We dreamers and creators are always working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. Along the way we'll encounter opposition and setbacks, and we'll need to be able to endure delays and disappointments. We'll need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves. To get this Divine support, we'll need to follow several important spiritual steps.
Commit your efforts to God.
One of the wisest men of all time, the Biblical King Solomon, once wrote, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 ESV) These words of wisdom are as fresh and as relevant today as when they were first recorded, nearly 3000 years ago. And, this advice is vital to creators and dreamers alike — actually, to every last one of us.
The word commit has several connected and related meanings: “to send, to consign, to entrust, or to place in the care and keeping … of something or someone. The word work applies pretty much to everything we do in life, whether we’re pursuing a dream, mowing the lawn, or taking a covered dish to a sick neighbor. In fact, it applies to life itself.
Rather than further explain what Solomon meant, we’ve decided instead to share two alternate but highly accurate translations of the same Proverb: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (NIV) “Entrust your efforts to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” (GW) No, we couldn’t express this any better.
Committing all our efforts (creative or otherwise) to God, and then entrusting Him with both the process and the outcome, requires us to do two interrelated things:
Lean on the Lord!
Have you ever been overwhelmed by the magnitude of your vision? Have you felt that fulfilling your dream is far beyond your capabilities? Perhaps you have the talents and abilities, but lack the right connections or sufficient resources (finances, knowledge, background) to achieve your goals. Perhaps you even feel like you’re in way over your head, drowning in a sea of challenges and problems, fear and doubt.
Try this: “Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 GW) “Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall.” (Psalm 55:22 TLB)
In other words, lean on God! With all your weight (spiritual, emotional, intellectual). “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders — He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.” (Psalm 55:22 MSG) His shoulders are infinitely strong and broad, and He delights in carrying us as much as we delight in carrying a beloved child or a favorite pet.
It’s a humbling experience, but what’s wrong with a little humility in the face of overwhelming odds and obstacles? What’s wrong with placing (committing) total dependence on the Creator of the Universe? The Apostle Paul had to do just that, and he was a pretty savvy fellow: smart, well educated, well-connected, competent, capable and independent. But Paul wrote, “[God] said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
Grace is the power to endure, overcome, triumph, and succeed. It’s the supernatural patience, stamina, and strength God imparts to us, after we become totally dependent upon Him, trusting Him totally with our fondest hopes and dreams, and relying totally on His goodness, His guidance, His ability, His answers, His resources — and His faithfulness to keep His promises!
This leads us to the second aspect of “Committing our efforts to God” — which we’ll discuss on Thursday.