Bible Society of South Africa
Quintus Heine

New Seasons – Day 13

Joy is putting God in control of our lives

Bible text(s)

1We may make our plans, but God has the last word.

Proverbs 16:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

When Napoleon Bonaparte planned to invade Russia, one of his advisers tried to change his mind. Napoleon refused to listen. His adviser was discouraged and wondered how he could make Napoleon change his mind. So he said to him, “Remember, man proposes, but God disposes!” Napoleon, full of bravado, replied, “I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes!” A Christian who overheard this conversation said that these words were the turning point in Napoleon’s successful career. Today, we know that this is indeed so. The invasion of Russia was the beginning of Napoleon’s downfall! People may make plans, but it is God who has the final say. Woe to whoever forgets this!

Many people can testify to this; just when they think that they are in full control of their lives, something happens to pull the rug out from under their feet. It is then that we realise that we are not in control of our lives, it is God who is in control. Yes, it is true that our own sin can lead us in the wrong direction, but if we serve the Lord and follow him, we must confess that God is in control. This does not mean that we should not plan anything. In the Bible, there are many examples of men and women of God who planned trips and actions, for example, Abraham and Paul. The proverb, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail”, is still true, but we must plan with a humble attitude towards God. We must always realise that God has the last word. That’s why people often say “God willing” when they talk about their plans. Some use the abbreviation DV at the end of their letters, an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Deo volente, which also means “God willing”.

As children of God, we must always be aware that everything we do, we do in dependence on the Lord. We all know that we cannot answer all the whys of life now, but still, we confess that God is the King of the universe.

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