Devotional Thoughts From The Pastor . . .

Preparation

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Proverbs 27:1
 
We can go to extremes in preparing every last detail of our lives, but if we fail to take into consideration the Providence of God, we will be sorely disappointed. How often do our plans go awry even though we had practically thought of everything? God encourages us in this chapter to plan and prepare ahead of time, but we must also make sure that we are surrendered to the will of God and that we have a desire to trust Him in He changes our plans. The flip side of this is that there are some people who seem to never plan and they just take life as it comes. They want you to think that they have tremendous faith in the plans of God so they refuse to think ahead. While that may sound spiritual, it goes against the direction of God in the Scriptures. We are told to prepare for tomorrow, but to trust God when the plans fall apart.

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Providence

“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”
Proverbs 20:24
 
When we think of Providence, we think of Divine guidance or care. Since unbelievers would rather not acknowledge God, they call it coincidence. A strange occurrence that they cannot understand. While God certainly has given man a lot of freedom to choose his own path, there are some things that God will not allow man to do. There is an immense amount of wickedness that we can see going on in terror attacks in recent days and it is truly amazing that more of that does not happen because there are a lot of radicalized, angry people. We are told in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit of God is currently hindering or holding back much of the evil that is in man’s heart. For that we should truly be thankful. On the flip side, God is not just restraining sin; He is also Providentially guiding us along the way. There are times that God will place things in our path to make His choice the only obvious choice in our lives. He is carefully seeking to lead us down the right path. Imagine if we had a God Who had a desire to guide you into His perfect will, Who wanted to protect you and keep you safe, Who wanted you to grow spiritually through the difficulties of life, Who only had your best interest in mind, and in addition to that, we were daily praying for guidance to not stray from God’s will – imagine what that life would look like. We don’t have to imagine; it can be a reality for all of us. Praise God for His Providence in our lives.

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Plans

“The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”
Proverbs 16:1
 
Several times in this chapter we are instructed that God is ultimately in control of our plans. Often we make plans without consulting God and He adjusts them as He sees fit. He usually doesn’t seek our permission, and often we don’t appreciate what He does, but nevertheless, God is in control. We can all appreciate the times in our lives when God has stepped in and rearranged things in a way that made us angry, but later on we understood why He did that and we were so thankful. O that we would have that much faith in Him at all times. What God would most like to see out of us in not a submissive resolve when He changes our plans, but rather a determination to seek His will in the planning process. We should bathe our plans in prayer up front always seeing God’s direction and blessing for what we would like to do. Never forget that God loves you and He is not out to mess up your plans, but to direct you in the right paths with your life. God does not always step in and alter our course. Sadly, He will at times let us have our own way and we make mistakes because we often know the mind of God, but choose to do something anyway. Yet, even in those disasters, God will be there to bring us back to Himself. As you start your day, seek God and ask Him to help you with your planning and keep surrendering to His will.

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