My understanding or HIS?
Proverbs 3:6 - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
When I think about this scripture, so many things come to mind. I’d like to break this scripture down to clarify how this passage pertains to us today.
First, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” The definition of trust is literally: “Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.” I don’t know about you, but I think this is a tall order to fill. Even when you feel like you totally trust someone on this earth, there is still a level of “what if.” Part of trust is the ability or strength of someone. What if the person we trust is not able or strong enough? What if they want to be trustworthy but their humanness gets in the way and they can’t live up to our expectations? Therefore, we may find ourselves trying to fully trust a person we love but out of self preservation, we only truly allow that trust to go so far.
The good news is, this passage of scripture isn’t talking about trusting other humans. It specifically says “TRUST THE LORD.” What I know for a fact is that our Creator, our God, the maker of the heavens and earth and every single thing on the earth IS able, strong enough, reliable and true. The enemy is everything opposite of that and is trying desperately to get us to think that God doesn’t really care, that His promises aren’t true and He cannot be counted on. The enemy looks to sow seeds of doubt in our minds and knows that we will take it from there. We will lean on our own limited understanding and stop looking for God’s direction.
That takes me to the second point. “Lean not on your own understanding.” The brightest scholars and well trusted scientists even admit that we only use 10% of our brain capacity. 10%!!! That fact alone should have us immediately acknowledge and admit that we are like infants when it comes to understanding. We only know what we see, learn and believe, with a 10% capability. We are specifically advised NOT to lean on our own understanding because it is limited, flawed and sinful.
So, how do we lean on God’s understanding? Get in your Bible and see who He is! 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training…” Hear what God has to say to you! Get instruction, advice and wisdom from this life manual we have been gifted. And then approach the Lord in prayer. Speak to Him and allow enough silence to listen to what He has to say back.
We do not want our prayers to be perfunctory or simply a “To Do List” or “Wish List” for God. We want to worship Him, thank Him and love Him in our prayers. We want to tell Him our thoughts, fears, desires and doubts. We want to request direction and fully submit to His will being done in our lives, no matter what that may look like. We want to petition Him on behalf of others and be the strength others may lack. He is our Creator, our Father, and He wants nothing more than to be your best friend. I look at my prayer life like this… if I can count how many times I have prayed at the end of my day, it was not enough. There are times with prayer that I drop to my knees, bow my head, or raise my arms in worship. Then again, there are other times that I simply chit-chat with the Lord. The point is, we want to communicate with Him throughout our day and make Him our “Go-To.”
Let’s look at the next part. “In all your ways submit to him.” To submit means to “accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.” YIELD TO. Pause. Intentionally put him in the middle of what is going on. I wrote about this the other day in my post “Yellow Light.” Ask God where He is in this day or situation. Ask Him where He wants you at this moment. Dare to ask Him what His will is. Request that He give you the eyes to see and ears to hear.
Lastly, “He will make your paths straight.” I love the way this is worded because it instantly gives me a visual. Imagine you set out to drive to an unfamiliar place. You set the address in your GPS and off you go. But for some reason, your GPS takes you down every side road on the way. You are winding through neighborhoods and it keeps making you do a U-Turn to get back to the main road. You find yourself frazzled, confused and irritated. You only find out after the fact that you somehow had it set to “scenic route”, so it put you on the longest route imaginable, trying to allow you to see everything and experience everything. You end up exhausted and hours late to your destination.
I feel like sometimes we take the “scenic route” in our lives in the worst possible way. This isn’t a “stop to smell the roses” kind of scenic route. This is more of an aggravating, unnecessary road that leads to constant frustration. God wants to give you the straight path, the straight route. But you have to choose it. You have to intentionally pick HIS way, HIS path! This requires devotion, obedience and total surrender. Doing things God’s way is the only way for any level of peace, happiness or meaningful success in this life, not to mention the promise in eternity. I pray that you choose to live out this scripture. I pray that you: 1. Trust the Lord 2. Lean on HIS understanding 3. Submit to Him and 4. Walk the path HE has in front of you.
Prayer Prompt: Lord, I need you. I cannot do life my way. I choose your way only. Show me today what you will have of me. I surrender everyone and everything to you, Father. Bless me and show me favor. Let me, in turn, be a blessing to everyone around me. Light up the path you have for me and give me eyes to see and courage to follow You. I praise and declare your mighty name, Jehovah, Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You alone are Most High and I humble myself and raise you up! Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your protection. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for being my Abba and best friend. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me that I may have life. May your goodness follow those who choose your way forever. In Jesus name. AMEN!