In "Other" Words...Sovereignty

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs his heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
Proverbs 21:1-3

Nina at Mama's Little Treasures selected these verses for yesterday's quote (yes, yesterday's, I'm a day behind! Our new school schedule is wonderful, but it's going to take some time for me to get in the groove, and in the meantime, my computer time is what gets bumped when I'm playing catch up. :)). Many thanks to her for hosting...please visit her to see what others had to say this week about these verses.

These three verses are verses which have each meant a great deal to me at different times in my life. As I have been pondering them in preparation for this week's In "Other" Words post, however, I was struck by the fact that they all have a common theme of God's sovereignty.

"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will." I love the way the ESV words this. I have been reminded of this often in the past few years as we have prayed about a specific situation and how to handle it. We have seen God work in His time and in His way, in ways completely contrary to what would be "typical" for the bureaucracies involved. I was so thankful for this reminder this particular week, as I had hit one of those points when the waiting was especially wearying and the "Is this *ever* going to be resolved?" doubts had rained down hard. It doesn't matter who is in charge, or what their opinions or beliefs are...God *is* in control, and His purposes can NOT be thwarted.

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs his heart." This year as I've been focused on authenticity, I've been reminded over and over again that it is so easy for us to get caught up in what "looks right" or "seems right" or "feels right", rather than having our *hearts* right. It is so easy for us to convince ourselves that we are "fine" or even "good", rather than saying with David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24) God knows our hearts; He alone is able to weigh them.

"To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." I remember years ago (jr. high? high school? *years* ago ;-)) listening to a Keith Green song that impacted me greatly: "To Obey is Better than Sacrifice". I'm reminded often of that lesson now, as I repeat it to my children. :) So often when my children are being disciplined, they will protest, "But I was doing _______" (fill in the blank with any one of a number of really good, even helpful, things). And my response is, "But it doesn't matter how good __________ is; you *weren't* doing what I *told* you to do. I want you to *obey* me...not come up with a dozen other good things to do instead." And yet...how often do I do exactly that with God? Ouch. He has taught me so much about His sovereignty, and yet I still think I know better and go own down my own path.

"To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice"

To obey is better than sacrifice,

I don't need your money, I want your life.

And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon,

But you act like I'll never return.

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet,

How you thrive on milk, but reject my meat,

And I can't help weeping of how it will be,

If you keep on ignoring my words.

Well you pray to prosper and succeed,

But your flesh is something I just can't feed.

To obey is better than sacrifice.

I want more than Sunday and Wednesday nights,

Cause if you can't come to me every day,

Then don't bother coming at all.

Lah, lah,lah….

To obey is better than sacrifice.

I want hearts of fire, not your prayers of ice.

And I'm coming quickly, to give back to you,

According to what you have done,

According to what you have done,

According to what you have done.

~Keith Green

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