Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Do you ever find what you think and what God says going in opposite directions? Sometimes we look at God’s way and think to ourselves, “That’s not going to work.” Bible history is filled with examples: the people who lived in Noah’s neighborhood while he was building the ark; the children of Israel waiting on the shores of the Red Sea; the people of Jericho while the children of Israel were marching around their city walls each day; Jesus’ own disciples just before he took five little loaves of bread and two small fishes and started passing them out to over 5000 people. But God’s way does work, doesn’t it, even when it seems to defy our common sense.
Sometimes we want what we want so badly that we tell ourselves, “It won’t hurt anything,” even when God warns us not to. Again, the Bible is full of examples: Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit; Lot’s wife turning around to take a look back at Sodom and Gomorrah; Israel worshiping the golden calf at the foot of Mount Sinai; David committing adultery with Bathsheba. But ignoring God’s warnings always has consequences. We lose his blessings and invite his judgment– not just now, but forever.
This “Trust in the Lord” approach, then, will be tested in our own lives in many ways. If a financial crisis strikes, will you lean on your own understanding and give in to worry, or will you trust in the Lord and his promise to provide your daily bread? As you arrange your priorities, will you lean on your own understanding and arrange your life to maximize your personal comfort and enjoyment, or will you trust in the Lord and put him first in how you budget your time and other resources? As you raise your children will you lean on the understanding of so many others that the best thing you can give them is every toy and gadget that comes along, participation in all the music or athletics they could ever want? Or will you trust in the Lord and make sure they receive God’s word above all else, and loving, godly discipline next to that?
The Lord has earned our trust in all these little details of our lives by his handling of the one great issue we had. If we were to lean on our own understanding in dealing with our sin, we would try to pay for it ourselves. We would try to earn God’s love and acceptance. And we would fail. But the Lord has that covered for us, too. Who would have thought of asking God to save us from the sins we had committed against him himself? But that is just what he has done. Who would have thought of asking God to sacrifice the only Son he had to pay for those sins? But that is what Jesus was doing when he died on the cross. Who would have thought of asking God to make forgiveness and eternal life a free gift? But that is just the gift he has given to us.
The gift of God’s Son inspires us to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean on him, not just with our soul’s salvation, but in all the little details of life as well.