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February 18, 2014

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

Vacation is an exciting time! The anticipation grows as the time draws near. But vacations must be a time of planning. First, a destination must be chosen. Then maps and brochures must be brought and scrutinized for the proper route and interesting sites and amusements. Clothes for the occasion must be selected.  All in all, such an undertaking requires hard work.

However, we all engage in fruitless planning from time to time. When  a very large cash prize is announced by the state Lottery, many of us have the winnings spent in our imaginations: new homes, new clothes, new cars, new toys. We talk about providing new funds for relief of the poor. Our windfall will supply research to eradicate disease. “Spinning your wheels” was what it was called.

James warns saints against ruining today by building sand castles about the uncertainty of tomorrow.  James 4:13-16  These hollow dreams we concoct of our own lusts and conceits. These are our vain and selfish schemes, fostered in our pride and self reliance. They enhance our vanity and worldly egos. They fuel our material greed and obscure our spiritual focus. Our spiritual goals are neglected and de-energized. We forget that these are our  lusts and not God’s will.

Our text above clearly asserts that our hearts and God’s mind frequently have different goals.  Isaiah insists that we are often not on the same page with God. Indeed, God’s thoughts are purer and loftier than ours.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8  Do you plan your life with your own thoughts and desires, or with God’s laws and designs?  So, where are the thoughts and will of God to be found?You know: the Bible!  Here is the right way to stay on God’s pathway: “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” Psalms 119:15-16

James points to the fitting source of our plans.  “Instead you ought to say. “‘ If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'”  James 4:15  Let God’s plans rule your life instead of your whims and crooked ways! Our own devices usually leave us confused of our  location and serving Satan. Always consult God’s word for guidance.  Put God’s will upon your heart and work from there. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11 Decisions come from the heart. But the heart must be taught by God. 

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” I Peter 5:6

Here is an uplifting  and empowering concept: Submit to God and follow his paths for you! Find his ways and follow his plans for you. Take your plans to God and ask his blessings. Take his directions and labor to make his will work for you. It’s a cooperative thing!


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