Submit Your Ways

Procrastination can feel like an oppressive ruler who cannot be contradicted or confronted. Its chains appear unbreakable and its rule, absolute. Fortunately, Solomon assured us that we have all we need to break free, as well as an Advocate in the all-powerful, sovereign Ruler of the universe. Hear what Solomon learned:

The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the LORD weighs the motives.
Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established. (16:1–3)

The ability to plan is definitive of humanity. Orderly thinking is a gift from God and one way we bear His image. Some animals have a rudimentary ability to think and learn (“Sit!”; “Speak!”), but by and large, creatures in the animal kingdom live according to their instincts. They simply do as their animal nature dictates. We human beings, on the other hand, have the remarkable capacity to think things through, to plan our futures, and to alter our environment so we can accomplish those objectives. Horses don’t. Rabbits can’t. Chickens won’t. You and I can, and we should.

According to Proverbs 16:1, we have the ability to set priorities and make plans in line with those, but we cannot make our actions match our words without God’s help. That’s why Solomon acknowledged that our actions, words, and priorities might not align. We mollify our agitated consciences with promises to do what we say is important, but God knows our heart motives. In fact, He knows us far better than we know ourselves.

Solomon urged us to stop depending on our own willpower to accomplish important tasks or to fulfill crucial responsibilities. Instead, we must be brutally honest with ourselves and with God as we consider our priorities. He can change our hearts so we will embrace the priorities He wants for us. He can motivate and empower us to do what is right, and He can facilitate our actions so we accomplish His will.

From Living the Proverbs by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired., an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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