Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:24
"Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way?"
man's steps are ordained by the Lord
The proverb is stating what is obvious to the observant but not obvious to all. That no matter how much you think you are in control, there are all kinds of things which control your destiny that you have little or no control over.
It is God who has you born into your family.
It is God who controls – through the combination of your genes and parents – your height and looks and bone structure.
It is God who controls your temperament and typical impulses that you pay attention to.
It is God who gives you some skills and withholds others.
What is amusing is that many people believe that they can do anything they set their minds to, but this is wrong. You should spend your time trying to understand what God has fitted you for. In every skill and calling there is both noble and common uses.
A person's path can be turned by a casual conversation. A person's path can be redirected by a great teacher or a lousy one. A person's path can be selected by the people they are attracted to or who are attracted to them.
how then can man understand his way
The clear answer to the question that is asked in this proverb – How then can a man understand his way?– is that he cannot without a close walk with God and a willingness to submit to the way that God has for Him.
The apostle Paul was accused by Christ of kicking against the goads or pushing against the direction that Christ had for him. This would clearly suggest that God was at work on and in him for many years before the confrontation on the Damascus road.
Very few people find the success they seek through the path that they had first wanted or chosen. It is God who must redirect you from the foolish baubles that you choose to move you into your nobler calling. It is a shame if you fight all your life against what is clearly the calling of God – such as what Sampson or even many of the kings of Judah and Israel did.
God wants you to do what you are best suited for: to bring righteousness into the world through the unique combination that He gave to you. Don't whine and complain because someone else has been given abilities that you have not. Do what you have been given and glorify God in your body.
All have been guilty at pushing against the path that God has selected for them and doing the will of God reluctantly. This is like trying to swim up the Niagara Falls. You will not win and you might as well go with the flow of God's river. Now that is not to say that in terms of the world the flow is against God's flow but do not give up and ask for insight into the way of God for you.