Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

 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 looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in 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 Man or “Woman”  Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let God know we’re still cool with what He’s doing. It’s way more. It’s allowing God access, control, and involvement in all your ways.

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

 

He will make your paths straight.

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. It is not literally “straight” in anyway. What does it mean to have straight paths? It means several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, a 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 God. God, in turn, is making your paths straight. It’s not easy and sometimes there is only enough light on the path to see your very next step.  But with time and commitment to the path, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggest moral purity. It suggests a life that has more wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That’s the kind of life that God promises. It’s the kind of life that you can have. It begins with trust. It involves acknowledging God in every way. That means God- as you understand God to be.