“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?” Proverbs 20:24
These two Proverbs have often given me comfort over the years, especially at times when the way I should go seemed uncertain. It’s not always for a lack of planning; sometimes there are just too many things that are out of our control.
We are living during an international health crisis. Someone else is making decisions for us, such as: to be quarantined or not, whether or not we remain employed, or “classes are cancelled until further notice”! We are also having to make some difficult decisions: to stay where we are or return, to remain in China or to leave, to cut expenses now or to wait. When will things go back to normal? Who will decide?
Like the proverbs in general, these two proverbs remind us what life is like “generally speaking” for us humans . . . we don’t always have the answers and we can’t predict the future. We make Plans are made anyway although we feel as if we are missing something. At the heart of the comfort that is offered in these proverbs is this: “our security is in His sovereignty”. Our limitations are matched by His all-encompassing presence. God is good and he alone knows what is good.
God has woven wisdom into the universe, this is a wisdom which we can use to make good decisions, even when we don’t have all the answers. It is a wisdom that comes from Him and leads us back to Him, a wisdom which begins with authentic honor and reverence for God and his ways with a sincere desire to follow Him as he leads.
I am reminded of a worship song we used to sing; I close with these lyrics:
“Yes. Lord. Yes.
To your will and to your way.
Yes. Lord. Yes. I will trust you and obey.
When your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree, and my answer will be, Yes. Lord. Yes!”
This Sunday, March 1, is the first Sunday of Lent and we are beginning a new sermon series called, “Grace Essentials: How Grace Unlocks the Cross”. Please join us on Sundays for Online Church at 2pm and 4pm to watch the sermon and for live chat with other friends from SCF. The sermons are being recorded as well, you can hear the audio version on our website, shanghaifellowship.org/sermons or watch the video of the sermon on our Right Now Media page, https://www.rightnowmedia.org/CustomLibrary/31964 If you don’t have Right Now Media account, it’s free. Go to the SCF website and sign up under the Online Access icon.