The Lord Establishes
By Leah Brown, Sydney Labouring Community (first published in Compass Autumn 2023)
Over the last three years, the Lord has been bringing my attention to the truth of Proverbs 16:9,
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
He’s done this in two ways: 1) whether I acknowledge it or not does not change whether He is the Lord. And 2) me acknowledging Him as Lord is vital for my relationship with Him. He took me through a turning point in my experience of this back in 2020.
At the beginning of 2020, I stopped being content with just the Lord. I met someone who was interested in dating me – and having someone was important to me. From here things went off the rails. I no longer moved towards the Lord; I chose my own track and sought a relationship with someone that had no connection to God. I no longer attended church regularly and excluded myself from almost everything and everyone.
When asked about God or questions in Bible study, which I did still attend weekly, I would give the easy answers and honestly just shut my brain off. I didn’t care. I didn’t think about it. Despite this, the Lord started working in my heart when I was frequently asked by a friend why I wasn’t going to church. So, honestly, in stubbornness and to prove him wrong about my church attendance I tried to go.
When I got covid, I was obviously stuck in my room; I couldn’t keep busy enough to run in the opposite direction. The Lord continued His work and revealed to me I wasn’t happy that He had taken away a potential dating relationship I really wanted. The poor substitute I found in this new relationship didn’t satisfy. I started to veer back to the right track going towards the Lord. I was really confronted with the fact I hadn’t been living my life for Him. The only way I could’ve figured that out was through God and the work he was doing in me by giving me space to just think.
May 18, 2022 was a very significant day: I call it my “God is enough day”. On that day I realised that the only person I need in my life is God and that nothing else can satisfy me. No worldly ideal of satisfaction is ever going to make me feel like I feel when I am in the presence of God. That’s the day I let the Lord back into my heart and really let Him lead the way. He allowed me to struggle and walk through what I wanted to walk through but ultimately He brought me back to Him.
No other time in my life have I been so content. Coming back to the Lord I’ve found where I need to put my worth and trust. The Lord used the relationships that were important to me to help engage with the fact I no longer was with Him or had any interest in Him. They were a part of God ordering my steps. I am thankful that He has given me people that love and trust Him to walk down that path with me, encouraging me through it all to come back and call Him Lord.