In the thirty-three verses of Proverbs chapter 16, three of them speak to the friction between the plans we make for ourselves versus the plans God makes for us. You might call it humorous if it weren’t so true: God gives us the ability to plan in minute detail, but He also gives us the mandate to follow His plans for our lives.
Proverbs 16:1 puts it this way: “We can make our own plans but He gives the right answer.” The question is, if God gives us the ‘right answer,’ how do we know that the answer we hear is the one from God?
It’s simple: as we grow in our walk with God, we become more and more discerning. In other words, the better we know God the more sensitive our ears become to the sound of His voice.
Then as we adjust our plans to accommodate His, we experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
Verse 9 of Proverbs 16 tells us that God determines our steps. We may think we are planning a trip, a future event, retirement, etc. but God is the one who directs the course of our lives. He decides when, where, how and what we should or should not be doing. It’s hard for us not to obsess over things that we think will happen, but obsessing does nothing to change them. God is sovereign and only He is in control.
Finally, when we look at Proverbs 16:33 we read that “we may throw the dice but the Lord determines how they fall.” We can take great comfort in these words. It means we don’t win or lose by the luck of the draw. What happens in our lives is anything but luck. God’s sovereignty is real. He does not change; He will always be sovereign. We make our plans, as well we should—He gave us that ability to compare options and determine the best way to go.
However, we should never confuse the choices we make as being our own. It is God who gives us the ‘right answer’; He guides our steps and determines how the dice fall. What better security could we have than that!
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.