Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. -Proverbs 16:3 NIV

I’ve heard this proverb used as a magic charm, have you? As if there were some Jesus-dust you could sprinkle on whatever you want, and it would be automatically successful. “I commit this to you, Lord,” we say–with less depth of heart than when we dedicate a song to someone on the radio–sprinkling, sprinkling the dust on plans that are actually more about trusting in and pleasing ourselves than they are about him. And then we think the promise is that he will cause it to be successful regardless of our attitudes toward it.

But if something is committed to the Lord, that means it’s in his hands. He can do whatever he wants with it. If you think about it, only something that belongs completely to him can be really successful. If it’s ours and not his, then the “success” makes God a means to the end of getting what we want. So a bigger “success” becomes a bigger dragon which will eventually come and stand between us and the Lord.

The word commit in this proverb is the Hebrew word galal which means to roll, as in to roll a large stone or to have water roll down a mountain. It’s a powerful word. If you are going to move a heavy stone, you don’t hold anything back. You get a few buddies, decide whether it’s on three or after three, and you roll it with all you’ve got. If you are going to do a flip off the diving board, and you do it half-heartedly, you are going to get hurt. You commit to the motion. In fly fishing I often do a roll cast, throwing a loop into my line which rolls to the end and moves the fly out further out into the stream.  If I change my mind about it mid-cast I get a literal flop. A good roll is both forceful and permanent. When water rolls down a mountain, it’s not coming back up.

So to paraphrase: roll your endeavor forcefully over to God and he’ll put your thoughts and plans for it in order.

I believe God has a plan for everything: People, places, things, sparrows, lilies, numbered hair on my head (which is easier than previously). Isn’t that amazing? He has a plan for whatever you and I are struggling with. It’s not about having our goal in mind and figuring out how to get the Lord to work for us on the thing. It’s about forcefully and decisively giving all our works to the Lord, and expecting that he will then establish his plans and thoughts for them in us. See what happens? Then the works are another way to enjoy intimacy with God. Personally, this has already been an amazing relief and an amazing promise to stand on since I discovered it about a week ago.

Got something you need to roll? You can pray like this:

Lord Jesus, here I go. One, two, three! I roll __________ into your hands. I truly care about it but you know what to do with it better than I do, so I trust you with it. I release myself from being its master and I hand it to you so I can enjoy being your creative partner in its care or release. I am tired of making my own human plans for it, so I claim your promise that since it is yours, you will now begin to establish your thoughts and plans for it in me. You will show me how to guide it into its purpose, just like you guide me into mine. Thank you! Amen.

May 1, 2013