Proverbs in 365 Devotions

Proverbs 20:24 A man’s steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?

When We Don't Understand

R Aylor

Something about this verse makes me want to smile. I think part of it is acknowledging the sovereignty of God. It just does something for my heart knowing the Creator of all things loves me so much and cares to be involved in each step I take. And another reason I like this verse is because there’s a mystery here… Today's devotion is my pondering a small part of the journey. Please double check my musings.

Why does God intervene in the oh so small steps that man takes from day to day? Actually, I think that if we acquaint ourselves with Gods word we can know what he’s doing our life… at least generally; but specifically well, not so much… It seems to me that Solomon is saying… The reason our plans in this world don’t always go the way we hope is because God channels our steps.

I mean… at the time of trouble does anyone know the real reason why we experience hardships like a loss of job or 1001 other trials? And so we fight against the brokenness that has touched our life…

We may plan to take college courses to begin a specific job… but that falls through because of money or time constraints… or sickness or 100 different reasons… but at the core we don’t understand why all this keeps happening. We ask “Is God for me or against me?” One path just closes off and we have to go a different way time and time again.

Yet all these things… not only those we consider bad… but those at the time we count as good… somehow work towards the same end.

And because Gods ways are so much higher than our ways… the details and complexity and vastness of the answer may last throughout our life… I believe one of the reasons for the why is that God is educating us in the ways that he knows is best. He may transport us where we were not planning on going… other times he may let us go the way our wayward heart wants to go, and then other times he may carry us exactly where we want to go as we love following him. In all these things God is directing… pushing, prodding and channeling our steps… even when we follow our wayward heart it may be that we need to hit the end of our rope before we call out to the Lord.

I think Romans 11:36 is a key to understanding todays proverb and the course of our lives.

Romans 11:36 says:
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

So in today's proverb it is not our steps that are in question… Solomon is clear that they are from the Lord… but it is our way that we do not understand. In other words why does God order troubles, trials and even physical blessings in our life? We might even ask why did God break the world and the Universe in the first place. I believe all this brokenness is to remind us that we are broken because of sin… we are not glorious no one is good and we all need a glorious savior… the promised one from Genesis 3.

You see, everything is for the glory of God… and as we see his glory… it becomes for our good.

You know, even when God planned our first step as he placed us in the families we were born into and in the nations he chose… even in the time period of history which we live he did so for our good and his glory.

Speaking of God Acts 17:26-27 says:
26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. …

I think it’s impossible for us to fully and specifically understand how all of the ways in which the Lord orders our steps can be seen as being for our good and for Gods glory.

As Isaiah 55:9 says:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

But you know it’s really a good thing to be able to trust God for the directing of our steps because left to ones self we would blindly follow the devil off a cliff into the pit of hell.

Right before Jeremiah ask the Lord for correction he says this in
Jeremiah 10:23: I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.