Sunday, May 20, 2018

Why isn't this working?

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. (Proverbs 16:2)

Count them all up and you may just be surprised by how many times you "settle" for the first thing that comes along - something or someone appears to be whatever you think will fulfill your immediate need or emptiness of spirit and you just 'settle'. We definitely need to be a little more discriminating in our choices - as evidenced by some of our choices. God's greatest desire is that we would come to use the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit to move us toward what truly matters and away from what only holds value for the immediate moment.

We settle - God probes. God searches deep into a matter, investigating and understanding prior to taking action. Look at how many examples we are given in scripture of God's examining hearts, looking deep for ones who are committed to following him, really getting to understand the heart behind our actions, not just the actions we display. He could "settle" for a run-of-the-mill half-hearted belief, but he probes deeper to find the commitment of heart that reveals a passion to be embraced by totally in his love.

Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place. (Proverbs 16:3)

God is not a forceful God when it comes to his leadership in our lives. He asks us to put him in charge of our lives - even though he could quite easily take charge of us, manipulating us like puppets on a string. God is looking for open access to our lives - a backstage pass, as it were. When this type of access occurs, he is free to direct the situations and opportunities of our lives toward what will truly fulfill and truly bless us. The 'forcefulness' of God is not in his taking charge, but in his protectiveness of those who have given him that place of leadership in their lives.

It scares me to see how frequently we leave God out of our plans - trusting our own abilities or thinking - the stuff we can muster up in our minds and dreams - rejecting a total trust in our Lord's oversight and protection. It is a foolish and dangerous predicament to find ourselves in - we are almost assured there will be failure when we take steps God has not directed for our lives. In the ninth verse, the writer calls to mind that we may plan the way we want to live, but the very ability to live that life comes from one source alone - God. Our plans, in the hands of God, can be ignited into purposeful and fulfilling work. Apart from his Spirit's guiding force in our lives, plans fail.

God is always giving us new ability beyond what we imagine possible. He gives us the wherewithal to 'live out' what we imagine - not because we imagined it alone - but because as we align our desires with his, those 'imagined things' become more and more like what he has imagined for our lives all along. He also protects us from stepping out into things that are sure to bring us defeat. It is probably way past the time to let God do some 'probing' in our lives, uncovering what he sees as impeding our progress. When he does, we will be free to allow him to energize us with the plans he has for us. Just sayin!