Submitted Date 07/20/2019

Legendary in human history are those whose reach exceeded their grasp, who aspired to be more than they should have and came crashing down. One need only consider the Tower of Babel, or the fall of 1/3 of the angelic hosts to see that there are limits which must be considered where ambition is concerned. Even secular legend bears witness to this truth, with the story of Icarus and Daedalus or the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare.

Note that the failing of those at the Tower was not their goal of building a magnificent structure but their motivation for doing so (Genesis‬ ‭11:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬). Their sin was in their hutzpah, their pride before God (‭‭Genesis‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬). As Eve was tempted in the Garden with knowing good from evil and therefore being like God (Genesis 3), so those master craftsmen sought to elevate themselves.

In similar manner, Lucifer sought beyond what he should have.

"'How you are fallen from heaven,

O Lucifer, son of the morning!

How you are cut down to the ground,

You who weakened the nations!

For you have said in your heart:

"I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;

I will also sit on the mount of the congregation

On the farthest sides of the north;

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,

I will be like the Most High."'" (‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:12-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

In our country, where self-sufficiency is worshipped and the tale of having, "pulled himself up by his bootstraps," is adored, we have a tendency to encourage overreach. "Dream big," "Just Do It!" and other such phrases tend to dominate. Within certain limits such platitudes are appropriate. Unbridled, however, they can usher in crushing defeat.

In such contemplations we must take care. James cautioned against such boastful planning in James 4:13-16, concluding, "But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil." (James 4:16 NKJV) What is the appropriate way to consider such plans? He tells us, "Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'" (‭‭James‬ ‭4:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Diligence is commended. Planning is good. Flibbertigibbet flying by the seat of one's pants is not more godly than detailed planning. As in most things, however, there is a balance to be struck. When planning, rely on this edict:

"Commit your works to the LORD,

And your thoughts will be established." (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬).

Or this one works, too:

"A man's heart plans his way,

But the LORD directs his steps." (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Such humility will avert the possibility of pride sneaking in and stealing what God has in store for you.


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