Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.
That’s a good translation, but I can’t help but think about it the way I first learned it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Yesterday, one of my son’s friends left for Boot Camp. I gave him a Bible to bring with him and wrote these words in the front cover. We asked at our Christmas Eve service for people to share with us their prayer concerns. Several requests were overwhelming in their need. My mind went straight to these words found in Proverbs 3:5-6.
I was taught by my preaching professors in Seminary to try to state the point of every sermon in a single sentence. Here is the point of this proverb in one sentence.
Trusting God is the key principle in every matter of our relationship with God.
That trust, of course, starts with our relationship with God. We are saved not as the result of our initiative, but God’s initiative. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot be good enough in order to be made right with God. Salvation is God’s gracious gift to us. That is a matter of trust. When we understand that our basic need in life—to be saved—is a matter of trust, we ought also to acknowledge that every other issue of our relationship with God is also a matter of trust. So, whatever your list of worries looks like, all things are matters that ultimately rely on trust. Our health, our children, our future, our relationships, our addictions—all things—are a matter of trust. Trusting God is the key principle in every matter of our relationship with God. So, let’s develop that with a couple of basic questions.
Who are we to trust? The LORD!
This is important! Our trust is not in some stranger who has walked up to us and asked us to trust him. We are being asked to trust the LORD.
What does trusting God mean?
A close look at this text helps us to define trust. We see trust from a negative statement and a positive statement.
The Negative Answer: Do not lean on your own understanding
We are not to lean on our intellect, our own abilities, or even our own moral standards. In all things, we must refuse to lean on our own understanding.
The Positive Answer: Acknowledge Him in everything
Stated positively, we must acknowledge God in everything. Literally speaking, this phrase means that we “recognize God’s presence” in all things. There is nothing in our lives that should be outside the reach of God’s perspective or even stronger, His Lordship.
How much are we to trust God? With all our hearts!
Completely! Our trust cannot be a partial trust. Remember the instruction of James? In reference to asking God, James said, “But let him ask in faith without doubting.” In the Bible, most often the heart is not the organ of the physical body, but instead the heart is the seat of the emotion. Our hearts are the centers of our lives. Our heart is the complete surrender of our lives
When are we to trust God? Always
There is never a time to not trust God. Whenever we face a crisis, we have two choices. We either trust God or we trust ourselves—there really are no other options. When we trust ourselves, in essence, we are saying that we trust the crisis is bigger than God.
Why should we trust God? Because He gives us a promise!
He makes our paths straight! What a promise!