The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself. It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
We are not competent to direct our own lives. The Lord created us so that we would need Him to guide us in the best direction. He gave us the freedom to choose the way to go in life (Deuteronomy 30:19). But when left to our own reasoning, we will think everything is alright. We will think nothing is wrong with our sin. However, when what is wrong is exposed by the truth of God’s Word, our foolishness becomes obvious. It is crucial that we constantly renew our minds with the truth of God’s Word for our thoughts and our plans to be established (Romans 12:2).
Proverbs 16:3 speaks of our thoughts being “established.” Proverbs 16:1 speaks of our hearts being “prepared.” We prepare our hearts to receive God’s truth when we are renewed in our thoughts by the Word. We conform to His Word when His truth is established in our hearts.
“All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits” (Proverbs 16:2).
Only the Lord can correctly evaluate and weigh our lives. We can’t correctly assess our plans. This is why we must have God’s input. This is why we need the Word of God to teach us the way to go.
Strong’s Concordance says that “works” in Hebrew means “an action [good or bad]; generally, a transaction; abstractly, activity; by implication, a product [specifically, a poem] or [generally] property.”
When we turn our lives and our “works” over to the Lord, what we do for Him becomes His property—not ours. When we surrender ourselves to Him, our thoughts will be established, and His good plans will be confirmed.
Solomon’s wisdom reveals what will happen when we subject all our “works”—all of our actions, plans, and activities to the evaluation of the Lord. The Holy Spirit will weed out what is wrong. He will reveal what needs to be removed. And what is left will be established.
God looks on the heart. He sees what we can never see. Have the plans in your heart been examined by the Holy Spirit? Have you chosen to let go of those things that are your “works” instead of His?
Never rush to prove your plans. With a humble heart, submit them to God. Seek His heart. The Holy Spirit will examine your heart and reveal the motives behind your plans. He will convict you as to what is His and what is yours. When His plans are your plans, your works are His works. You have committed them to Him. They will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). You will “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV).
© 2023 Lynn Lacher