#Christian · #life

Proverbs 3: 5-6

In light of recent events with Covid-19, the civil unrest and some personal circumstances, I have spent some time focusing on God’s word. There are several verses in the Bible that I can say are my “favorite”, but for this season of life I am focusing on the following scripture:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3: 5-6

 

“TRUST in the Lord…

What does it mean to trust?

Dictionary.com says it is the “reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety etc of a person or thing; confidence”. It also says “confident expectation of something; hope”. Merriam-Webster gives a similar definition but adds “to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of (believe) such as to trust a rumor”.

The Bible tells us to trust in the Lord, but what does that look like? According to those definitions we are to have confidence in and rely on God’s integrity, strength, ability and surety. We are to also have confident hope in Him. This should be easy considering God has a great track record. The God of the Bible shows and proves Himself time and time again. There are so many stories where He saves and delivers. The God I pray to today is the same God that I marvel at when I read the Bible. Not to mention, in my own life I’ve seen God show up in so many ways.

To further the discussion about trust, I think about the things in my life that I trust. Right now, I’m sitting on a bed because I trust that it can hold my weight. I’m never worried that I’ll fall through or that the bed will break. I trust that when I turn on a light switch that the dark room will have light. These examples of trust were built through experiences. I have countless experiences with laying in my bed or turning on switches to know that since it worked before it will work again.

Why are we not this way with God?

Why does God have to repeatedly prove Himself to me for me to trust Him? Isn’t once enough? There have been times like during a power outage where I’ve turned on a light switch and the light didn’t come on, but I didn’t lose hope in that switch forever. I knew it would work again eventually. Granted, the light switch and bed are not life and death situations. Whether I realize it or not, I’m always depending on God. Everything in my life is caused or allowed by Him. Lord, help me to purposefully trust in You.

Logically, in the example with the bed I think, “Well, this bed was made to support things. It’s in its design to carry my weight.” Because of that I never worry about if it will perform well. It is the same way with God. God loves me (John 3:16) and cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). Why wouldn’t I trust someone who loves and cares for me and who has a perfect track record?

What things cause fear or doubt when it comes time to trust God?

I think when we are disappointed with God this taints our trust. When God doesn’t answer prayers like we want or when we have difficult seasons when it seems like He is silent it makes us think, “Maybe God won’t show up like last time.” I have given up with trying to figure out why God makes the choices He does. Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So, God and I don’t look at situations the same. Therefore, we don’t see the same solutions. I have to remember God’s sovereignty and His character. I know He wouldn’t do anything to harm me and everything He causes or allows is for my betterment (holiness, sanctification, to make me more like Him). Romans 8: 28 says He works everything together for my good. This is someone I can trust.

“…with all your HEART…

Why are we advised to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not our mind?

I believe God wants us to trust Him with the deepest parts of ourselves. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We keep the most important and deepest things to us in our hearts. Hopes, fears, dreams, desires, etc are stored up in our hearts. I believe God is telling us that it is safe to give even these things to Him. I also feel like the mind involves logic and us trying to figure things out. The heart may be God’s way of saying, “Don’t try to figure this out. Leave it to me.” The heart is us being all in. A person’s brain can be dead, but if the heart is still beating they are technically alive. The vice versa situation is hopeless. The heart/soul is the essence/foundation of who we are. God is saying for us to trust Him with our everything.

“…and LEAN not on your own UNDERSTANDING…”

Some of Merrim-Webster’s definitions of this word include “to cast one’s weight to one side for support”, “to rely for support or inspiration” and “to apply pressure to”. In this scripture we are encouraged not to put our weight or apply pressure to our own understanding. Don’t depend on what you think you understand. I believe God wants us to realize that our understanding of something is not always firm or steady. Your understanding of things can change sometimes depending on the season of your life, but also because you may not have full view of a situation.

I think about when I lived in Cincinnati and there would be times when I used a GPS to get places. Sometimes this was because I literally didn’t know how to get to my destination, and other times it was because I wanted an alternative route (faster or to avoid certain roads). I know the GPS has a broader view and therefore a better understanding of the road ahead. Sometimes, I would use the GPS and it would tell me to take a different route than the one it gave me the day before. Sometimes this route would be longer and I would get annoyed and opt instead to follow the route from the day before. What the GPS knew that I didn’t was that there was construction along my route which would add more time to my drive. The GPS’ understanding of my journey was different from mine, therefore it was able to give me the best answer. This mimics God’s sovereignty.

“In all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE Him…”

Dictionary.com gives some definitions of the word “acknowledge” to mean “to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of”, “to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of”, ” to show or express appreciation or gratitude for.” Merriam-Webster has similar definitions and adds “to take notice of”. The Bible tells us that in everything we do (plans especially) we should recognize God in his authority and truth on the situation. Having God’s view of our life is a wise way to live. Having discernment, wisdom and being led by the Spirit is the ultimate way to navigate life on this Earth. James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives generously to all with out reproach, and it will be given to him.” Proverbs 1:7 says “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

What does acknowledging God in all our ways look like? Praying before making decisions or praying about our thoughts, attitudes and way of life. Looking and referring back to God with how we live our lives is another way. I don’t think I need to become legalistic about this and lay on my face before God to decide what color bow to put in my daughter’s hair, but I should at least think about and consult God when going through life.

“…and He will DIRECT your path.”

Some definitions of “to direct” are “to control the operations of; manage or govern”, “to aim something in a particular direction”, “to point, extend, or project in a specified line or course”, “to regulate the activities or course of”. This verse tells us that if we have done what the first part instructs, then God will direct our path in life. He will give us full or partial answer to what decision to make or set us up to do the right thing (or what He desires) with our life.

One thing that sticks out to me when thinking about this verse and specifically God directing our lives is the concept of free will. Knowing God and His nature, I know that He will not force us to do anything. He doesn’t even force us to follow/obey/choose Him (I wish He would)! He gives us that choice because would it really be love if you were forced to do it? Revelations 3:20 says God stands at the door and knocks and it is up to us to let Him in. He could just kick the door down or program us to be born already choosing Him, but He doesn’t. In the same way, when a conductor is directing an orchestra, they can give a direction but the person with the instrument has to decide they will follow that direction.

In addition to God revealing the right path, I believe He will also arrange things in our life to put us on that path so it’s already done for us or He will change your heart after praying about a certain situation.

 

I am leaning heavily on God in this season of life. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m trusting Him to carry me through it. I want to look back on this time and be thankful for how faithful He’s been. I encourage you to do the same.

Thank God in advance.

 

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