There’s a verse I love, although it’s super hard for me to hear sometimes. Each time a holiday, anniversary, or special occasion would come and pass with no engagement ring, the Lord would convict my heart with this verse. Each time I put God on blast for supposedly not caring about my life or having good plans for me, He would drop this truth bomb on my heart:
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
Do you remember the dilemma in the garden? It all began in Eden. It all began with Adam and Eve and humanity leaning on their own understanding.
Jon Bloom, teacher and cofounder of Desiring God, wrote this:
If you eat of that one tree, you will be saying to me [God], ‘I’m smarter than you. I am more authoritative than you. I am wiser than you. I think I can care for myself better than you care for me. You are not a very good Father. And so, I am going to reject you.’1
Isn’t that what this is all about? Leaning on our own understanding and trusting ourselves instead of God lead us back to the myth of control. They lead us to this false sense of self-sufficiency — that we are enough on our own and we know better than God. Bloom calls this the “insanity of trusting ourselves.”2
On the flip side you and I have been given the gift of sanity through the Lord — the joyful gift of trusting the Lord instead of leaning on our own understanding. When nothing makes sense to the world, God gives us the ability to stay sane and grounded in Him. (That’s another one of those upside-down–Kingdom truths.)
You see, God hasn’t left us to our own devices. He hasn’t left us to figure it out as we go, within our own selves. Instead, He lovingly offers us to daily batach — to weld ourselves to Him. To choose each day to be, oh, so connected to His heart, His will, and His Word.
If you were to ask me if I was trusting God and His timing above my own, I would have most likely told you yes. But there was obviously a part of me that was not acknowledging Him as the One who was directing my every step. It’s one thing to say or think that God is trustworthy, but it’s another thing to actually believe it and live according to it. When King Solomon wrote, “In all your ways acknowledge him,” in Proverbs 3:6, he wasn’t merely telling us to notice God in all things. He wasn’t saying to casually glance over at Him with a nonchalant, “Oh, hi, I didn’t see You there.”
The Hebrew word yada (translated in Proverbs 3 as acknowledge) means “to know.” Solomon is telling us to be deeply acquainted with God, to know with certainty who God is.
- This is more than noticing God. It’s about knowing God.
That, right there, is the difference. If we don’t know who the Lord is and if we don’t know what He’s promised us in His Word, then how can we trust Him? Acknowledging God means being intimately connected to Him. And how do we stay in that intimate connection? By welding ourselves to Him through the beautiful gift that is trust.
1.Jon Bloom, “The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding,” Desiring God, March 7, 2014, www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-insanity-of-leaning-on-our-own-understanding.
2.Bloom, “Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding.”
Excerpted with permission from Surrender Your Story by Tara Sun, copyright Tara Sun Snider.
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We’re wired because of our sin nature to try to live self-sufficiently. In our pride we think we’ve got it covered, we’re smart enough, capable enough, and don’t need God. I don’t know about you, but, relying on my own understanding has always led to disaster. God was us to know Him so that we understand our need for Him so that we lean on Him for everything! That’s how I path becomes straight! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full