Together in Christ: 'Establish My Steps, O Lord!' — Proverbs 16:9

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
— Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Key Thought

Most of us don't want to spend our lives doing little more than taking up space and breathing air. We want our lives to matter. The challenge is finding the right ways to do that and the right places to invest our time, interest, efforts, and money.

The Scriptures speak with a clear voice about this issue. We have two choices: we will live for either God or something else that is far more fleeting and significantly more inconsequential. We can't serve two masters! [1] We can make all the plans we can imagine, pursue all the goals we conjure up, and seek to achieve fame and fortune for ourselves. However, all those efforts will become empty if God is not behind them. Making plans without seeking the Lord's will is spiritually and eternally dangerous. [2] Only God can establish and confirm the investment of our lives. The wise man of Proverbs wants us to know this with certainty!

If we want our lives to matter, we will tune our hearts to God and His ways. If we do, we may not have the most views on social media, a bio on Wikipedia, or our obituary shared on major news channels. However, God will make our lives count. He will establish our steps so others can follow them and find life.

When we seek God and His Kingdom first, we love Him and live for His purposes rather than our own, then God will be at work in our lives to bring about His lasting and eternal good. [3] This is why a relationship with God as our Abba Father is so important. Being led by the Holy Spirit is essential if our lives are going to make an eternal difference. And this is why the stepson of a lowly carpenter from despised "nowheresville" Nazareth could be the most important person Whoever lived. We follow Jesus because God established His steps and the work of His hands! [4] .

[1] Luke 16:10-13.
[2] James 4:13-16.
[3] Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:28-29.
[4] Psalm 90:16-17; 119:73-77.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I know You long to do great things through Your people and even me! Forgive me for wasting my influence, misusing my time, and disregarding Your work in my life. I want to be useful to Your work on earth and bless those around me. So, Almighty God, I believe You when You say You can do infinitely more than I ask or imagine through Your mighty work through the Spirit within me. * Please, O God, establish the work of my life ^ so that my steps lead others to you. I ask for this grace in Jesus' name. Amen.

* Ephesians 3:20-21.
^ Psalm 90:17.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 8:9-39
  • Matthew 6:19-24, 33


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Illustration of Proverbs 16:9 NLT — In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.