5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. — Proverbs 3:5-6
Not Our Ways, but His
by Tim Miller
How many times in your life have you felt the rush of power and control from your actions or your extensive knowledge on a subject where you were praised by others? Then just as quickly as the sensation came, the feeling begins to fade. All too often, we rely on our own understanding of the world, spending our days in a feverish attempt to be the masters of our own existence. Proverbs instead calls us to relinquish our human understanding and to turn instead to knowing God as the foundation for wisdom. As it says in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Once we acquire knowledge, we then need to learn how to apply what we have learned so we can pass it on to others. In order to trust God, we need to both know Him and know what is pleasing to Him. Having the understanding of the commands God has given and then following through on that understanding is how we gain wisdom.
In Proverbs 3:5 we’re told to trust God with all our hearts. This trust extends beyond just intellectual agreement to a complete reliance on the Lord. We can have a peace in the completeness of His provision as well as in His faithfulness to His Word. Jesus reinforced this when He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
God’s commands are clearly stated in both the Old and New Testaments. One continuing theme throughout the Bible is the command to keep the Sabbath. Our understanding of the Sabbath is often limited to being the day we attend church or a day of rest. But in fact we are to use this day to worship the Lord with all our hearts. In keeping the Sabbath, we acknowledge the Lord and all He has done for us, looking forward to the ultimate rest with Him in eternity. When we keep our eyes on God, we remove the focus from our own understanding, allowing Him to lead us in the path He has planned for us. While we often think of God making our paths straight as Him removing the barriers in our lives, the straightness also refers to the moral quality of our life’s path.
Take time to look at your life through the lens of these verses. Would you say you are allowing God to be the “true north” for your moral compass? This coming Sabbath, work to turn your complete focus on the Lord. You will soon see that the Lord is making your life’s path straighter then you ever thought it could be. The wise always govern themselves according to the Lord and do not turn to their own misguided understandings.
- Take a look at your moral compass. Is it pointing to the true north that is God?
- When you are planning your day, are you putting God in the driver’s seat or are you side-seat driving?
- When it comes to the Sabbath, are you devoting that day to God and honoring Him by keeping the day holy?
- When we trust in the Lord, we are to commit our ways to Him (Psalm 37:5). Can you say today that you will commit your ways to the Lord from this day forward?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.