Today is the outset of a three-day personal writing retreat. As is my tradition, I began with committing my time away to the Lord…my thoughts, my work, my rest, my physical time, and any time that may be spent recreationally to refresh my mind and body while away.
This morning I was stirred, once again, as I read my daily chapter in Proverbs. I slammed on the breaks as I came across this verse. This verse that is heavily underlined and has brackets around it. This verse that has been read on the 16th day of every month for twenty years. This verse that has been a foundational building block to every day that I have lived during those twenty years. This verse that I memorized long ago, have scribbled on notes, and have woven into my daily prayers for as long as I can remember. This verse….still speaks to me.
Proverbs 16:3 (in multiple versions)…
Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. NKJV
Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed. NLT
Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and) so shall your plans be established and succeed. AMP
Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place. MSG
The word “commit” used here means to roll, roll down, roll away, and remove. It is like a camel that kneels down and rolls to one side so that the burden they have carried can be rolled off of their back. As we commit our work and actions to the Lord, we are in essence getting on our knees before God and saying, “Take if off of my back. I want you to have it. Take all of it. Do what you want with it.” After rolling it onto His to do plate, then our thoughts and our plans will succeed because He has been given permission to put His hand in it and on it.
I have always loved the wording, “your thoughts will be established.” The more I carry around my works and my actions with my own strength, the more muddled my thoughts can get, thus causing confusion and indecision to settle into my mind…. So I have mainly prayed this scripture for clear thinking in all that I do and the clear thinking then produces successful work, plans, and actions.
…But today I discovered a new angle.
I frequently write and speak about our purpose for living. The idea of purpose, and purpose itself, is a magnet out in front of me, like a dangling carrot in front of horse, drawing me forward and in the specific direction God is leading me. I had never connected this verse directly to purpose until I read this end note in my Bible today…even though it had been read countless times before, today the epiphany, the sudden perception of its essential nature, took place.
“If one turns over to the Lord what he plans to do, his life purposes will come to fruition.”
Wow…. every time I had rolled my day, my plans, my work, my actions over onto God’s to do list, instead of carrying it on my own, I was allowing my life purposes to come into being each and every day. We must daily commit our work, daily get on our knees and roll our load, our works, our actions, over at the feet of our Lord. Rolling and committing our works produces established purpose and established thoughts.
I go into this writing retreat renewed. Expectations are high. Faith is soaring. Thoughts are established. And I know that it is not all about writing. It is about all that God has for me. Personal life, spiritual life, mental life, physical life, and work life. My purposes will come to fruition.
…With eyes straight ahead…