The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1)
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. (Proverbs 16:2)
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (Proverbs 16:3)
Remember math? Remember the really hard math classes? I remember how in some of my math classes the back of the book would sometimes have the answers to every other equation. I also remember how sometimes taking a peek at the correct answers helped me figure out the formula I needed to use to get to the right answer and how that helped me figure out the equations where the book didn’t give the solution. Most of life is like that: lots of problems without the solutions written out. Thankfully, God has given us His answer key in the form of His Word. So now the question is: How do we make our lives look like Proverbs 16:1?
When you read that verse it sounds axiomatic, like this is always the case. I don’t know about you, but I know from personal experience that not all my answers are exactly from the Lord. A lot of the time my answers are wrong. So, how does this verse make sense? It makes sense when you understand Solomon is showing us the answer from the answer key first, then he is showing us the “formula” (for lack of a better term). When you follow God’s formula you always come to the right answer. So, it’s as if Solomon is saying: “OK. Here’s what your answers are supposed to look like. Now let me explain how you get there.”
Don’t Trust Your Perspective on Life. Square Things up with God’s Truth
Verse two tells us that we always think our way looks good. Have you ever tried to square up two pieces of wood just by “eyeballing” it? The work can look alright until you get an actual carpenter’s square on it. Then you see that what looked good was actually off by several degrees. Why is that important? Because if one thing on your project is out of square, everything else is off too. We need to measure all of our ways according to the squared-up truth of God’s Word. Notice that Solomon says the “LORD weigheth the spirits.” Our lens only looks at the appearance of our ways. God looks way beyond that to our heart because only when our heart is right with God can our ways be right.
Make What You Do an Act of Worship and a Matter of Prayer
Worship isn’t just for church. Giving God His worth is a full-time job. It needs to permeate everything we do. Whether you’re a pastor or a plumber, if you’re a child of God, everything you do needs to be yielded to God and acknowledged in prayer. By acknowledging God down to the smallest details of our lives, we are honoring Him and giving Him his worth because we are recognizing our dependence upon Him. When’s the last time you thanked God for a place to sleep? When’s the last time you thanked Him for your food and meant it? “Commit thy works unto the LORD” is essentially the same as “in all thy ways acknowledge Him.” Even the promise is similar: “and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
Know that God’s Answer Key is Always Right
If I am in the habit of thanking God for all the blessings He gives me and I am faithful in seeking His face in all the decisions I have to make and the things I need to do, I am committing my works to Him. In return, He establishes my thoughts. If He is establishing my thoughts, that means when I need to say something or answer a question, I can be confident that the preparations of my heart and the answer of my tongue is from the Lord.