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In his hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Prov. 16:9

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. Rev. 3:7

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Prov. 19:21

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isa. 46:10

Sovereign Father, these promises about our knowing and being in your will, bring immeasurable peace and comfort, humility and joy. I praise you for affirming your engagement in determining and directing every one of our steps—for numbering our hairs and determining our days. We don’t have to be afraid of making the wrong choices, or be paralyzed by second guessing our plans. The pressure is off! You love us and are in control, and that is enough.

Indeed, you are faithfully working all things together after the counsel of your will—no exceptions. You are working in all things for your glory, and for our good. You open doors no man can shut and you shut doors no man can open, on behalf of your beloved children. Whatever you purpose, it will stand. Again, I declare the comfort, peace and joy this brings me.

Many years I labored under the arrogance and anxiety of assuming that if I prayed hard enough, was “single-minded” enough, and had confessed all known sin—that if I was really filled with and “tuned in” to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I could know the specifics of your will for my life, well in advance of any decision that needed to be made. My assumption being, that if I was in your will, life would be enjoyable, pleasant, and hassle free. How self-centered a notion…

If I bought the right car, it would never break down. If I bought the right house, the roof would never leak. If I married the right person, we would never disagree. If I went to the right college, I’d get the right job. If I sent my kids to the right school, they would never act out destructively, and would end up serving you with all their hearts. But, Father, if this was the way life worked, I wouldn’t really need you.

You’re certainly honored when we work hard to make good plans and choices, in keeping with our understanding of the Scriptures. And it’s important for us to seek and heed the wise, prayerful counsel of good and godly friends. But help us to live with more confidence that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not a consulting partner; a very present Lord, not an absentee landlord; the reigning King, not a hands-tied bystander.

Because of the person and work of Jesus, we can be confident your will is being done, on earth as it is in heaven. Hallelujah, many times over! So very Amen I rest and pray, in his glorious and grace-full name.


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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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