"But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands." (Isaiah 32:8 NIV)
This verse hit me while I was doing devotions on Monday morning and it has come back to haunt me many times as I've gone about my week. I haven't checked it out in all of the commentaries to see what the scholars say about it, but I've felt the Holy Spirit teaching me something important as I've thought about it over the last few days.
Noble is a lofty word. We think of nobility, don't we? Kings, leaders, important people. When I saw it three times in this verse, I had to go back and reread it several times. Of course, I think it applies to noble women as well as men, and I think we can all aspire to be noble. We don't have to be a world leader or a king or queen in order to appreciate being noble.
Think of it as honorable, worthy, admirable and it becomes a word we can all relate to a little more.
What struck me about this verse was the fact that we can all make noble plans, but it's the noble deeds that actually get us where we want to go and keep us standing.
Applying that to my own life, I can see so many areas where I make big, noble plans, but I don't follow through with the noble deeds that will accomplish those plans.
I want to encourage and help others with a blog post every Friday (a somewhat "noble plan") but I wait until ten or eleven p.m. each week to write the post. Doing the "noble deed" of writing earlier in the week would get the post done before Friday.
This summer I've been making "noble plans" for my Spanish classroom this fall. I'm looking at lots of websites for Spanish teachers, reading resources on teaching foreign languages, and dreaming about being the best language teacher I can be. I've also been stressing about not being ready by August 20. I need to start doing "noble deeds" like making good lesson plans and getting those first few weeks ready so that I can begin confidently and be effective.
I have "noble plans" to lose a few extra pounds, but so far I haven't been willing to do the "noble deeds" that will help me to accomplish that goal. I keep snacking on junk food, drinking too much pop, and not exercising enough to burn those extra calories.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop there. Let's just say that my focus has shifted a bit in the last week or so. It used to be on all of my "noble plans" but now it is moving to the "noble deeds" that need to happen before my plans can become reality.
I'm praying that I can ask God to help me be willing to do more of those "noble deeds" and that He'll show me which ones I need to concentrate on so that I can accomplish His plans for me.
Have you been making noble plans in your life? Are you doing the noble deeds that will make those plans happen? Are you asking God if your plans line up with His plans for you?