“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.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
We all search for wisdom. It’s a universal pursuit and, in many cases, we look for it from the wrong source. As Christians, we’ve been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ—but how do we live wisely? What do we do in day-to-day situations as we seek to glorify God?
We should look no further than Proverbs 3:5-6. Proverbs is a treasure trove for wisdom. We have all this knowledge about God, His Word, and the rest—but how do we use this knowledge in our daily walk with Christ? That is wisdom. And Proverbs is full of it.
I think it’s important to go into detail on each statement in the above passage. First, because it’s used so superficially as a “coffee cup verse” that we forget it’s real meaning. Second, though, is because it’s the pathway to living a life to the glory of God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. If we are honest, we will admit to dramatically failing at this. Trusting in God—with all our heart, no less—is not a mere suggestion, but a command. It’s not “If you think of it,” but more like, “You must.” Thankfully, the strength of our trust is not the foundation of our salvation—whether it be justification, sanctification, etc.—Jesus is.
With that said, though, we still must trust him with our whole heart. Our trust—our faith—must not be double-sided or easy to collapse. Though God commands a full-hearted trust, He knows it won’t happen. But He is looking for a heart that lays everything on Him, instead of ourselves.
Do not lean on your own understanding. Our default position is to figure things out ourselves. It takes intentionality—even more, it takes the Holy Spirit—to truly lean on God and not our own intellect. When things are crashing down around us, when life seems to be unraveling out of control, the worst thing we can do is rely on our understanding.
And yet, that’s exactly what we do. This statement, though, is not simply an imperative, but an invitation. God invites us to rest in Him, not ourselves. It’s not a call to forsake our intelligence, but to drop the act of knowing everything. It’s a call for humility.
In all your ways acknowledge him. If we don’t acknowledge Him, wisdom will never come to us. This is what society does. They portray this earthly wisdom that seems alluring at first, but it’s easy to see the falsehoods of it through the lens of Scripture. In order for us to truly exercise wisdom, we must acknowledge God as God, and give Him the reverence, glory, and honor He rightfully deserves.
It can be very easy to go about our everyday lives not acknowledging Him. And the fact that it’s so easy to do is frustrating. This is why it’s imperative to be intentional in our walk with the Lord. Are we acknowledging Him? Are we staying in communion which Him through prayer, reading, and fellowship? If not, wisdom will be hard to come by.
He will make you paths straight. When we follow the wisdom of the Lord, He will certainly be a our guide in all of life. Just because the path is straight doesn’t mean there won’t be potholes, as we all go through suffering. But if we lean on the wisdom of God, He will help and guide us to what we need to do and where we need to go.
Friend’s let’s choose the Lord’s wisdom over our own.