“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6
In recent weeks, circumstances and situations have arisen in our personal lives that have brought this word of the Lord to the forefront of my heart and mind. I’ve gone through much of life, mostly making decisions based on what I thought or wanted; even as a Christian, I haven’t always prayed about matters. But the last couple of years and the last few weeks in particular have really driven home a reality to me.
I need God to direct my paths in this life; not some of them, but all of them. I need my heavenly Father to lead me at decision time. Never was this more apparent than when I was faced with needing to make decisions, not having a clue as to what to do. It’s like I was standing out in the desert in complete darkness, trying to figure out which direction to go.
It has been in those trying moments that I realized I needed to take God at His word.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” I know the Lord, His name is Jesus Christ and He loves me; He is my Elder Brother. I know He loved me so much He died on the cross for me, to wash away my sins with His own blood. I know He sits in Heaven at the right hand of God making intercession for me. I know He is preparing an eternal home for me and is coming for me. In this life He is for me; Why O Why wouldn’t I trust Him with all my heart?
“Lean not on your own understanding.” As I faced decisions, I realized I had no confidence whatsoever in knowing the best way to go; do I turn left, right, or go straight ahead? I don’t know what the consequences will be of such a decision; I don’t know what’s waiting down the road; I don’t know what tomorrow holds; But God does! Therein lies the key: acknowledge the absolute faultiness of your own thinking and lay out before God your need for direction.
“Acknowledge Him in all your ways.” Life continually calls us to make decisions: some are pleasant and we want to make them; some are difficult but necessary; but then comes those gut-wrenching ones that are forced upon us. We wish we could somehow be rescued from those situations that demand an answer, but we know we won’t. What do we do—we pray!
We don’t formulate a petition, nor do we rely on learned prayers; no, we call out to our Father: Help! We call out to Jesus: Help! And then we come by faith to the moment where we make a heartfelt decision our plea. “Father, You know what lies ahead; You alone know what the future holds; You alone know the best paths: Have Thine own way, Lord, whatever seems good to you is what I want.”
“He will direct your paths.” Not some of them but all of them. When you think about it, why wouldn’t we want the Lord to direct all our decision making? The pleasant ones, the necessary ones and the demanded ones? After all, our Father is on record saying, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Here’s how it works: “The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” Proverbs 16:1 When you pray about your decisions, you are bringing the Lord into the situation. Then when decision time comes, you will have to say which way to go, but the answer will be from the Lord. If you choose left, or if you choose right, you can’t go wrong!
Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org