Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3
We are all creatures of habit, aren’t we? Whether those habits are beneficial to us – or even if we regret them time and again – we tend to repeat the same behaviors day after day:
- Pausing to think about brushing our teeth in the morning and opting for a quick rinse before running out the door.
- We reach for the brownie in our pantry, even though we’re aiming to lose weight.
- We camp in front of the TV most evenings, even though we want to be the kind of person that goes for walks or reads books.
- We leave things lay where we last used them, even though we long for uncluttered surroundings.
- We buy a new Bible, thinking that just seeing it will propel us to dig into God’s word more. Two weeks goes by and it’s still sitting on the shelf.
We want to be the person God is calling us to be. We use January to make resolutions for the new year. We give voice to the longings of our hearts to be different; to be somehow better. We decide to give a heartfelt go at changing our lives.
There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a move in the right direction. However, the Bible advises that we check our plans against the Lord’s, and then to ground our commitments in His truth and power in order to succeed.
Commit to the Lord our works.
How easy it is to forget to do that. It’s easy to forget that we can pray with our kiddos over their schoolwork and commit that to the Lord in prayer.
It’s easy to forget that God cares about the things we care about. The housework that needs to get done, the groceries that need to be bought, and the time we want to invest in our marriage and our friendships.
We don’t even give it another thought when we plan a vacation or look to buy a new home. A new car purchase can be stressed over…but is it prayed over?
God cares about it all. He wants us to seek Him in it ALL.
Remember, in order for the Holy Spirit to facilitate God’s work and purposes in us, He must first redefine our definition of reality, and our priorities.
You may currently believe (or think), and your current actions demonstrate, that you don’t have room in your already packed schedule to pursue God the way you want to. The world has convinced you that you’re too busy to set aside even ten minutes per day to read His word or time to get involved in a Bible study without giving up something else. But is that really true?
“God has given everyone enough time to seek Him. It is there,” says Francis Frangipane, “Those who would find God, find time.” For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
When a favorite TV show comes on, we find an hour to devote to watch it. When a favorite store announces a big sale, we find time to go (even though we really may no need to). When a friend wants to meet for coffee, we find time to meet with her. We find, or “make” time, all the time! So rest assured that if you live a healthy, God-honoring life, there is plenty of time to grow in your knowledge of, and connection with your Creator.
It is true that in our busy lives, we cannot do everything. But we can choose what will absolutely get done. We get to choose what we will do first. Scripture gives us a picture of this. Jesus calls His followers to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and then He promises we will have all we need (Matthew 6:33).
It is also true that our willpower is limited. Our dedication wanes. Our intentions are good but our follow-through is shaky. We don’t have what it takes to revolutionize our entire lives. But God does — and He lives in us. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT).
You absolutely have time to spend 10 or 20 minutes a day getting to know God and His promises for you in His Word. You also have the extra eight seconds it typically takes to put an item back in its place. Watch one less TV show a night and you’ll have created time to read three or more books every month, and take a brisk walk after dinner. Seek God first – time after time – and you’ll even have the power you need to put down the brownies.
And your plans will succeed. They will work out. Everything will fall into place – just as it should be. Because our priorities were placed in the right hands. With the right person. At the right time.
We are creatures of habit – let’s make it our habit in 2011 to seek God first each day and commit our plans to Him. I think we will marvel at the results, time and again.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will facilitate God’s work and purposes in yours. That He would redefine your definition of reality, and your priorities.