5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
How many times have you heard these verses? Maybe you are a little more familiar with 5 & 6 than 7 & 8, but for many of us, these verses are a mainstay when we face uncertainty. As part of my quiet time each morning I usually read the Proverb that goes with the day’s date. When I read this verse a few days ago, the Holy Spirit just moved in my heart and I couldn’t get past these verses.
Like many Christians I know that I am supposed to trust the Lord. It’s the kind of thing that we acknowledge without really thinking about. But for most of us, we go about our lives and our day to day tasks not really even thinking about the Lord’s hand in them. It is almost as if we are thinking: I’ve got this God, but if I need you, I will give you a shout. Would you agree with that statement? It’s only when things get a little hairy that we flip open the Bible and scan the back for what it says about trust.
When we reach the end of our rope, that is when we decide to trust God to get us out of our mess
But what if we really decided to do what the verse said?
It says to “trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
For some of us this is a radical shift in perspective. It means retraining ourselves to have a total reliance on the Lord. Most of us have been taught to ‘pull ourselves up by the bootstraps’ and ‘figure it out on our own.’ But God wants to have a relationship with us in which we rely on him for everything. Remember the vine, the branches, and “without Him we can do nothing?” This isn’t to say that God doesn’t want us to use our minds, talents, and abilities to live, love, and serve. It is more about a mindset of total trust in the One who gave those things to us in the first place.
Now this place of total trust can seem scary to us at first. Imagine living as Jesus commanded the disciples and the rich young man: give all your possessions away and trust the Lord to provide for your needs. Most of us would be too afraid to live like that. We are control freaks and we don’t want to take a chance that God will let us down. To me this indicates a rather limited view of the God we serve. We need to be totally reliant on him for everything: our next heartbeat, our next breath, our next meal, our next job, our next car, indeed all we have comes from Him.
When we learn to trust like that our ‘understanding’ of any situation we face becomes eclipsed by the knowledge that the when we ‘wholly lean on Jesus name’ we are in the best possible place. When we are here, the things that used to command our focus (all those individual problems that we face) grow strangely dim. When we are here, our focus is on the one that loves us with a love that we cannot fathom. When we are here, submitting to his will, we are truly where he wants us to be. And that is always the best place for us.