Plans & Purpose

1The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

peace

 

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.

Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

The Lord has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

When a man’s ways please the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.


33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord.

Proverbs 16, NKJV

Matthew Henry’s comments:

v. 1

As we read this, it teaches us a great truth, that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or speak any thing of ourselves that is wise and good, but that all our sufficiency is of God, who is with the heart and with the mouth, and works in us both to will and to do, Phil. 2:13Ps. 10:17. But most read it otherwise: The preparation of the heart is in man (he may contrive and design this and the other) but the answer of the tongue, not only the delivering of what he designed to speak, but the issue and success of what he designed to do, is of the Lord. That is, in short, 1. Man purposes. He has a freedom of thought and a freedom of will permitted him; let him form his projects, and lay his schemes, as he thinks best: but, after all, 2. God disposes. Man cannot go on with his business without the assistance and blessing of God, who made man’s mouth and teaches us what we shall say. Nay, God easily can, and often does, cross men’s purposes, and break their measures. It was a curse that was prepared in Balaam’s heart, but the answer of the tongue was a blessing.

v. 2

1. We are all apt to be partial in judging of ourselves: All the ways of a man, all his designs, all his doings, are clean in his own eyes, and he sees nothing amiss in them, nothing for which to condemn himself, or which should make his projects prove otherwise than well; and therefore he is confident of success, and that the answer of the tongue shall be according to the expectations of the heart; but there is a great deal of pollution cleaving to our ways, which we are not aware of, or do not think so ill of as we ought. 2. The judgment of God concerning us, we are sure, is according to truth: He weighs the spirits in a just and unerring balance, knows what is in us, and passes a judgment upon us accordingly, writing Tekel upon that which passed our scale with approbation—weighed in the balance and found wanting; and by his judgment we must stand or fall. He not only sees men’s ways but tries their spirits, and we are as our spirits are.

v. 3

1. It is a very desirable thing to have our thoughts established, and not tossed, and put into a hurry, by disquieting cares and fears,—to go on in an even steady course of honesty and piety, not disturbed, or put out of frame, by any event or change,—to be satisfied that all shall work for good and issue well at last, and therefore to be always easy and sedate. 2. The only way to have our thoughts established is to commit our works to the Lord. The great concerns of our souls must be committed to the grace of God, with a dependence upon and submission to the conduct of that grace (2 Tim. 1:12); all our outward concerns must be committed to the providence of God, and to the sovereign, wise, and gracious disposal of that providence. Roll thy works upon the Lord (so the word is); roll the burden of thy care from thyself upon God. Lay the matter before him by prayer. Make known thy works unto the Lord (so some read it), not only the works of thy hand, but the workings of thy heart; and then leave it with him, by faith and dependence upon him, submission and resignation to him. The will of the Lord be done. We may then be easy when we resolve that whatever pleases God shall please us.

v. 33

1. The divine Providence orders and directs those things which to us are perfectly casual and fortuitous. Nothing comes to pass by chance, nor is an event determined by a blind fortune, but every thing by the will and counsel of God. What man has neither eye nor hand in God is intimately concerned in. 2. When solemn appeals are made to Providence by the casting of lots, for the deciding of that matter of moment which could not otherwise be at all, or not so well, decided, God must be eyed in it, by prayer, that it may be disposed aright (Give a perfect lot1 Sam. 14:41Acts 1:24), and by acquiescing in it when it is disposed, being satisfied that the hand of God is in it and that hand directed by infinite wisdom. All the disposals of Providence concerning our affairs we must look upon to be the directing of our lot, the determining of what we referred to God, and must be reconciled to them accordingly.

 

I can feel when my mind starts to creep into doubt
On the days when the strength in my heart’s giving out
There’s a light, but it hides from me deep in the cloud
There’s a voice that I need, but I don’t hear a sound
Set Your promise to play on repeat in my head
When You meet my anxiety, put it to death
Ever running to what I can’t see
Fighting out of all my unbelief
Father, even then my song will be
I know You will always carry me
(Houses and homes.)
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H.D.

bw

“Nothing is more grievous than the disappointment of a raised expectation, though not in the thing itself by a denial, yet in the time of it by a delay: Hope deferred makes the heart sick and languishing, fretful and peevish; but hope quite dashed kills the heart, and the more high the expectation was raised the more cutting is the frustration of it.

It is therefore our wisdom not to promise ourselves any great matters from the creature, not to feed ourselves with any vain hopes from this world, lest we lay up matter for our own vexation; and what we do hope for let us prepare to be disappointed in, that, if it should prove so, it may prove the easier; and let us not be hasty.

Nothing is more grateful than to enjoy that, at last, which we have long wished and waited for: When the desire does come it puts men into a sort of paradise, a garden of pleasure, for it is a tree of life.

It will aggravate the eternal misery of the wicked that their hopes will be frustrated; and it will make the happiness of heaven the more welcome to the saints that it is what they have earnestly longed for as the crown of their hopes.”

