I was awakened this morning by a thought that was like a bolt of lightning. It was as if the Lord asked the question… When do I give you thoughts? I answered, After I commit my works to You. And I was reminded of the verse in Proverbs, “Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.” (Prov 16:3) The verse is much more active than I thought. I like the way Young translated this verse, “Roll unto Jehovah your works, and established are your purposes.” He believed this verse was very active. The doer starts doing activities for the Lord and God’s purposes are revealed and established during the activity.
Commit And Roll
The word for commit (galal) means to roll. Perhaps the verse can be rephrased, Get the ball rolling with your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. As you dedicate your efforts to the Lord, He gradually reveals to you His purposes and thoughts. I want to emphasize that these are not necessarily religious pursuits. Take for example, you may be considering becoming a potter or film director. Or perhaps you want to change careers or volunteer in an unfamiliar capacity. What nagging or persistent desire do you have inside of your soul that you cannot quiet? That may be the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit directing you to follow. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or think (Eph 3:20). He is waiting for you to take the first step. “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure..” (Phil 2:13)
Thoughts And Purposes
Sometimes the word for thoughts is translated purposes. God reveals just enough of a plan to get you started. If He gave you too much information, you would be overwhelmed and paralyzed. If He gave you too little information, you would be disinterested. God is Creator God – He knows how to get your attention and draw you along into His will. Consider the next prompting by God to be the sight Moses saw, a bush that burned that was not consumed. Moses looked around before approaching. God caught his attention. “Then Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” (Exo 3:3) When God gets your attention, rejoice. He wants to use you. Keep in mind that God will gradually reveal His thoughts and purposes for the actions that you are taking.
Established And Prepared
God has an end in mind for your activities. Ultimately, He wants the world to glorify Him. As you are doing your part and God is providing the thoughts and purposes to guide you along, you are being led to an established or prepared completion. There are illustrations below of people who followed God’s will without knowing the completion. In the fulfillment of these endeavors, God is able to amaze us with His Being, the Great “I AM.” God want us dependent on Him. He is rescuer, and when we need resuing, He rescues us. God is light, and we walk through dark places, He provides light. God is comforter, and when we mourn, He comforts us. God is power, and when we are exhausted, He provides resurrection power. God is wisdom, and when we can’t resolve an issue, He provides the wisdom. God is provider, and when we need provision, He provides. We need to trust God. It may be scary or uncertain to follow God on a new path, but we have the certainty that He will provide His thoughts and purposes to keep going. Since God knows the end from the beginning, our work will be completed according to His will. As we shall see below, we do not often know what God’s ultimate purposes are, but we discover them as we commit our works to Him.
Abram – Ambassador
God told Abram at age seventy-five to leave his country to a land that He would bring him to. He would become a great nation, have a great name, and be a blessing to others. He would encounter those who would bless him and those who would curse him. And God expanded his influence by stating that all the families of the earth would be blessed by Abram. So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him… You and I are proof that Abraham has a great name and all the families of the earth have been blessed by him. Where was God leading Abram? He had no idea. How would Abram become a great nation? He had no detail. Why would Abram be blessed by some and cursed by others? I am sure he was perplexed by that. As Abram obeyed, God revealed a little more of His will. Abram was granted new thoughts and purposes as he lived his life in Canaan. You can relate with Abram. God has called you into a life of faith, and you do not have all the details. You have succeeded in some works and learned from other works (if you learn from your mistakes, you don’t fail). Some people bless you and others curse you. And you certainly are blessed.
Joshua – Warrior
God told Joshua to cross the Jordan River to possess the land of Canaan that He was giving to them. He was also going to drive out the inhabitants of the land. Joshua had a relatively untrained army and thousands of families (women and children). The Jordan River was at peak water levels. He knew a little about the land when he spied it out 40 years prior. He didn’t know how the river would be passed through initially, but was informed by God on the day of the crossing. He didn’t know how the military battles would occur with so many Jewish people who weren’t warriors. He didn’t know how the conquer Jericho with its large, impenetrable walls. He didn’t know how his military would fight and keep its strength in the conquest. He didn’t know how he was going to provide for all the Jewish people. Sounds familiar? Your life is full of battles. Some you win, some God wins, and some you lose. God has and will continue to provide for you while you are battling in the Spirit, bringing God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit wherever you go. Joshua was able to conquer most of the land in Canaan. It was up to each tribe to drive out the inhabitants and take ownership of their inheritance. God has planned many good works for you to do. Like Joshua, you just have to start.
Nehemiah – Carer And Builder And Visionary
Nehemiah was heartsick when he learned about the conditions were for the Jewish people in Jerusalem. He prayed and asked for forgiveness from God for the Jewish people in Jerusalem. God honored Nehemiah’s repentance and intercession and allowed Nehemiah to visit Jerusalem to rebuild it. He didn’t know what he would see in Jerusalem. He didn’t know how he was going to rebuild. He didn’t know what obstacles he would encounter. He had supplies, permission from the king, and a vision from the Lord. He examined the wall at night with just a few men and did not tell the leaders. Nehemiah is an example of a great leader and visionary. Like Nehemiah, you are called to act with compassion, build God’s kingdom and seek God for ways to serve Him. Whether God gives you detailed visions or a prompting, it takes your action to see God bring good works to completion.
Ruth – Rewarded
Naomi was a defeated woman in a land of famine. Her husband and sons died, and she needed to return to Israel. She told her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab and raise new families. Ruth decided that she wanted to follow the God of Naomi, “For wherever you go, I will go…and your God, my God.” Ruth went with Naomi and served her. She didn’t know what kind of life she would have in Israel with Naomi. But she knew one thing, Moabites were not allowed to fellowship with the covenant people of God (Deut 23:3). She was going to be a religious outcast. Yet, she confessed allegiance to the God of Israel. Her devotion to Naomi was strong enough for her to endure whatever awaited her. God had a husband picked for her, she would receive prosperity and abundance, and her descendants would include a future king of Israel. Listen to Ruth’s humbling comment to Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband. “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” You and I can say the same thing to Jesus Christ. Boaz’ response to her is equally powerful. “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” You can show your gratitude for the abindance you have in Christ by doing good works. God will reward you. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Now It’s Your Turn
What have you committed to the Lord? What idea or burden should you act on? God has already prepared good works for you to do. He works in you to will and do of His good pleasure. I like the NET translation of this verse, “For who dares make light of small beginnings?” Success starts by taking the first step. Not everything you do will turn out the way you want it to. But God is glorified when you do everything for the glory of God (1Cor 10:31). Just be faithful in the little things. “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matt 25:21)
God Is Faithful
Once you start getting the good works rolling for the Lord, He will provide thoughts and purposes for you to guide you and open up opportunities for you. He has already established an outcome. He is making you more into the likeness of Jesus every day as you depend on Him. I like this final verse of encouragement from the NLT version, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” (Heb 10:24) God is waiting for you to take a step of faith, committing action to an idea, prompting, or vision and He will reward your efforts.