Friday, April 20, 2018

The Right Way To Throw Dice

Ever throw dice? Most of us have done so, maybe not at a gambling table, but surely during a board game. The point is, when you throw dice, you are looking for a desired outcome, but you never know what numbers are going to show up. In life, throwing dice can be equated to making decisions, taking chances, or going for opportunities, without being sure of exactly how it will play out.

"We may throw the dice,  but the Lord determines how they fall."  (Proverbs 16:33 NLT)

As believers, we don't rely totally on random chance. We trust if it's God's will, He will intervene and work out things that are best for us in the long run. Such trust is believing in the providence of God - that He has all authority and power to do His will in all situations. 

There's a common expression that you may have heard or even use yourself. It's the phrase "God willing".  For example, someone may say, "I'll see you tomorrow, God willing."  Using such a phrase reveals our acknowledgment that we don't know what the future brings, only God does, and only God is in control. It's an expression that has a scriptural basis. The Apostle Paul used it when he was leaving Ephesus. 

But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” (Acts 18:21)

The idea that we as Christians don't rely solely on random chance is demonstrated in an interesting way in the book of Acts. It occurred during the time when they were trying to pick a replacement Apostle for Judas, who had betrayed Jesus. They narrowed their choices down to 2 men, Barsabbas and Matthias. Then, to determine which man would become the twelfth Apostle, they cast lots, like drawing straws. However, they didn't just put their trust in random chance, they relied on God to show them the right one. 

So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven. (Acts 1:23-26)

There's nothing wrong with making plans for the future. We should, as good stewards or managers of our life. However, when we make plans, we must not leave God out of the picture. We should pray about our plans and commit them to Him. 

"Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed."  (Proverbs 16:3)

Sometimes our plans may succeed, but we may reach our goals in a totally different way than we expected. 

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."  (Proverbs 16:9)

And sometimes our plans don't work out at all. But maybe it's for the best in God's eyes.

"We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer."  (Proverbs 16:1)

It could be that His purpose trumps our plans.

"You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." (Proverbs 19:21)

So, let's plan, pray, commit our plans to the Lord, and see where God leads. That's the right way to throw the dice. Whatever your plans are, here's my prayer for you, taken from the words of David in the book of Psalms. 

"May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed."
 (Psalm 20:4)