Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
I cannot fathom the number of times I wish I would have followed my parents’ advice of “Think before you act.” From being an impatient driver to spontaneous spender to, and most especially, reckless talker. Every day of our lives is filled with a smörgåsbord of actions, plans, goals, decisions, discussions etc. The word “way” is the umbrella statement the Psalmist uses to encompass all these things. He is imploring us and himself to not be a lone-ranger and not be a reckless act-er. To help with this virtually impossible task, here are a few notes:
- Way – First we need to get a grip on which “ways” rule our day. I’m not talking about the decision of what socks you are going to wear, but rather those “ways” that rule your life. Maybe more specifically, what big decision or pathway is weighing on you? I recommend you even write these things down so you mind and heart can get a realistic picture of them.
- Commit – As you look at these “ways,” begin the miraculous process of putting them onto The Lord’s lap. The classic American way to do this is to pray about something and finish it off with “in Jesus name” and think that we’ve committed our way to the Lord. Nope. It’s actually having a conversation with the Holy Spirit about the path in front of you; the goals, objectives, plans, fear, hopes etc.
- Trust in Him – In my mind, this is the hardest part. To Trust in him. Get the verbiage here. It’s NOT to trust in the outcome, but to put your trust in Jesus himself. It’s not just to lay your “ways” on his lap, but it’s then letting go. Repeat that…letting go. This in and of itself is a miraculous work of the Spirit, enabling our hearts to release control, stop trusting in ourselves or in the ways of this world, and begin to trust in the Almighty; his Decisions and His actions.
- Act – And God acts. In reality, God has “acted” during this whole process. But regarding this one particular “way” in which you are trying to Commit and Trust, God himself will be the one that carries the burden. We most certainly have a responsibility and are called to get off the couch and work diligently. But with this promise, we can also work FREELY, knowing that the Lord is the one that will make the way and carry us to the end.
Let me give you two examples.
One of the bigger decisions in life revolves around vocation and location. My family and I have made a couple of big moves in life and they were really difficult “ways” that we desperately, prayerfully and miraculously put on the Lord’s lap. In our journey from Houston to Asheville we spent months in prayer and research, as did Grace Community Church. We had a really hard time coming into anything close to clarity, but after seeking a lot of wisdom from faithful men and women, Amy and I just laid it on Jesus’ lap and, in the end, made the best decision we could, leaving the results up to the Lord. And then 6 weeks later thought that we made a horrible decision, wondered where God was, and tried to move back to Houston! See, it’s not so neat and tidy. But as we kept committing our way over and over (as we also de-committed lots of times), God kept showing up. He didn’t give our hearts peace to go back, even though we had another job offer. He confirmed that, even though it was difficult, he had moved us to Asheville and was going to do a work in and through us. It was messy, painful, exciting and glorious. And still is.
The second example is much better. It’s Jesus. In the garden. The night before he was crucified. He got on his knees face down and desperately committed his way to The Father, pleading for Him to “take this cup from me.” But then truly truly TRUSTED the Father by saying (and meaning) “not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22). I cannot possibly fathom the love and trust that took. And it sure seemed like the Father DIDN’T act. So much so that Peter tried to sword-fight his way out of God’s plan. But now, on this side of Easter, we know that in fact the Father DID act. Perfectly. Shockingly. He sent his own son to die in our place, and then took our breath away by raising Him from the dead so that all who trust in Christ can also be brought from death to life. All because Jesus Committed his way, Trusted in the Father, Who acted.
And so now we can commit and trust because we have a Father we know we can trust, whose powerful hand is not too short or unsteady. If he did not spare his own son, won’t he give us all good things! (Rom 8:32