The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans, devises/deviseth, makes… חָשַׁב chashab
We think, plan, devise, invent, consider/are mindful of that which we want to do, want to be, think we need, think our next step ought to be.
BUT… our Gracious God establishes, directs/directeth, determines… כּוּן kuwn
He knows His plans for us and establishes our steps. God is firm, stable, firmly establishes, sets up, fixes, securely determines, endures, directs aright, fixes aright, is steadfast, directs toward (moral sense), prepares, makes firm, provides all that we need or want when His will is ours.
Matthew Henry wrote these words on Proverbs 16:9:
“Man is here represented to us, 1. As a reasonable creature, that has the faculty of contriving for himself: His heart devises his way, designs an end, and projects ways and means leading to that end, which the inferior creatures, who are governed by sense and natural instinct, cannot do. The more shame for him if he does not devise the way how to please God and provide for his everlasting state. 2. But as a depending creature, that is subject to the direction and dominion of his Maker: If men devise their way, so as to make God’s glory their end and His will their rule, they may expect that He will direct their steps by His Spirit and grace, so that they shall not miss their way nor come short of their end. But let men devise their worldly affairs ever so politely, and with ever so great a probability of success, yet God has the ordering of the event, and sometimes directs their steps to that which they least intended. The design of this is to teach us to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that (James 4:14-15), and to have our eye to God, not only in the great turns of our lives, but in every step we take. Lord, direct my way, (1 Thessalonians 3:11).”
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:14-15
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;…. 1 Thessalonians 3:11
Father, I know I try to plan my ways in so many things in my life. I want to walk in Your will, LORD. I want You to establish my steps, the way in which I should go, for I want to walk closer and closer to You. The only way that can really happen is for me to loosen the reins, allowing You to control my steps, all of my steps. I pray I will be mindful of that and of You. I humbly pray this in Your Son’s Name. Amen.