Gordon Crook, PastorGrace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7.
I want to tease out several things from this verse. We get some very clear instructions from reading and understanding what is being said here.
First I see a contrast between trusting in the Lord and leaning on our own understanding. It seems that we are given two options. We will invariably choose one of them. Our old nature prefers to lean on our own understanding. That involves the things that we see and know around us. It might even involve other people that we know and trust. God reminds us that choice is not going to be the best for us. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Psalms 146:3.
Why attempt to trust our own ability when we can place our trust in God who is Almighty and All Knowing. We are His children, and He encourages us to trust in Him alone. “That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,” Proverbs 22:19-20.
We have been given God’s Word to build our trust in Him. As we study God’s Word and allow His Holy Spirit to speak to us, then our faith to trust in Him will grow. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.
Learning to trust in God will make us steadfast, unmovable in the face of adversity. “They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” Psalms 125:1. I have no use for these “prosperity” preachers that try to lead God’s people astray into desiring the wealth of this world. However, there is spiritual prosperity to be had by putting our trust in God. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8.
Second, I see the thought about acknowledging Him in ALL our ways. It seems that we don’t mind acknowledging God in the times and circumstances that we are unsure of. However, we tend to be hesitant to acknowledge Him when we are confident in our own ability to handle the situation.
Paul encourages us to make sure everything in our lives is to God’s glory. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17. If we are leaving God out of certain portions of our life, then He is not getting the glory for those.
Let’s be careful to acknowledge God in every part of our life, and in every decision and every circumstance so the He will be glorified for the work that He is doing. We will then be as Paul recommends in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
What God’s people need more than anything else right now, is peace. So many are troubled by the state of this world and by the state of our country and maybe by what they see as the future. Many are concerned that they will lose their religious freedom. They are concerned that war is breaking out all over the world and threatens to expand more and more. Peace, confidence, tranquility is what we need to receive from God right now.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
So, what is the secret? How do I get this peace and tranquility in my life? Back to Philippians 4:6-7. We must spend time in prayer with our Lord. We must spend time in God’s Word. The Word will grow our faith, and our time spent in prayer will assure us that God is listening and is there for us every step of the way. Speak to the guide. If He isn’t your guide, move side and let Him.
There is a song that says “if you have time to worry, you have time to pray”. Worry is a waste of time since it has never solved anything in the history of mankind. When we worry about things and try to take care of them in our own understanding and strength, we will invariably fail, so why not just give them to the Lord? Take time from your own attempts and give them over to your Lord. He will be your strength. He will be glorified in your life.