It is amazing how scripture can direct the heart of God’s children, even when it comes from the most unexpected place. My wife Melissa and I have learned this recently through teaching our four children to memorize scripture. One Scripture they have gravitated to is Proverbs 16:3,
Commit your works to the Lord,
And your plans will be established.
It is one of the most beautiful things to hear this scripture uttered by my three year old. However, what we did not expect was the children’s perfect timing. Imagine your frustrations reaching a boiling point after spending an hour trying to chorale four young children into a car, when you hear your five-year-old say, “Daddy, commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” There are no words to express the conviction and gratitude that comes from having my own small children speak the Word into my life.
Needless to say this small proverb has had a profound impact on the life of our family. This has only increased as we have come to understand its meaning over time. The word that is here translated “commit” actually means “to role” and is frequently used in reference to large rocks, such as rolling a stone from in front of a cave. This makes a beautiful word picture of us actually rolling the heaviness of our own works onto God. My son Hosea will pick up a toy and play with it, then, after a time, spy another toy which seems enticing and pick that one up too. But he does not put down the first toy, for fear of losing it. This cycle continues and it is not long before he has eight or ten different toys in his arms, leaving him unable to play, and in fact, unable to move without dropping something. This is a picture of our lives; we carry around all of our works (our thoughts, deeds, desires, emotions) trying to hold everything in place. The load we carry is so great that we render ourselves unable to manage and incapable of enjoyment, with it only being a matter of time before it all comes crashing down.
God has not left us alone in such a state, but calls us to commit every work to Him. Take just a moment to notice the power and care of God that is implicit in this verse. The burdens that render man useless are un-noticeably light to God! What’s more, He wants to carry them for you. He is the divine burden bearer and without His help we are rendered incapable. We must roll our burdens and our work and every part of our lives onto Him. We must roll our dreams and aspirations and responsibilities onto our loving and trustworthy King, who says, “…cast your cares upon Me, for I care for you.”(1 Peter 5:7) So then will you do it? Will you place every moment of your day, every choice and decision and outcome, in His capable hands?
If you do, “…your plans will be established”. Make no mistake, this does not mean that paying homage to God all day obligates Him to give you everything you want. On the contrary this verse is a call to submit to Him. And when you do, God establishes a plan for you. He will lay a path before you so that you may travel in His way. It’s like taking the burden off your back, placing it in God’s massive hand and hearing Him say “follow me”. We must turn away from worldly lusts and follow God. We must lay down our desire for comfort, wealth, power, praise, possession and pleasure and we must take up the simple, humble desires of a disciple.
This committing is primarily one of purposeful prayer. It would be quite impossible to cast your cares onto Him if you never make the time to do so. We must diligently set aside substantial time to devote our desires fully to God. I am amazed at how often it is said, “I just don’t have the time”. But I have never heard someone say “I just don’t have the time to eat,” or “I wish I had time to sleep”. Most people saying this would certainly not be willing to miss their favorite TV shows. The problem is not one of time but one of importance. Our devotional prayers are more important than eating or sleeping yet most people don’t really believe they really it. You cannot commit your works to the Lord unless you make the time to commit your works to the Lord…in prayer!!
What do you seek?
Do you spend more time watching TV or contemplating football match-ups than you spend reflecting upon God’s Word? Does the love of Jesus saturate your thought life? Do you think about Him? Is His grace evident in your actions? If you examined all of your activities in a week, how much time do you spend in fervent pursuit of God? The commitment of our hearts will be apparent in what we pursue. Committing our works to Christ affects the way we think about our spouses, view our children, and care about the cashier at the gas station. We must be willing to honestly ask ourselves, “what am I seeking”. And we must seek to prayerfully redirect our pursuits to Him.
If we are being honest, this can make us feel quite uncomfortable. It means we have to lay down control of our lives, and allow God to direct our paths. But the truth is we never had control in the first place. Our day-to-day life is more than we can successfully carry on our own. Without the tender love, care and mercy of God we would be doomed to failure. Commit your works to Him. Let Him establish your plans. His plans are much better than ours.