Don’t move forward without His blessing and approval. If you look closely, you can see that this verse is really talking about submitting to God’s authority in your life. It is encouraging an attitude of complete dependence on Him. In order to us to “roll over” our plans to God, we will have to humble ourselves under His sovereign will and submit to His plan for our lives. He may very well say no to our plans. He may give us a completely different agenda to follow. The key is that we are being encouraged to bring all our plans to God before we put them into action. We must seek His approval and permission.
Then, and only then, will our plans succeed. Verse nine supports this idea. “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Ultimately, God is in control. His plan for our lives supersedes any goals or objectives we may establish. As believers we are obligated to turn to God for direction and insight into where He would have us go. We should want to know what He has for us to do. If we seek to discover His will for our lives, we can rest assured that it will succeed. God will always accomplish what He sets out to do. His plans are never thwarted. The Hebrew word that is translated here as “success” really means “securely determined.” In other words, it’s as good as done. There are no doubts, worries, or possibilities that His plan will fail to happen. When we bring our plans to Him and allow Him to either confirm or replace them with His divine plan, we can rest easy knowing that whatever we do will turn out just the way God intended it to. And even if the end result does not appear to be what WE expected, it WILL be what God intended. When Joseph found himself sold into slavery by his brothers, it did not appear to be a successful plan, but it was just what God had ordained to happen. When he was put into prison under false accusations, Joseph had to wonder how this was a part of God’s plan for his life. But it was exactly what God had planned. All along the way, he encountered what appeared to be setbacks and detours for his life, but it was all a part of God’s grand plan for his life.
If we commit our future actions to God, and if we are willing to listen to what He has to say and allow Him to possibly redirect our steps, we will find that His will always gets done in the end. We will encounter success. But on His terms and in His timing.
Father, forgive me for making my own plans so often and failing to bring them to You. I tend to forget that You are God and too often try to act as my own god. Then I wonder why my plans don’t turn out like I expected. But I know that if I submit my plans to You and trust You with the outcome, I don’t have to worry about whether I am in Your will – regardless of how things may appear. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men