How Can a Man Understand?

Proverbs 20:24 says, “Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?” God’s control of our lives is beyond human comprehension. This proverb asks a rhetorical question regarding this topic: since the steps of a mighty person are from the Lord — how, then, can anyone discern or “understand” his way? How can we delude ourselves into thinking that we do not need the Lord when even a strong person’s activities are divinely prepared?

One way that we understand our “goings” is to recognize God’s authority. God communicates His will to man in a very simple, logical way. God uses commands (Mark 16:15), examples (John 13:15) and necessary inferences (Matthew 22:32). These are simple ways to understand God’s will, not the tradition of men.

Another way that we understand our “goings” is to, after we have learned what to do, choose to do right. This choice will always involve us loving the Lord. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). No one will follow someone they do not love.

If you decide to follow the Lord, it will involve hearing (John 5:25; 3:16), repentance (Luke 13:3), confession (Matthew 10:32) and baptism (1 Peter 3:21). After baptism, one cannot do as they please, thinking that they are permanently saved. One must continue to be faithful to the Lord in His service and in His worship (1 Timothy 6:17-18; Galatians 6:10; John 4:24).

Kyle Campbell