If you’ve followed Nourish The Dream for any length of time, you’re already aware of my love for the book of Proverbs. It’s such a great habit to dive into one chapter each day… and since there are 31 chapters, you make it all the way through the book each month. (Well… give or take a chapter or two towards the end there.)

Most—if not all—of the book was penned by Solomon, who was so well-recognized for his wisdom that some estimate he was paid into the billions of dollars in consulting fees in his day. God Himself said this about him: “There has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.” (I Kings 3:12).

Under Solomon’s leadership, the Kingdom of his father, David, expanded to its greatest size (in terms of territory) and also enjoyed a level of peace and prosperity never before (or afterward) experienced by the nation of Israel.

So… the Wisdom that he took the time to jot down for us might be worth consuming regularly, wouldn’t you say?

He also clearly knew something about bringing plans to fruition, which I always think of as the theme of chapter 16… “today’s” chapter, if you will.

How to Get Your Plans to SucceedFrom just the first few verses, we can learn a great deal about God and His desire to be involved in our plans.

The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart).

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (AMP)

A couple of quick reflections on these three verses…

  1. God wants you to plan. Making plans (on our part) is required for these 3 verses to be true. Orderly thinking is up to us, too. God isn’t looking for us to check our brains at the door.
  2. Articulating plans, casting vision and responding when our thinking is challenged (all of which are required of leaders)… these Solomon places squarely in the realm of something that comes from God. I believe we can cultivate the skill of receiving this directly from Him in real time, as Jesus said, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:12)
  3. God looks at our ways. The Hebrew word for “ways” here is derek. It literally refers to, “a road, a course, or a mode of action.” The idea here is that there are recurring elements to our course of action. Patterns, if you will. We re-use them because they seem right and pure to us, but Solomon suggests here that God is looking deeply at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 4:12) and that we should allow God to reveal to us the things that we don’t see.
  4. Commit = let go. Many translations simply render the verb at the beginning of verse 3 as “commit.” But one reason I love the Amplified translation here is because it gives us a better picture of the real meaning of the Hebrew word (galal). Picture yourself carrying a heavy load (the “works” in front of you)… and rolling the burden of your load off onto someone else to carry it for you. Can you just feel the freedom of not being bogged down under the weight any more?But rolling the weight of your “works” off onto Him also means that you’re letting go… you’re not in control any more. By “committing” them to Him, we’re saying, “you’re free to make changes… you’re free to carry the responsibility, and to direct me” (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

    This is how He can then work in us to take the plans we’ve made (and submitted to Him) and cause them to be re-formed as He sees fit.

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. -Philippians 2:13 (AMP)

These verses paint a powerful picture for us about how to make our plans successful.

I’m reminded that we are in a Kingdom. And like any other Kingdom, there is a sovereign King, and I’m not Him.

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