Tag Archive: Proverbs 16:9


I’ve been going through Genesis the past couple months reading and re-reading stories, choosing one Bible translation then switching to another.  And regardless of how many times I’ve read the Genesis account, or all of Scripture for that matter, God always reveals new truths… even through those old stories we heard over and over again as kids.

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This morning as I started reading through the story of The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), I had to laugh.  You see, it took place after the great flood when all the people of the earth were all together and spoke one language.  It was here that someone had a brilliant idea to construct a city with the greatest sky scraper ever; something everyone could see, an awesome achievement and focal point of the city, a wonder of the world…

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.'”   Genesis 11:4

What’s so funny about that you ask?  Well, it just struck me the gall of some people… doing something so outlandish, like building this massive tower, to make sure they wouldn’t be “dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Doesn’t that just sound like a dare?  Yeah…what do you suppose God will do in this situation??!

 

A dear friend of mine has Trypanophobia.  It’s not what I would think of as a typical fear most girls have like spiders or snakes…  it’s the fear of injections or hypodermic needles.

She hates them.

She even had a discussion with God about them, acknowledging her fear but making sure He understood there was NO WAY she could deal with anything that had to do with needles…just don’t even go there.

Or, in other words…

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Not too long after my friend had her ‘discussion’ with God, her daughter became very sick and was eventually diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Which means that the one thing which brought such trepidation to my needle fearing friend, is now the one thing she must have intimate knowledge of.  She must keep them in her home, in her purse, at her side, in order to inject her daughter daily to provide the insulin her daughter needs to survive.

Like the people building that tower to make sure they wouldn’t be “dispersed,” God clearly had other plans.

“…the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth…”   Genesis 11:8

Now don’t get me wrong, we can’t change or coerce God’s plan for our lives by sending out a dare… if that were the case, then my ‘don’t even try to let me win the lottery’ would have ended differently and we certainly won’t doom it by admitting our weakness or fears.

But it is God and God alone who is in control and He has a fantastic, yet sometimes difficult, way of teaching us that.

Don’t dare God.  Let Him dare you.  Admit you need Him in your life, to take control of it and work through it.   It is only through our weaknesses; our addictions, our mistakes, our fears…that He can be seen most clearly.

 

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I know you’ve asked that, because I have too.  It is so hard for us to imagine that God; Creator, Healer, Guide, Father, Provider, Comforter, Savior… would care enough, or have time enough, to work in our lives let alone through us.

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If any of you know me, you know that I’m an early riser.  I commonly start my day very early in the morning, and on the morning of Thanksgiving wasn’t any different.

When I woke and went downstairs, I checked my phone and saw that I had missed a text from a friend of mine.  I went to return the text but decided I needed to wait a while…it was only 4:30 for Goodness sake… and so I typed in my response but waited a few hours to send it.

And also, if you know me at all, you know that I don’t believe in coincidence or luck.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and that it is always God’s plan.

But it doesn’t always feel like it.  So often it seems like God’s not working in our lives at all…maybe things aren’t moving or changing the way we would expect if He were really involved, but why would he bother with measly old me?!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I know God uses us, His Word tells us as much…

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”   Philippians 2:13  (NIV)

“God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”   1 Corinthians 12:6  (NLT)

but it just doesn’t seem like it.

Doesn’t it seem like we’re the ones pulling the strings, making the decisions?  We’re doing all the work!  We have to live our lives in a way that shows others we’re Christians (Matthew 5:16), we have to follow God’s rules (John 8:31), do good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18) and display God’s character (Galatians 5:22-23).

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But that’s exactly what the devil wants us to think…he wants to convince us that we are the ones in control and calling the shots.

“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”   John 8:44

The devil wants us to believe that God’s hands are not actively working in our lives; that He has stepped back and is allowing us to make our own decisions, that He’s only there when we need Him and that He does not affect (or care about) every choice we make.

But I know for a fact, that’s not true.

in his heart silver compass

A few days after Thanksgiving I met with that friend who I texted and she said to me…

“You were doing God’s work the other morning and you didn’t even know it!” she told me.

With a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she continued…

“The morning of Thanksgiving I woke up at 7:14am.  I knew I needed to get up but I didn’t want to so asked God for just one more hour.  At 8:14am I got your text.  8:14!!  Exactly one hour later to the minute!!”

Awesome.

God is always at work and involved in every moment of our lives.  Don’t think for a second that He doesn’t care about you or that you don’t matter.  Because you matter so much to Him that He will work through you to send a text to a friend at exactly the right time she needs it.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”   Luke 12:6-7

And rest in the fact that God is always in control.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

 

 

As I grew up, the plan for my life was to get married, have kids and stay home to raise them.  My Mom did that and so would I.

