"Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren." (Genesis 24:27)
Abraham's chief steward, commissioned with the vital task of finding a suitable wife for the promised heir, made a number of important and costly decisions in preparation for his journey--on his own and under his authority as the steward.
How can we understand this apparent paradox? On the one hand, we are expected to "work out" our salvation, all the while knowing that "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). We are warned that "every idle word" will be judged (Matthew 12:36), yet encouraged to "take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak" because God will give us words to say when we need them (Mark 13:11).
The parables of the Talents and the Pounds (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27) show our responsibility to use what God has given us for His Kingdom and glory, yet we are told that "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord" (Psalm 37:23).
The answer is "being in the way." The desires of our hearts are granted when we delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4). If we "will do his will," we will know of God's teaching (John 7:17). As we present our bodies as "living" sacrifices, we are transformed by that new mindset, and therefore can "prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).
This great truth is not a mysterious discipline. It is simply a life lived out in love for the Kingdom "by taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Psalm 119:9). HMM III