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What’s going on in your life today?

Do you have a busy day? Light day? Are you working from home still? Do you have a project in front of you? Are you overwhelmed with work or worries?

No matter the answer to the questions above or what’s going on in our lives, we long for the Lord to guide us and bless us. But how can we know that the Lord is guiding our steps and establishing our path?

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.

Psalm 37:5

Commit your work to the Lord,
    and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3

The word “commit” in these two verses means “to roll upon.” It carries the notion of rolling onto or rolling away. In order to experience the Lord acting for us (through us) and establishing our plans, we need to “commit” or “roll” our situations, decisions, and work upon him. The image is a vibrant picture of trust. Instead of relying on our own energy, wisdom, or goodness, we actively trust the Lord when we roll our situation upon him to handle.

There are lessons to be gained from these verses.

  • Committing our way/work to the Lord means that we leave our burdens and worries with him. Too often, we pray about something, leave it with the Lord, and then when we get off our knees, we pick our burden, worry, or situation right back up. Many of us have a hard time letting God be in control. But if the Lord can strengthen Moses to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt, empower David to kill Goliath and become king, encourage Jeremiah to prophesy faithfully to a people who ignored him, and enable Jesus’ followers to take the message of the gospel to the world, then he can most certainly handle your burden. He is able to strengthen you, establish you, and carry the weight you think you must carry. It’s time to roll your burden onto the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord means rolling them “away” to the Lord. Have you ever tried to push something heavy up a hill? The Greek myth of Sisyphus who was forced to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity is sometimes a bit too personal for us. We like to think we are able. So we strive and strain to be in control, to get that burden up that hill, to accomplish that feat. And like Sisyphus, all too often we end up defeated and discouraged. Stop trying to do the impossible. It’s time for you to roll away your burden onto the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord does not mean that you stop working. Let’s be clear here. We still have a job to do, a task to accomplish, or a project to finish. We remain responsible to work diligently. But we are not to carry the weight of something that is beyond us. We are finite and cannot do everything. So be faithful and hard-working, but commit the results and weight of your responsibilities to the Lord. Here’s an example in my own life. I get to preach weekly. It is a privilege to study, prepare, pray, and deliver sermons. This takes work that God is not going to do for me. But the burden of the results of preaching and the effect of God’s Word in the lives of others is not my responsibility. There have been times I’ve tried to carry God’s burden for the effect of preaching. It has not been a successful endeavor. It’s time for you to go to work and to roll the results and effects on the Lord.
  • Committing your way/work to the Lord means that what we model is what we’ll replicate in others. I believe there’s a hidden lesson in Psalm 37:5 and Proverbs 16:3. David wrote Psalm 37, and his son Solomon wrote Proverbs 16:3. The word “commit” is exactly the same in both passages and the lesson is almost exactly the same. Don’t you think Solomon learned the lesson of Proverbs 16:3 from his father? I think it is very likely. Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever you’re responsibility, whatever your burden, someone is watching. Your spouse, children, co-workers, neighbors, or grandchildren are watching. Will they see you stressed and angry? Burned out and frustrated? Or will they see you “commit” your way and work to the Lord. It’s time for you to roll your life and choices on the Lord.

It’s time for me to roll my work and ways on the Lord. Today, before I do anything else, I’m going to spend some time committing my day and circumstances to the Lord. Maybe you need to do that as well.

So pause.

Take a moment to list out the weights and burdens of life and work that you are carrying.

Then pray.

And with each burden and weight, commit it to the Lord.

Then leave your burdens with him.

I wonder if you would do me a favor after reading this? Will you pray for someone else that you know who is weighed down by their own burdens? Pray that they will be able to commit their day, work, circumstances, decisions, and stresses to the Lord. And if the Lord impresses it upon you, reach out to that person or persons you are praying for with a word of encouragement or an offer to help.

We might be like God in some ways. After all, God made us in his image (Genesis 1:26-27).

But God is most certainly not like us. God is more than us. He is greater than us. God transcends us.

The meaning of transcendence is that God is not merely a quality of nature or of humanity; he is not simply the highest human being. He is not limited to our ability to understand him. His holiness and goodness go far beyond, infinitely beyond ours, and this is true of his knowledge and power as well.

Millard Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine, 81.

God is other.

It is the supremacy of God’s otherness, holiness, greatness, glory that should drive us to humility and worship.

God is not the “man upstairs,” or the “eye in the sky.” That God transcends us points to God as Creator, Lord, and Sovereign.

Scripture affirms the idea of transcendence.

God is not man, that he should lie,
    or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
    Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Numbers 23:19

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Isaiah 6:1-5

“As I looked, thrones were placed,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
    and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
    its wheels were burning fire.
A stream of fire issued
    and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
    and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
    and the books were opened.

Daniel 7:9-10

These passages are just a sampling of the biblical affirmation of God’s transcendence. God is above and beyond us in every way imaginable.

The fact of God’s transcendence should humble us. If you’ve been reading these word of the week posts for any length of time, you may have noticed a theme. Theology that gives us an accurate picture of God and of ourselves rightly humbles us.

The fact of God’s transcendence should lead us to worship. God is great, other, glorious. The more we recognize and reflect on the transcendent God of the Bible, the more we will sense the need to worship and adore God in our attitudes and actions.

So, pause a moment (or more) and consider the greatness and glory of the transcendent God of the Bible. Join us next week as we reflect on the complimentary theme of God’s immanence.

Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash