Proverbs 16:9: Steps the Lord Determines

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NIV)

Context: Proverbs 16:1-9
Related verse: Proverbs 19:21

Do you consider God's bidding when you make your plans? Ginny Owens earned a degree in Music Education. When she interviewed with her perspective employers, they were afraid to hire a blind person as a music teacher. Not wanting to move from Nashville, she applied as an administrative assistant. The flexible hours allowed her time to write songs and eventually meet a publisher interested in her songs. She produced her album, Without Condition. She won the Dove Award in 2000 for the New Artist of the Year.

Ginny could have been bitter because she lost her eyesight at two or because she couldn't get a job teaching. She could have sued for not hiring her because she is blind. Instead, she actively pursued serving God with the talents and opportunities that she had. Consequently, Ginny achieved what many only dream of doing. I'm impressed with the scriptural insight in Ginny's songs, especially for someone so young. Her song, "I Am Nothing," conveys the message of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 with such uncompromising reality that I won't look at this passage the same again.

I spend too much time trying to figure out how to make plans succeed even when the circumstances don't allow it. I zealously tried to get what I thought was God's plan for me to succeed. The problem was that I was acting out of desperation instead of faith. Cutting corners, putting up a front, saying what is not quite true, and taking what is not quite mine are more than just sin. Sin expresses not believing that God will take care of us and provide the means to do His will. We only need to do what He asks and follow what He says is right. Giving higher priority to the quick and easy instead of the right (Matthew 7:13-14) is the way people normally do things. Focusing on doing what is right, on using the opportunities God gives me, and on God-given abilities is when I find His will. Then, my life blooms producing the fruit He desires(Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13).

©2000 Perry Vernon Webb. You may quote this page in part or the whole as long as you
1) do not alter the wording and
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