Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

Don’t Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our intellect, our looks, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It becomes a lifestyle of  trust in one’s self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.

Instead, Acknowledge God–In Everything

The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Which is developed in the next verse: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” The word “acknowledge” isn’t merely a polite tip of the hat to The Father, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even halfhearted attendance at church to let Him know we’re still cool with what He’s doing. It’s much more. It’s allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways.

What’s the result of this? Will God ruin your life? Will he be a Sovereign Killjoy? Will He rob you of fun? The verse ends on a promise.

He Will Make Your Paths Straight

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. What does it mean to have straight paths? Several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, or goal. Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority. Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing. It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task. You realize you are trusting Him. He, in turn, is making your paths straight. Thus, the way ahead becomes more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity. It suggests a life that has less sinful compromise and more wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That’s the kind of life that God promises.  It involves acknowledging God in every way.  It’s the kind of life that you can have and it begins with trust.