It’s the first week in January; a brand-new year. Some, at this point, are deep into keeping resolutions of all sorts. Some have failed at resolutions already some four days into the new year. Some didn’t bother making them having already resigned to the fact that they knew they’d fail.
But just in case you’re still thinking about newness, may I offer a resolution as pertains to our action? In the book of Proverbs, Chapter 16, Verse 3, the author says, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.”
I love the word picture that is painted by the Hebrew words used here.
The word for “commit” in Hebrew can mean “roll together.” The word for “work” can also be translated as “action.” In my mind I think of a piece of pastry (I must be hungry as I’m writing this!), rolled out thinly, with some sort of jam or similar confection spread across, and then “rolled up” into a jelly roll type of dessert.
The concept in my mind’s eye is that of our actions in life “rolled up” or “wrapped in” the presence of the Lord so that each slice, or our actions, all possess our action as well as the Lord’s influence. When our actions are enwrapped in the presence of the Lord, the writer says then our plans, or actions are then “standing firm” or “fixed” or “reliable.” These are translations of the word “established.”
But isn’t it true that we make our plans based not upon the entwinement with the Lord, but instead we rely upon conventional wisdom? We step out thinking we have the right answers. We assume that since one course of action worked for someone we know, then it must be the same for me too. And so, instead of mingling our actions with the Lord, we dive right into our independent ways and then wonder why our foundation feels more like quicksand then solid rock.
So just how do we accomplish this “rolling up” of our actions with the Lord’s mind and heart? I believe it’s as simple as prayer. It’s coming before the Lord in humility, admitting that we are in desperate need of his guidance and direction in everything. Unfortunately, our greatest roadblock in this is our own pride. However, later in this same chapter, at verse 18, we’re warned that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
If we truly desire our actions “to be set in order” (yet another translation of “established”) it’s time to roll them up in prayer, seeking the direction of the One who alone is able to establish our plans in a rock-solid foundation.