I dated through high school but I would surely meet THE ONE in college, then I wouldn’t have to finish because, obviously, we would be married right away, have a couple kids, I would stay home, eat bonbons and live happily ever after.

mrs degree

That’s just what girls did and I couldn’t wait.

God changed that plan.  Well, as usual, His plan is always a tad different than our own.

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

A dear friend of mine is a wonderfully amazing single woman.  For 35 years she has remained faithful to God’s plans for her life…remaining true to His Biblical standards for a single person; growing in her faith, serving God with her time and abilities, remaining morally pure and finding contentment in her singleness.

She is one of the strongest, Godliest and wisest women I know.  To me, a married mother of four, my friend seems to have it all.  She can do whatever she chooses with her time, has a great job and resources that allow her to travel and give freely… and yet the greatest desire of her heart is to find the man God has planned for her.

Because she, like me and so many other women, know one of the simplest and most basic desires and purpose for mankind.

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply…'”   Genesis 1:27-28

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”   Genesis 2:18, 24

Marriage

But God just hasn’t brought ‘THE ONE’ to her.

A couple years ago a single dad, and his son, moved into the area and began attending our church.  We all became fast friends and even began serving together in ministry.  I swear, a resounding “Hmmmm…re-he-he-ally?!!” could have been heard when some of us realized he was single.   My friend and he got along very well…they seemed a perfect fit and even other people noticed, however nothing seemed to come of it.

“Is he just oblivious?”  Some asked.

“Does he not have similar feelings?”  Questioned others.

None of it made any sense.  It seemed so clear.  Such a great match.

Then we received news that he would be moving back home – states away – and it would be happening immediately.  It literally knocked the wind out of me and I can only imagine what it did to my friend.

We were supposed to meet at my house, our small group women and I, the night he stopped by to tell us the sad news, but schedules changed and the meeting was canceled.  Had the gals and I met…my friend would have surely been here when he stopped.

God protected her heart.

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Undoubtedly there were tears and still are, but what seems so sad can also be seen as blessing.

Had something more intimate started between them, this parting would have been infinitely more difficult.  Besides, he is moving back home…back to where he and his son came from…back to where more family is… his parents AND his son’s mother.

Perhaps this is God’s plan of protection for my friend or His plan of reconciliation for a family.  We can’t know the mind of our Creator or the plan He has for our lives but Scripture shows us time and again that God knows our struggles…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:15-16

And if we boldly go before Him, offering up our heart’s desire, He will hear…

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”   Romans 8:26-27
And will fill our hearts…

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”   John 7:38

But still, it hurts.

Steal my show!

“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”   Proverbs 16:9

Isn’t it amazing how God tries to get our attention?  I was looking for the iPad this morning to use while I ran.  That is the ONLY way to do it, I tell you!!  It’s so much easier to face treadmill torture when I’m able to distract myself with a show on Netflix.  But this morning the iPad was gone.  It wasn’t charging…wasn’t in it’s place and because I had gotten up a little later, I didn’t have the time to look for it.

So I grabbed my phone and my earbuds and headed downstairs to do my running to music.

God moved that iPad.

 

Have you ever had Him grab hold of your heart through a song??

I.LOVE.THAT!

Although it’s much more thrilling when you’re standing on a large rubber belt strapped around a set of motorized pulleys and gears moving at break-neck speeds!treadmill

Ok, I’ll come clean; it’s not so break-neck…only 6 mph, but it still makes things very exciting when God uses the dropped beat and swirling rhythms pulsing through the earbuds to literally take your breath away.

I felt every word of tobyMac‘s song “Steal My Show” this morning.

 

 

I want that.

I want to give God center stage in my life’s production.  I long for Him to be the director, playwrite, choreographer, costume designer and ticketing agent.

To allow Him to use me in any way He wants.  To place the people in my life He wants me to minister to.  To release my grip, take a step back, watch Him work and be ok whatever the outcome.

God used tobyMac’s words to land squarely on my chest to knock me off balance.

If you wanna steal my show, I’ll sit back and watch you go
If you got somethin’ to say, go on and take it away
Need you to steal my show, can’t wait to watch you go-o-o-o
So take it away…

For it’s when we’re knocked off balance that He can be seen.

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”   2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Oh God, give me the words to say and the steps to take.  I give you control…my hands are outstretched and open.  Please use me.  Show me how to behave, teach me Your ways, allow me to see You at all times and trust You in every moment.

worship

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