"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
As a young working woman in her mid-20s, I’d spent most of my life thinking about this season and all I wanted to achieve — finding a more fulfilling role where I’d be able to use my creative and leadership gifts. I was ready to take on the goals I had long planned for.
Instead, I was met with disappointment, discontent, and more administrative work and spreadsheets than anything else. Mentally and emotionally exhausted, I was running myself into the ground while trying to grow in my career, sacrificing the very things God had placed before me as my portion to steward: time with my family and time with Him. I had followed my way before even asking God about His will.
Deep down, I knew God wanted good things for me, but honestly, I thought my way seemed better.
There was very little prayer involved in this season of my life. When I did pray, my prayers were more like petitions, asking God to bless my plan rather than to help me follow Him. The more I strived to follow my desires, the more my soul withered. I had created an idol out of my dreams and allowed performance and success to become little gods in my life.
Something had to change before something else in my life suffered. I needed to recommit the work of my hands and my heart’s desires to the Father, as our key verse says: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3).
I went before God with my hands and heart open, asking Him to do a new thing in me, settle my soul and help me remain faithful to the season He’d called me to. I sat with Him and listened as I read the Scriptures and sought out His wisdom.
Slowly but surely, my heart began to turn back to God. Finger by finger, I released my tight grip on the idols that had become the center of my affection. God was inviting me into total surrender and trust, asking me to commit to Him all that had been set before me and everything that was in me.
Proverbs 16:3 speaks beautifully to the heart of this. Solomon was a man who walked in wisdom at the time he wrote this proverb. He understood the importance of committing his heart and work to the Lord and had done so for many years, building the temple and serving God faithfully. (1 Kings 6:14) However, somewhere along his journey, he began to turn away from God, giving in to his desire to marry many foreign women, which led him into a life of idolatry and sin. (1 Kings 11:1-13) He failed to commit His whole heart over to God and steward well what God had continued to call him to.
The word “commit” in Hebrew means “to roll away,” to let go of all we think we must carry and do. To roll toward God all of our heart’s desires, leaving them at the feet of Jesus. What a beautiful picture of trust and surrender — to open our heart and hands, releasing the grip we’ve tightly held around the things we long for and maybe even idolize. Had Solomon surrendered his desires and plans to God, had he trusted God with his whole heart, he likely would've seen that on the other side of obedience is abundance. (John 10:10)
This is God’s desire for us: to commit our life and plans to Him while trusting His leading and guidance.
God had better things ahead for Solomon and has better things for us today. God's will for our lives will always be best — taking what’s in our hearts and conforming it to His. Friends, our desires, left unchecked, will open the door to a life fueled by pride and idolatry, turning us away from the Lord. But when we seek God in all things, we learn that what our hearts truly desire can only be found in Jesus. And as we commit to follow Him, He will lead us in the path of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3)
Father, thank You that Your plans are good and Your way is better than ours. Guide us to commit our desires and lives to You. Help us to trust You, surrender and follow Your lead. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
In our heads is a lonely place to be, but why does it feel so crowded? Stop thinking “I can’t do this, I’m not good enough and I can’t change” by learning one practical exercise to help you interrupt negative self-talk. Don't miss our next Online Bible Study, Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen, starting June 28! Click here to sign up.
If you’d like to follow along with more of Alexandra Hoover’s encouragement and writing, find her on Instagram!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
This week, take some time to examine what desires may need to be committed over to the Lord, and pray for God to help you release them and rest in His perfect will.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2021 by Alexandra Hoover. All rights reserved.
What We Believe
If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.