I have been asking God for quite a while what He wants me to do for Him – what is my purpose? I continue to hear He wants me to walk with Him. Several days ago, I was reading through Proverbs 16 and came upon the following verse, A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Prov. 16:9) I knew this verse was important and that the Holy Spirit led me to it. But I wasn’t certain what He wanted me to glean from this passage. There have been many instances where I made my plans, and they have fallen through. Many roadblocks have been put in my path: some that I have been able to skirt around (I was most likely prideful in those instances), and some that completely blocked my path. There was another verse in this chapter that also seemed to call to me. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” (Prov 16:3) This verse had a footnote for the following verse, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6)

I’ve been thinking on these verses for several days, asking the Lord what He was trying to show me. Yesterday, when I studied the following passage from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, a lightbulb went off. I need to submit to the Lord, allow Him to establish my thoughts with love, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience and gratitude, and fill my heart with His Word, and THEN He will direct my steps.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17)

In this passage, Paul offers a strategy to help us live for God day by day.

  1. Imitate Christ’s compassionate forgiving attitude. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (vv 12-13) The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven us. Realizing God’s infinite love and forgiveness can help us love and forgive others.
  2. Let love guide your life: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (v 14) All the virtues that Paul encourages us to develop are perfectly bound together by love.
  3. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart and always be thankful: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (v 15) To live in love leads to peace between individuals and among the members of the body of believers. Such love is not a feeling, but a decision to meet others’ needs.
  4. Keep God’s Word in you at all times: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” (v 16) Thankful people can worship wholeheartedly. Gratitude opens our hearts to God’s peace and enables us to put on love.
  5. Live as Jesus Christ’s representative: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (v 17) As a Christian, we represent Christ at all times — wherever we go, whatever we do and whatever we say.

And that brings me back to Proverbs 3, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6)

Source:

  • NIV Study Bible