— Matthew Henry, on Proverbs 13:12

When all seems lost…

Encouragement during the morning drive:

 

 

cliff
Jacob’s Ladder, ON. 2018

(Chuck Swindoll, Insight for Living, on Esther 6. October 22, 2018)

  1. When all seems lost, it isn’t. As Mordecai slept and Haman constructed his gallows, God unfolded His plan.
  2. When no one seems to notice, God does. God used the king’s insomnia to initiate Mordecai’s exaltation.
  3. When everything seems great for our enemies, it’s not. God arranged the plans for Haman to honor Mordecai the very day Haman sought to kill Mordecai.
  4. When nothing seems fair, God is just. Haman’s sorrow for not receiving the king’s honor didn’t prevent God’s plan to cease Haman’s pogrom against the Jews

 

“God does not always respond to our schedule. Often, when just a few grains of sand remain in the hourglass, God reveals to us He is not aloof from our situation. He acts in ways we would never expect. Like when He provides funds the day before the payment’s due or when the phone rings after you figured you’d never hear back.

Things are not always as they seem in our day just like they weren’t always as they seemed for the Jews living in Susa during Esther’s day. Remember the divinely orchestrated turn of events in Esther 6, when the proud became humbled and the humble exalted…

Learn to trust God’s timetable instead of your own.”

 

Unanswered Yet?

…He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law.
— Isaiah 42:4

(Thanksgiving Sunday morning passage. A reminder of courage and constancy, when I came with fear and uncertainty… The LORD does not fail and is not discouraged. He knows fully the opposition and hardship, and He works until it is finished. He  sustains our faith, and He always answers prayer (John 16:24).)
sun
Port Alberni, 2018.

“Unanswered yet? The prayer your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail, is hope departing,
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer;
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Though when you first presented
This one petition at the Father’s throne,
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So urgent was your heart to make it known.
Though years have passed since then, do not despair;
The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? But you are not unheeded;
The promises of God forever stand;
To Him our days and years alike are equal;
“Have faith in God”; it is your Lord’s command.
Hold on to Jacob’s angel and your prayer
Shall bring a blessing down sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Nay, do not say ungranted;
Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done;
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
If you will keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet were firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storm prayer stands undaunted,
Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done,” sometime, somewhere.”

F. G. Burroughs

 

“Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known…

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord.” 

Qualities for Direction

Recent reminders while seeking aim, direction, and purpose… and the meaning of integrity. 
(If only to know that You hear and always answer.)

mountains

This morning, from Chuck, as we reflect on Psalm 101:

Psalm 101  names four great qualities a believer must possess in order to discern his or her divine purpose. Without these four virtues to clarify one’s vision, confusion abounds. Verse 1 describes honor. Below are the other three godly qualities: integrity, honesty, and purity.

 

 

Integrity

I will give heed to the blameless way.
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.  (v.2)

“The first part of this verse has to do with public integrity as David says, literally, “I will give heed unto the way of integrity.” The original Hebrew term translated “blameless” or “integrity” means “to be whole, complete, finished.” It carries with it the idea of being totally honest, thoroughly sound. The king of Israel knew that his life before the people had to be solid and honest for the kingdom to remain strong.

 

The second part of this verse has to do with private integrity — he mentions being sound in “my house” and “my heart.” Integrity is about authenticity, which doesn’t change based on the audience or venue…”

[Remember] the roles of honor and integrity in how you focus your energy and direction.

 

Honesty

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me. (101:3)

“As king, David had the political power to set any agenda and then commit the resources of the entire nation to accomplish his goal. His predecessor, Saul, used his political influence, the nation’s wealth, and the might of the Israelite army to hunt down and kill David, who God had anointed as King! David, however, resolves to avoid every unworthy aim and ambition. To do anything less would inevitably lead to his “falling away” from fellowship with his Lord. Moreover, he resolved to “hate” the accomplishments of those who “fall away.”

In the Ancient Near East, to “hate” something is to reject it in favor of something else. For example, Genesis 29 tells the story of Jacob’s two wives and how he “loved” Rachel and “hated” her sister, Leah. The term indicates Jacob’s choice to favor one over the other. He wasn’t repulsed by Leah. After all, he did conceive several children with her! David has determined to choose the Lord’s way and to reject the deeds of evil people, those who have fallen away from God.”

 

Purity

A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil. (101:4)

“David has resolved thus far that he will be a man of honor, integrity, and honesty. Now he resolves to be a man of purity—knowing no evil. This has to be one of the reasons God called David “a man after My own heart.” Rare indeed are those people in this world who could say what David says in this fourth verse.

David’s son Solomon also wrote of the value of personal purity in Proverbs 11:19–21:

He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,
And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.
The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.
Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished,
But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.

Don’t miss the last part of that passage. A pure life is actually a spiritual investment, the dividends being enjoyed by your children. God has a purity layaway plan, a spiritual account you establish now and your descendants later cash in on…

I cannot overemphasize the value of a pure life. We have an inordinate curiosity about perversion and evil. We are not only aware of wickedness, but we are drawn to it with interest. The news media capitalize on this interest by highlighting the evil in our world. They have found that public interest is high when it comes to impure, wicked activities. David realized, however, that “a perverse heart” would only lead to a weakening of his spiritual life…

Perhaps that is the reason David resolved to “know no evil.” This world’s system puts a brand upon us that is the next thing to impossible to erase. How much better it is to be pure and inexperienced than to be scarred by impure memories that are quick to play back their reruns at a moment’s notice.

 

References:
[1] http://insight.org/resources/daily-devotional/individual/honesty-and-purity
[2] Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind
“…For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
(Thank You, that You do not leave us in the midst of our questions, our troubles, or in our wandering. But You are the Shepherd who seeks the lost.)