Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life without clearly understanding which direction to go? Of course you have. Life is full of crossroads. Or maybe you’re in a situation where it isn’t just a 50/50 choice. More than one option lies in front of you, confusing you even more. Or maybe it looks like there is no path at all. The above verse seems to be about trust. And it is. But there is so much more to it. I believe it is about direction. Here it is, broken down.
- Trust – Yes, the first step is trust. Do you ask a person you don’t trust for advice? Probably not, because you know you won’t take it. You don’t trust the source. You have to know that God loves you enough to want what’s best for you. We hear those words and think of broccoli. Or brussels sprouts. Or whatever yucky food your mother told you was good for you, and you stick out your tongue and turn away. The problem is, she was right. They are good for us. And if we could just eat it (or something like it) once in a while, our bodies will feel better.
- Lean not on your own understanding – There are certain things in life we think we understand. We have that one down, Lord, thanks anyway. The problem is usually short sightedness. We can’t see the whole picture, only the piece in front of us. Only God sees the whole picture. It’s like the bird in the cage. He sees the blue sky and the green trees outside the window, but he can’t get there. He cries and cries and forms a plan. He’s going to put a feather in the latch. And when his master leaves the room he’s going to fly right out of here. What he doesn’t see are the closed windows, and the cat lurking beneath the table.
- In all your ways acknowledge Him – We go to God when we want something important. When we’ve managed to slip out of our protective cage and we’re flapping wildly around the room with nowhere to go, nowhere to land, and a cat below us licking his chops. Then we’re ready to listen. Maybe. To acknowledge Him is to ask His opinion BEFORE we make our move. And to wait for an answer. Sometimes we need to stop talking and listen.
- He will direct your paths – If we ask, He will answer. We don’t always like the answer, or we’re not sure we heard Him at all. In those times, wait and listen. He heard us. He’s working on it from the minute we ask, if we ask in His will. So what if we don’t know we’re in His will? Again, ask. He wants to guide us – He’s waiting for the chance. And what better guidance could there be? But once He gives the answer…go. Do the thing He said to do. If we don’t follow, He can’t help us.
So the long and the short of it is, trust that God loves you and you’ll be better with His plan than you ever could be with yours. Don’t worry if you don’t quite understand where He’s taking you. He sees the big picture. Ask for directions and wait for the answer. And when you get it, go. Let Him lead you. If Moses hadn’t followed God, the Israelites would still be in Egypt. We trust Him to lead, but we have to follow.