Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD. (NKJV)
I’m constantly amazed that verses I have just skimmed over several times sometimes jump off the page at me depending on what’s going on in my life.
Horses, battle, deliverance… often these poetic phrases get lost in our “King James” reading mentality as flowery verses that probably meant something to the writer but have little relevance today. However, verses like this are rich in meaning if we’ll stop and mine the treasure.
The overall thought is that we can do everything we can to prepare (and we should) but in the end, the Lord is the one who determines the outcome.
We must prepare and give our best effort,
but surrender the result to God.
If we prepare to fight a war against an aggressor, it is the Lord’s doing if we are victors. We can prepare for minsitry, business, family life or marriage… but God will be the real power behind the result.
Imagine with me a little boy who wants to help his dad mow the grass. He puts his shoes on, sets his mind to the task and then pushes with all his might. Then the Dad comes along behind him, and produces the real strength to move the equipment. The boy is prepared, he’s working hard, he’s giving it his very best effort. However, the real power, the result and the real ability is in his father’s strength.
Our Christian walk is like this. We prepare, we study, we pray, we plan…. all these things are good and necessary. We do everything in our power to keep God’s commandments, to do our duty, to perform our service, to love, to do good works. “But deliverance is of the Lord.”
The results are solely in God’s hands. He provides the real power. He decides the outcome, He determines the end.
We are held reponsible only for the effort,
not the result.
God never holds us responsible for the result of obeying Him. Our only responsibility is to do what God tells us to the very best of our ability, with all our heart, soul and strength. Aren’t you glad that God handles the results? He has mercifully and graciously taken the burden of “results” off of us.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (NKJV)
You don’t have to worry about how many people respond to your witnessing; just witness. You don’t have to be anxious about how many people are convicted or changed by your sermon; just preach. You don’t have worry about if your neighbor becomes a Christian; just be like Christ. You don’t have to worry about how your kids will turn out; just be Godly parent. You don’t have to be anxious about your business; just work hard and be honest. I don’t have to worry about how many people will read my messages; I just need to write.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (NKJV)
Why do all things work together for good? Because God is in total control of the results. God determines the end. God ordains the finish. Whatever God determines is going to happen becomes His will. Whatever is God’s will comes to pass because He is God.
God, being the loving father that He is, has declared that nothing will happen to His children that He won’t eventually use for their benefit, others good and His glory. Sometimes it is so far beyond our ability to comprehend, or so far bigger than our eyes can focus on, or so far down the road we can’t imagine it…. but make no mistake, everything we go through, everything we prepare for, every effort we make for God will work together for good. God has declared it.
Prepare. Plan. Work. Be diligent. You don’t have to worry about the how things will end up. God is quite capable of taking care of things for us. And He does.
Lord God, help us to be diligent and prepared. Help us to give our best effort for Your glory. But even more for Your glory, help us to trust that You are in control, and that You are responsible for the results. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Application: As Christians we are expected to plan, prepare and give our utmost effort. It’s part of the journey, the process. We are not expected to be responsible for the results of obeying God – and thank heavens we aren’t. God is the deliverer no matter how hard we fight. God gives the harvest no matter how diligently we plant. God causes the results no matter how much effort we put in. We are simply incapable of determining the outcome of anything, and thank the Lord that He does it for us.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?