A look at Proverbs 16
Proverbs 16 is full of directional statements. I don’t know about you, but I need direction. This life is full of questions, concerns, and circumstances. Often times, we struggle to find the right path through life. Today, let’s gain some perspective by reading God’s Word.
“We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer” (Prov. 16:1 NLT).
It’s easy to play the guessing game with God. In other words, we can easily guess God’s response to our questions. Sometimes, we can even deceive ourselves into believing something that isn’t true. For example, during the days of Moses, the Israelites worshipped a golden calf (Ex. 32). They literally replaced the true God with an image of God that suited their interests and feelings.
We’re created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). He is not created in our image. Therefore, we must always yield to His ways above our own ways. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful God.
Even though we can make plans, God alone has the answers to our questions. Quit playing the guessing game with God!
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps” (Prov. 16:9 NLT).
I’m sure you’ve heard the statement, “Take one step at a time.” It’s a wise statement. We are called to follow the direction of God’s answers…one step at a time.
This can be difficult. We don’t always know what lies ahead. What if God leads us in a direction that poses danger and hardship? Although we don’t always know where God is leading us, we know He is always leading us to good things.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11 NLT).
Even though you don’t know where you’re going, God has your best interests at heart.
As we continue in Proverbs 16, we read, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (V. 25 NLT).
As we learn to know God’s answers and follow His path, we must be careful to rely solely on His guidance. We cannot rely on our own understanding.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Prov. 3:5-6 NLT).
It may appear right in our eyes, but it doesn’t always appear that way in God’s. Life in general can be comprehended through the lens of these verses. Jesus talks about the broad and narrow paths.
He says, “‘You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it’” (Matt. 7:13-14 NLT).
It’s easy to view the world and desire to fit in. Modern culture has much to say. It only seems right that humans listen to the voices of this world. It seems natural. However, as Jesus says, there’s a better way. The path God has for us does not make much sense to our flesh. We cannot rely on our own understanding when we follow God’s narrow path.
I want to share one more verse with you. The last verse of Proverbs 16 says, “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall” (V. 13 NLT).
As I often say, I find it difficult to trust God. It’s hard for me to not have everything planned out. However, when we follow Jesus, we’re on a better journey—a journey that surpasses our greatest imaginations.
A common theme in my life is this: God will open doors He wants me to walk through and close doors He doesn’t want me to walk through. The same is true for you.
God is in complete control. He knows what He’s doing. He has your best in mind. Keep trusting His answers, steps, and ways.