Do you ever find yourself so familiar with something that it becomes mindless? Take driving, for instance. Oftentimes, when we have driven the same route for many years (to work, church, school, etc.), we find ourselves not even thinking about what we are doing or where we are going, and the next thing we know, we have arrived at our destination. Things become habitual and mindless when we get used to them.
Proverbs 3:5-8 is a passage that I feel we sometimes become mindless to. I know I do. These famous verses are certainly some of the most popular, and we often find them painted on wall art or posters, printed on t-shirts, posted all over facebook and twitter, and the list goes on and on. It is clear that many of us love this passage of scripture, and rightly so, but how many times do we see these precious words or even quote them without taking the time to reflect on their depth? That is what we will strive to do in the next couple of blog posts – we will dig deeply into this passage and be reminded of the poser of the Word of God and how it impacts our everyday lives.
First, let’s look at the passage as a whole, and then we will break it down:
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 your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
Now, let’s break down this passage and dig a little deeper. Today, we will focus on verses 5-6.
We all struggle to trust the Lord at times. This seems to be especially true in times of hardship. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a terrible diagnosis, a crime committed against you or someone you love – any of these circumstances can lead to doubt that God is trustworthy. However, we are called not to live by our emotions and feelings, but to be guided by the truth of the Word of God no matter how we feel. Therefore, if God’s Word says He is trustworthy, then we can be confident that He is.
It is so easy to lean on our understanding of a situation, isn’t it? We believe, in our limited human discernment, that we know what is good and best for ourselves and others. However, God’s Word calls us not to trust ourselves, but the One Who created goodness and Who gets to write its definition! How comforting to know that although we don’t always have the proper understanding of what is good, best, and of the outcome of a situation, we know the God Who does, and we can choose to trust Him and His plan.
We are also called to acknowledge Him in everything. What does this look like? Think of it in this way: let’s say you are stuck in traffic and late for work. Many of us would be focusing our minds on the situation, how frustrated we feel, how anxious we are to get to work and the possible negative outcomes of being late. Who is our focus on when we struggle in this way? Ourselves. However, if, in that moment, we choose to acknowledge the Lord and His sovereign plan in that very situation, our outlook – and oftentimes our emotions – will be different. We will be peaceful, knowing that God has a good plan and that His reasoning behind allowing us to be stuck in traffic is perfect. We will acknowledge that He knows best, and that He sees the end result when we don’t. We are then free to focus on what is our God-given responsibility in the situation: not to try to control things we cannot, but rather to do what we can to be a diligent worker for God’s glory in our place of employment, trust God is situations we cannot control, and even praise Him in those instances, knowing that His plan is good. When we surrender to Him in this way and begin to line up our desires with His, then He will be our loving guide and help us to see what He desires for us in our lives.
Following the Lord’s way, as stated in His perfect Word, is where true freedom, peace, and joy lie. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post where we will dig into the second half of this great passage.