“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 straight your paths” – Proverbs 3:5-6
IT WOULD NOT be presumptuous to state that the above verses are one of the most well loved truths in Scripture. It is full of exhortation, promise and consolation. How we interpret these words makes all the difference.
Before our paths are straightened comes the condition of acknowledging God, not in most of our ways but in all of them. That carries the connotation that God must take preeminence in our lives. Psalm 37:5 echoes the same note: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act.” Such committedness reveals the resignation of one’s desire to God’s will. Denying one’s self in following Christ is not only abstaining from what is immoral but is also the willingness to sacrifice what we deem good for God’s higher purposes. That is where we slay our ‘Isaac’ that is of great worth which is worship in its true essence; giving God what I hold dear unto myself; the very best I have. This is not works-salvation; this is the outworking of God’s salvation already stamped in our soul.
Trusting in the Lord without reserve is the refusal to lean upon my intelligence and commonsense as the overruling authority. It is where God’s sovereignty is realised high above all the powers we know in this world. Remember, as well as God working through our common sense, the devil can too. It is the renewal of our minds whereby we discern what really the will of God is (Romans 12:2). Enthroning our understanding of things will always betray us in the end, robbing us of the peace of God that garrisons our hearts.
With all of the havoc escalating in our nation, many are bewildered as to what the future now holds. The news media unfolds nothing but a bleak painted future and sometimes, as Christians, we allow these realities to dominate our minds from seeing the one great Reality. The world is not to be our dominating perspective, no matter how ‘truthful’ it depicts what is seen. When God is left out of the equation we suffer a seriously impaired sagacity. God is to be the interpreter of our present situation. Our witnessing of world current events does not convey to our finite minds that God is in control and that His kingdom rules over all creation, but that is how we perceive it which is the very opposite to Who and what God is doing. How often God has to raise our perspectives to where we are seated with Christ and it is there we recognise and blush with shame at our spiritual subsidence of little faith, where we do not mind the things of God but the things of man.
How frequent we fall short of giving God glory by not trusting Him with every bit of our future, Who has proved wondrously faithful to us as we glance at the years that have passed. There we read of a covenant God Whose promises have not nor ever will fail any one of His sons or daughters.
It is not so much our paths of choosing that are made to succeed, but rather where His will and purposes are made clear as we cleave to Him. Our paths made straight is when we discover that above all we delight to do God’s will. These are the true paths of righteousness that He leads us in, the true ways of life that God has destined. It is always in God’s economy (on this side of eternity) that the best, no matter how much good we taste with God now, is always yet to be.