“No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.” – Proverbs 21:30 NLT
If God were the petty and petulant type, I could almost hear Him say, “Oh, you think you’re so smart! Well go ahead, do it your way and let’s see how that works out for you!” This would be His response on those far too numerous occasions when I have decided to follow my own advice or put my own plan into action, all while rejecting anything He might have for me to do. But of course, God is not petty or petulant. He is patient. He is long-suffering and He simply allows us to learn our lessons the hard way – through experience. The simple truth is that there is NO human wisdom or understanding or plan that can stand against the Lord. But wait, you say, who in their right mind would want to stand against the Lord? Who would be dumb enough to go mano y mano with their Maker? Just every single person who has ever walked the face of this earth. Every one of us have stood against the Lord every time we have done things our way, instead of His. We have stood against the Lord when we have refused to seek out His will through time spent in His Word. Each time we have made a decision without consulting God or seeking His input, we have stood against Him. To stand against the Lord does not require a raised fist, a defiant gaze, and a declaration of war. It is not just the atheist or agnostic who stands against God, but every individual who chooses to reject His sovereign will and replace it with their own. Whenever I know what God would have me do and I willfully choose not to do it, I am taking a stand against God. And I will learn that my wisdom, understanding and plan is no match for Him. I will discover the hard way that His way is the best way, bar none.
There is another way in which we stand against God. When we listen to the lies of this world and accept the prevailing wisdom of the day. It could be something as simple as subtly succumbing to the if-it-feels-good-do-it mentality of our society. If we give into the pleasure-at-any-price mindset that dominates our culture, we are standing against God. If we worship work, idolize entertainment, make money our god, or seek satisfaction in anything or anyone other than God, we stand against Him. This world shakes its fist in the face of God and says, “We will do it our way!” It rejects His will, His way, and His Word. It relies on a wisdom that is neither godly or good. It depends on an understanding that is faulty, flawed and highly limited in its perspective. It makes plans that are short-sighted and self-centered, ultimately designed to elevate man to the role of god, making him the center of the universe.
But ultimately we all will learn that God’s wisdom, understanding and plan are not just optional, but mandatory. They are without match and incapable of being replicated or replaced. Regardless of whether our stand against God is subtle or arrogantly stubborn, the outcome is the same: We will fail. We will suffer defeat. We will discover our brand of wisdom is a cheap, unreliable knock-off of the real thing. We will find out that our understanding is limited and a lousy replacement for His. And we will become painfully aware that our plans are a poor substitute for He has sovereignly, lovingly created for us. It may take us a while, but we will learn.
Father, why is it that we so often have to learn our lessons the hard way? Why are we wired to have to do things according to our own plan, trying to depend on our own wisdom and relying on our limited understanding? All the while we have Your wisdom, will and Word available to us. Forgive us of our stubbornness and stupidity and thank You for Your unbelievable patience. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men