Devotional Thoughts for Today
“I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.24 Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.”
If you were to ask me in college what my future plans were, I could’ve offered you my 5 year, 10 year, and maybe even my 15 year plans; and each plan had milestones to track my progress.
And so, it wasn’t surprising that I’d have such a hard time accepting my call into ministry. More than giving up financial security and a stable career, or even my well thought out plans, the most difficult part was giving up control. It meant allowing God to redirect all of my life, not just the parts I wanted Him to. For many of us, this is why the call to surrender can be so difficult.
Jeremiah reminds us in our passage a timeless truth about allowing God to direct our steps. It was clear that every time the Israelites followed their own plans, destruction awaited them. Only when they obeyed and followed God’s leading, did they prosper and live under His blessings. Jeremiah confesses their inability to direct their lives apart from God and the need for God’s intervention. Where does this leave us in our plans? Proverbs 16:3 teaches us to “commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” God doesn’t condemn us for making plans, because oftentimes our plans may be good. But the heart of this passage teaches us that first and foremost, we must be committed to the Lord. Our hearts, our motivations, and our lives must be fully committed to Him. May we give God complete control over the direction and destination of our plans. May we be open to God’s redirection, knowing that it is always for our better.
Spend a few moments reflecting on the areas you struggle to give God control. It may be the last thing you want to do, but it is the necessary first step in living by faith. Take some practical steps today as symbolic acts of giving up control. Maybe for some of us it’s turning off our cell phones for a few hours; maybe it’s leaving a chunk of our day unplanned and simply open to be spontaneous with God; or maybe it’s allowing others to do some of the work. Whatever it may be, know that He is in complete control.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your plans of redemption and salvation. Your plans have always been to bless me so that I could live a life according to Your calling, not my own. I know that You work for the good of those who love You. Help me to trust in Your wisdom and not my own. I commit all of my plans to You and submit my life to You. Amen.
Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 14-15