Proverbs 3:5-6, “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Today’s proverb is the first one I ever committed to memory. It has proven to be just as powerful today as the day I first learned it. I would like to take the next few paragraphs to break down each of its main parts to increase your understanding of this beautiful Scripture.
First, King Solomon commanded us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart. The word trust here means, “to put full confidence in God and His Words.” Second, we are told to not lean on our own understanding. That is because our own understanding is in opposition to God’s wisdom. Think of an object only being able to lean in one direction at a time. Our direction of leaning (dependence) should always be towards the Lord and His Word.
Third, we are commanded to submit to God in all our ways. This means we are to always place God’s Word as the filter for all our thoughts, actions and words. Our ways should become His ways. For example, when choosing whom to marry we should first submit to God and His plan to be sure we find the right one. Also, on our job we should consider how God wants us to do our tasks so that we can be successful and have a great testimony with our co-workers and customers.
Lastly, the proverb promises that if we have been faithful to do the previous steps (trust in the Lord, lean not on our own understanding and submit to Him in all our ways) God will make our paths straight. When God straightens our paths, it means we will have the best route to fulfill our God-given purpose. He literally leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).
Sadly, many people today would rather trust themselves, lean towards popular opinions and resist God. However, the disciple must learn to avoid the trap of self-reliance and self-determination because that crooked path is a temporary illusion.
Soon enough, even the strongest and smartest of mankind will come to their end and see that their life was nothing but a vapor of smoke, here today and gone tomorrow.
Then in eternity, when it is too late, they will realize how God’s ways were better because He was the very source of their life. The famous preacher Adrian Rogers once said, “I wouldn’t trust the best fifteen minutes I ever lived to get me to heaven.” Take some time today to reaffirm your trust for God. Avoid being dependent upon your own wisdom and be sure to submit to God in all you do. For when you do these things, God promises to make your paths straight!
Do you trust God with all your heart and above all other influences?
- Examine your life to see if there are any ways you are not submitting to God. Repent if the Holy Spirit brings any to your heart.
- Become mindful to submit to God in all that you do; especially at work, school and with your family.
- Be thankful to God for the straight paths He has prepared for you to fulfill His purpose in your life.