Scripture: “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. Be not (don’t be) wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
(Note this): Towards the scorners he is scornful but to the humble He gives favor; the wise will inherit honor but fools get disgrace.” (Prov 3:5-8 and 34-35)
Observation: Trust in the Lord? No issue to say. Disengaging my understanding? On the face of this I think “I am not sure what this means” and when the rubber hits the road I abandon all pretense of relying on God and His Word.
Application: This Proverb rolls of my tongue so easily. It is one of those seminal scriptures I learned very early in my Christianity. It is one of those scripture references I calmly toss out to others when I am observing frustration or impatience towards any particular situation.
It is also something I recognize I preach and don’t practice.
I think that reading this Proverb has a lot of acceptance in my head but very little capture in my heart and more importantly in my character and my actions.
Putting aside “Trusting in the Lord with all your heart” for a moment, there are 5 pertinent statements that the Holy Spirit is pointing out:
- Leaning on my understanding;
- Acknowledging Him in all my ways;
- Being wise in my own eyes;
- Fearing God, and lastly;
- Cultivating humility.
The neglect of actually doing the 5 things above is disrespect towards God. I am being functionally impertinent.
Alas, this is attributable to the sin dwelling within me; the sin that I have been set free from but still needs to be worked out of me. Paul said this: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Ro 13:14) What could be more “fleshy” than to conduct myself in my own wisdom? Not much.
Transforming my heart and mind is a (let’s face it) a battle. It is recognizing the Enemy within and then engaging in a plan to replace my rebellious mind with one not so rebellious. Speaking from experience, this is not easy at all—but, with every gain in Godly reflex, there is so much healing and refreshment—just like Solomon wrote.
Make no mistake, all of the above is training towards Godliness—making whatever I do a reflex, a conscious honoring of the Most High God. Do I love my Lord? If so, then I love His Word—even if it is hard to understand (thanks Peter for pointing that out).
Prayer: Father, it seems like this section of Proverbs is like trudging through barren land—it can be so lonely to surrender to Your Will, to Your instructions—even when circumstances are looking insurmountable and my first thought is “What do I do now?” In the calm times, please help me “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” so that in the hard times I am prepared to honor You. AMEN.