“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
As teenagers we are faced with many choices. They can be simple ones like what to wear or eat. They can be more important ones like what interests to pursue. While most of the decisions we make on a daily basis seem small and insignificant, it is these very choices that define who we are and mold our lives and character.
Throughout the years, I have come to appreciate the many opportunities available to me but I have also begun to realize that while there are many “good” activities that I can get involved in, only a few of these are part of God’s ordained plan for my life. The Lord has been challenging me lately, especially now at the start of a new school year, to be more sensitive to His voice and direction in how I use my time and resources.
For the past several months, I have begun each morning with a special prayer in which I commit my time and plans into God’s hands. This part of my prayer time takes only a minute. Yet since I have started praying this prayer of surrender daily, I have seen God’s hand much more vividly in my life as He connects me with people, places, and situations that are crucial to my spiritual growth and development.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV). To “lean” means to shift one’s weight onto another person. Thus, as we lean on God’s Word and the things He has spoken to our hearts, we transfer the burden of our decisions onto Him, allowing His guidance and divine blessing to be poured out more strongly into our lives.
And so, at the start of this new school year, my hope is that all of us learn to daily “lean into” Him. As we’re making decisions, let’s open our hearts and our busy schedules for His plans and purposes.
Dear Lord, thank You for all of the wonderful opportunities that You provide for me. Please help me to lean on You, God, in this new school year. You are my refuge. I surrender myself to Your plans and purposes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ponder: 2 Samuel 22:31, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” (NIV)
Apply: Before you make important decisions at the beginning of this new school year, first ask the Lord to show you His plan and purposes.
Read: Wise Up! Experience the Power of Proverbs Bible study by Rebecca Ingram Powell
Share: Have you ever made a decision that you regretted later?
© 2010 by Emily Watkins. All rights reserved.
Emily Watkins is a freshman at the University of South Carolina and a former missionary kid in Poland. Her favorite food is strawberries and cheese, and she loves spending time with friends and family, riding her bike, writing, drawing with colored pencils, and learning about new cultures and places. Emily’s greatest passion and desire is to worship God, which she does by serving her community, praying for others, and modeling Christ’s excellence at work and in school. For several years, Emily has also had dreams about going to Africa, and so she plans on using her studies in international business to one day help improve living conditions in poor countries. But for now, she is enjoying her new college life in Columbia, her wonderful friends and family, and all the surprises the Lord brings to her each day.