He handed me his drawing. It was a stick man standing behind a crudely drawn pulpit. Odd shaped circles dotted the area around the pulpit with two eyes and a smile in each “head.” Above the doodled drawing he penciled uneven letters made by a child, “My dad prechs.”
So I said, “Son, you should wait until you take art lessons to draw this picture.”
Or did I say, “Boy, this is substandard, what are they teaching you at school anyway! Don’t you know how to spell?!”
Of course, I didn’t say any of those things! Rather, I glowed with admiration. I knelt down and gave him a manly hug. I framed it and put it up in my office. It is one of my prized possessions still today even though it happened in the 1980s at a little church in Bradley, Arkansas.
Why? I knew his motive. I knew his heart. The innocent love and admiration of a little boy for his dad trumped any imperfections in the work of art!
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:2-3 ESV
Paraphrase: My son’s drawing seemed pure in his own eyes, but his Dad weighs his spirit. He committed his drawing to his dad. His plan was established, still hanging on his Dad’s wall!
I believe that if we go to God with our great plans, expecting Him to bless them, tell us how great we are for “thinking them up” and ask Him to put His stamp of approval on them, then we have become presumptive and He will certainly not bless them.
But I also believe that if we commit ourselves to the Lord, submit our minds, hearts, and skills to Him, and ask Him to guide every step we take in seeking to do His will, He will bless it. If we will saturate a decision with prayer first, make sure our motives are godly, and earnestly want to do it God’s way, He will guide.
Many times I’ve prayed, even agonized over a situation, asking God for a direction, but not receive a plan or a prescribed action. Yet, I had to walk into that situation totally dependent on His guidance in the moment.
In Joshua 3 (read it HERE) the people crossed the Jordan River at time the river overflowed its banks. But not until the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant STOOD IN THE WATER did the Jordan stop flowing!
Instead of asking God to bless our plans, we must give ourselves totally to God and ask Him to bless His plans using us in the process.
There’s a fine line there somewhere! But, oh, let us be sure we are on the God-side of that line!
Our Father, thank-you for Your promise to establish plans which we commit to do with the right spirit of honoring You. Examine our hearts that we may proceed to do Your work with pure motives.