- Sunday, May 19, 2024

Few verses are as well-known as Proverbs 3:5-6. Many of us – myself included – have made them our life verses. We meditate on the truths they remind us of and seek to order our lives around their wisdom.

“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

And yet, so many Christians don’t fully understand the beauty and depth of the promises offered to believers in these two short verses. I know I certainly didn’t. In fact, it was years into my faith when I finally grasped the power of this particular promise God makes to His people.

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But just as important as understanding the promise, I also came to understand the principles the promise depends on.

There are three principles for us to discover in these verses that should guide our lives, every day, in every decision.

Principle 1: Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” This is not an optional part of the Christian life. It is the very center. And still, many of us wrestle with understanding what God’s will is for us.

While that is an important question, we need not worry because we know who our God is. The Scriptures and the person of Jesus reveal to us a God whose will for us is both positive and personal.

God’s will is not a roadmap. It isn’t a 10-step guide to your perfect life. Instead, it’s a relationship. That is one of the most unique and beautiful things about our faith. It is relational. That’s why trust is so central to following Jesus.

Think about it: If you can trust Jesus to save you and take you to spend eternity with Him, you can trust Him every step of the way on your way there. He is powerful enough to give you eternal life, and yet He cares about your personal life right here, right now.

Our response to this amazing truth should be complete dedication. We must put Christ first, not just in some things, but in everything. That’s why I tell our church family there are four ways we must put God first: with our time, our attention, our income, and our love. God should get the first and best of everything we have to offer.

Principle 2: Lean on the Lord

The next part of Proverbs 3 instructs us not to lean on our own understanding. Again, we need to remember who our God is to grasp the full extent of this promise.

God is greater and wiser than us. He knows the end from the beginning. He is completely good and is working all things for the good of those who love Him. So why wouldn’t we lean on Him?

In this passage, God is not saying we ought to lack all understanding. Indeed, He has given us minds and abilities to use for His glory. But we don’t just rely on what we know. Because let’s be honest: there’s a lot we don’t know.

Yet we serve a God who knows all.

His ways are higher and better than ours and He is in complete control. That is why the Bible teaches us to ask God for wisdom – the ability to see things from His perspective.

Principle 3: Walk in His will

The last premise of Proverbs 3 is our obedience. It is not enough to just know and acknowledge God’s will. We must walk in it.

Walking is active. Walking requires participation. God wants to change us, to make us more like Jesus by the power of the Spirit. Our role is to let Him transform both our heads and our hearts.

This kind of transformation requires listening. We must listen to God and allow Him to become the One who orders our steps and our stops. We must stop running ahead or lagging behind. We must walk with God, allowing ourselves to be led and corrected by the Spirit.

The Promise: He will Direct Your Paths

When we do these three things, we can have full confidence that God will direct our paths. God has promised and He always keeps His promises. There is no reason to doubt Him. He gives us the direction we are to go and our job is to trust in Him completely and walk forward in full confidence.

I’m overcome with unexplainable peace when I consider that God will take care of my future, as long as I give it to Him. And there is tremendous freedom in knowing I don’t have to figure life out on my own.

Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America. He is also an author, and his PowerPoint Ministries broadcasts are available in 92 countries and are heard daily in more than 740 cities.

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