Last week we talked about the pursuit of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Over and over in Proverbs, you read the importance of pursuing wisdom. That’s good - but the application of wisdom hinges on another practice: Trust.
Trust is a huge issue in our culture today. We don’t trust people. Children and Puppies are very trusting. But as we age, we get hurt, we get cynical, we withhold trust to protect ourselves from additional hurt.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your path.”
What does it mean to trust? To be totally dependent on God? It means literally just to lie face down and say, “God I trust you.” That’s what it means. Trust. Trust the Lord in all of your ways, with all of your heart, with the totality of your being. Don’t lean on your own understanding.
The Lord. This is the most intimate and sacred name for God in all the Bible. It is the title given Israel’s covenant keeping God. The One who is bound to His people by His love and by His promise. Lord. It’s also a symbol of power and a willingness to submit to His power. My Lord. The term was used centuries ago to show respect, honor. Trust in the all powerful God, the one who is aware and involved and able to deliver. Trust in the Him.
Heart. This word refers to the inner being, that part that constitutes our intellect, emotion and will. It’s trusting with everything we’ve got. Not a part-time. Kinda... maybe... if only - kind of trust… It’s trusting completely.
Understanding. The literal translation is “upon your understanding do not lean.” The writer is talking about our own human understanding – our viewpoint, our ideas, our way of thinking. He’s saying: Trust God when you don’t understand. How often are we willing to trust as long as we can understand it? The reality is this: we have not begun to trust until we get to the point that we don’t understand it. Otherwise it’s based on our own human logic and understanding. We can’t comprehend it… but when we walk by faith according to the promises of Scripture, then God comes to do His work in our lives.
Acknowledge. That means "to recognize". We recognize we cannot do this alone. We need God. So, we then turn our concern over to him. So, we acknowledge that He is God. He is The Lord. He is able. In other words, we don’t take matters in our own hands and worry and fret. We trust God. We allow God. We depend on God. We wait on God to fulfill His word.
When we Trust… He will make the path straight!
Every time I have tried to lean on my own understanding, taking matters in my own hands, according to my own wisdom and logic… Do you know what happens? I stumble, I fumble, I worry, I fret. I go around in circles. My paths aren’t straight, and yours aren’t either. But the Scripture tells me to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding, but in all your ways, in all of your ways acknowledge him, and he will keep your paths straight." My job is to Trust, and God’s job is to keep my paths straight.
What’s the quickest way from point A to point B? A straight line. I want some of that in my spiritual walk with God. I want the direct path, the straight path, the right way without all the worries and troubles. I want to be blessed by trusting in the Lord.
We like to trust God for forgiveness, for eternal security, for love, for peace that surpasses all comprehension, but those are the intangibles. And that’s part of trust. That’s part of the blessing, to receive that. We do receive that and we’re grateful. But when it comes to the details of life… all of a sudden we dismiss the idea of trusting God and start doing things on our own understanding.
What is it in your life right now, that you are having a hard time Trusting God? Give it completely to Him and listen, watch and see your path clearly. Pursuing wisdom is key. Trust is the bridge that will allow us to put wisdom into action. We teach our children that there is a consequence for every action, good and bad. What if you trusted God with those consequences?